New Early Alberto Giacometti Exhibition Reveals Breakthrough Influences

Alberto Giacometti

“During those years I saw anew the bodies that attracted me in reality and the abstract forms that seemed true to me in sculpture, but I wanted to make one without loosing the other.” –  Alberto Giacometti, 1947

Alberto Giacometti: In His Own Words (Sculptures 1925-1934) focuses on a series of sculptures from this crucial decade in Giacometti’s life, the exhibition provides a rare insight into the development of the artist’s practice, which led to the crystallization of the more familiar style that charac- terizes Giacometti’s later work. This exhibition will include over 18 sculptures from this period, many of which will be exhibited in the UK for the first time.

The exhibition takes its cue from a letter that Alberto Giacometti wrote to his New York dealer and friend Pierre Matisse (1947) that accompanied a group of sculptures planned for an exhibition at Matisse’s New York gal- lery. “Here is the list of sculptures that I promised you” Giacometti wrote, “but I could not send it without ex- plaining a certain succession of facts […] without which it would make no sense”. What followed these words is a fascinating account of Giacometti’s thoughts on sculp- ture; a testimony of his relentless pursuit to express truth in his work in a manner that is not limited to mere ex- ternal resemblance. It was in this decade that Giacometti adopted the retreat to memory that is now considered so fundamental to his oeuvre.

Giacometti’s letter reveals how this period was marked by a deep personal and stylistic crisis, which gradually led him to withdraw from traditional sculptural techniques and to experiment with Primitivism, Cubism, and Surrealism. The exhibition brings together a rare corpus of plaster, bronze, and wood sculptures that reconstitutes the importance of this particularly exciting period in Giacometti’s life, including seminal works such as Tête (Autoportrait), 1927, Femme Couchée, 1929, and Objet Désagréable, 1931.

Luxembourg & Dayan is to collaborate with the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, the Alberto Giacom- etti Stiftung, the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, The Morgan Library, and other private lenders. This will be the most comprehensive exhibition to date focusing solely on this early period of Giacometti’s oeuvre.




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