Alberto Giacometti

14 november, 1990 - 15 january, 1991 /
Sabatini Building, Floor 3

Organised into three main areas (drawing, painting and sculpture) related to Alberto Giacometti's productions (Borgonovo, Switzerland, 1901 - Chur, Switzerland, 1966), the Alberto Giacometti exhibition is the first retrospective exhibition of this artist in Spain. This exhibition was proposed in order to contextualise his work and highlight his attachments and positioning from events and names that mark his artistic and life career, which not only impacted on his work but also allowed him to move outside of the tightly defined limits in art. For this reason the reciprocity between his artistic biography and his work, among which includes literature (notes, writings on his work and dairies), is focused on. On the other hand, and in addition to the previous premise, the exhibition develops a line of reading material that seeks to highlight the idea of the artist’s trade present in Giacometti, where drawing as a fundamental means stands out.

Giacometti moved to Paris in 1922 and completed his training in Antoine Bourdelle's studio. Almost immediately he connects with artists and writers in the Documents magazine circle, which coincides with his first contacts with members of the surrealist group, into which he was to be admitted but also expelled in 1935. During his first ten years in Paris, abstract grammar of formal synthesis together with the subversion of shapes and surrealist games live together in his artistic language, on occasion seated on synaesthesia, as is the case of Objet désagréable à jeter (1932) or of Pointe à l´oeil (1931). In parallel, in the mid-thirties, he designs and creates furniture, along with his brother Diego and in collaboration with designers Jean-Michel Frank and Elsa Schiaparelli.

With the First World War as a backdrop and established in Geneva, he undergoes a change in his conception of the work of an artist between 1942 and 1945: he abandons the purpose of identification with the avant-garde and "recovers the memory of the History of Art", he assumes it and is confronted with it. Also, from that moment, his deeper involvement with the existentialist intellectual circle (Jean-Paul Sartre in particular) has an influence on his work. During this time he produces works that are smaller in size, which sought to achieve a further intensification of man's relationship with space (existential), but at the same time, in other cases, they gain stylisation until they become filiform (La forêt, 1950; Homme qui chavire, 1950-1951). The search and representation of this notion of space, occupancy and restriction is also seen in his drawings, his paintings (creating frames within the canvas) and in his sculptures, whether in the so-called "Plazas", as in the "Cages". In this spacial conception and in the way it was constructed, Paul Cezanne's lessons appear, which Giacometti himself recognised.

The exhibition is made complete by a substantial body of photographs that have sought to build a unique and intimate visual biography of Giacometti through the lens of anonymous people and friends.

Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Kosme María de Barañano
Alberto Giacometti