February 19, 2011 by staff 

Giacometti, Alberto Giacometti (October 10, 1901 to January 11, 1966) was a Swiss sculptor, painter, draftsman, and engraver. Alberto Giacometti was born in the Grisons in the south of the Alps Bergell and came from an artistic background, his father, Giovanni, is a painter well known post-impressionist. Alberto was the eldest of four children and is interested in art early in his life.
Giacometti was born in Borgonovo, now part of the Swiss municipality Stampa, near the Italian border. His father, Giovanni Giacometti, was a painter. Alberto attended the School of Fine Arts in Geneva. In 1922 he moved to Paris to study under the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, an associate of Auguste Rodin. It is there that Giacometti experimented with cubism and surrealism and came to be regarded as one of the leading surrealist sculptors. Among his associates were Joan Mir? Max Ernst, Pablo Picasso and Balthus.

Between 1936 and 1940, Giacometti concentrated his sculpting on the human head, focusing on the years sitter look. He preferred models; it was close to his brother and artist Isabel Rawsthorne (then known as Isabel Delmer). It was followed by a unique artistic phase in which his statues became stretched Isabel, her long limbs. Obsessed with creating his sculptures exactly as he envisioned through his unique perspective of reality, he often carved until they are as thin as nails and reduces the size of a packet cigarettes, to his dismay. A friend once said that if Giacometti decided to sculpt you, “it would make your head look like the blade of a knife.” After his marriage to Annette Arm’s small sculptures became larger, but the more they grew, they became thinner. Giacometti said that the end result is the sensation he felt when he watched a woman.

His paintings underwent a parallel procedure. The figures appear isolated, are severely attenuated, and are the result of continuous reorganization. Subjects were frequently revisited: one of his favorite models was younger than his brother Diego Giacometti. A third brother Bruno Giacometti was a Swiss architect.

In 1962 he received the grand prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale, and the award brought with it fame worldwide. Even when he had attained the popularity and his work was in demand, it still has reworked models, often destroying them or put aside to be returned to later. Prints produced by Giacometti are often overlooked, but the catalog, Giacometti – The Complete Graphics and 15 Drawings by Herbert Lust (Tudor 1970), comments on their impact and gives details on the number of copies of each print. Some of his most important images were in editions of only 30 and many have been described as rare in 1970.

In his later years, Giacometti’s works were presented in a number of major exhibitions throughout Europe. Riding a wave of international popularity, and despite his failing health, he traveled to the United States in 1965 for an exhibition of his works at the Museum of Modern Art New York. As his last work, he prepared the text to the end without a book in Paris, a sequence of 150 lithographs containing memories of all the places he had lived.

Giacometti died in 1966 of heart disease (pericarditis) and chronic bronchitis at the Kantonsspital Chur, Switzerland. His body was returned to his birthplace in Borgonovo, where he was buried near his parents. In May 2007, Giacometti, a top auctioneer, convicted the liquidator of the estate of his widow, French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas, of illegal sale of works. The auctioneer, Jacques Tajan, was also convicted. Both were sentenced to € 850,000 to Alberto and Annette Giacometti Foundation.

[Source: via wikipedia and various online sources]
[Source: image via WWW.CORD.EDU]

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