20 March 2015
In the 60s, Alberto Giacometti paid homage to Paris, the city where he lived, by drawing its streets, cafés, and more private places like his studio and the apartment of his wife, Annette. These drawings would make up his last book, Paris sans fin (Paris Without End). A wide selection of lithographs from these drawings accompanied the exhibition Alberto Giacometti.
While most of Giacometti’s work was produced in his studio, when the publisher Tériade commissioned him to produce a book of lithographs of Paris, he embraced the opportunity to leave his workplace and document his adopted city. Giacometti depicted the city’s streets and monuments, the Montparnasse cafés and bars that he frequented, but also more personal places, beginning with his studio, his wife Annette’s apartment, and the Mourlot printing press where his lithographs were produced. The technique of drawing on transfer paper meant that the drawings could not be reworked and for the first time Giacometti had to work on the spot with no going back or correcting. Paris without End (Paris sans fin) provides a biography of the artist at the start of the 1960s radiating outwards in concentric circles from his studio, inviting the reader to follow in his footsteps, and experience the everyday life of the city. The book contains 150 original lithographs published in 1969, three years after the artist’s death.
Artworks in order of appearance: The Val de Grâce seen from the Observatoire Garden, before 1961; Tour Saint-Jacques and Chatelet column seen from the Café at the corner of quai de la Mégisserie, before 1961; Café Le Select seen from La Coupole, before 1961; The glasses on the stool in the studio, before 1961; Sculptures in the studio VIII, before 1961; Annette nude standing in front of the fireplace, rue Mazarine, c. 1964; The bar at Chez Adrien (III); Paleontology and compared anatomy gallery at the Museum of Natural History, Paris I, before 1961. Giacometti Foundation Collection, Paris.
Organized in collaboration with the Giacometti Foundation, Paris, the exhibition explores Giacometti’s prolific life, most of which the artist led in his studio in Montparnasse, through the works of his early period as well his late work, including one unfinished piece. Devoted to Giacometti’s early works, the first part of the exhibition demonstrates the influence of Giovanni Giacometti, the father of the artist and a Swiss Post-Impressionist painter himself, on Giacometti’s output during these years and his role in his son’s development.
The second part of exhibition illustrates Alberto Giacometti’s relations with Post-Cubist artists and the Surrealist movement between 1922 and 1935, one of the important sculptures series he created during his first years in Paris, and the critical role he played in the art scene of the period.
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