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Sculptor Alberto Giacometti

Sculptor Alberto Giacometti.

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Sculptor Alberto Giacometti

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  1. Sculptor Alberto Giacometti

  2. Giacometti, Alberto (1901-1966), Swiss sculptor and painter, born in Stampa. After a period of study in Geneva and Rome, Giacometti settled in Paris in 1922. He established himself as one of the leading surrealist sculptors of the 1930s with work that showed a great deal of wit and imagination.

  3. Surrealism, • artistic and literary movement that explored and celebrated the realm of dreams and the unconscious mind through the creation of visual art, poetry, and motion pictures. Surrealism was officially launched in Paris, France, in 1924, when French writer André Breton wrote the first surrealist manifesto, outlining the ambitions of the new movement. (Breton published two more surrealist manifestoes, in 1930 and 1942.) The movement soon spread to other parts of Europe and to North and South America. Among surrealism’s most important contributions was the invention of new artistic techniques that tapped into the artist’s unconscious mind. The Persistence of Memory Salvador Dalí’s painting The Persistence of Memory (1931) ranks as one of the most famous paintings of the 20th century. A surrealist, Dalí referred to his work as “hand-painted dream photographs,” and claimed that his imagery often came directly from his own dreams. The strange form in this painting’s foreground, however, is based on an image from Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights (about 1505-1510).

  4. Standing Figure

  5. Alberto GiacomettiDog, (1951)/(CAST 1957)Bronze17 1/2 x 38 1/8 x 6 1/4 in. (44.2 x 96.8 x 15.7 cm.)Supposedly in a single day in 1951, Alberto Giacometti executed a group of approximately life-size animal sculptures in plaster-two horses, a cat, and a dog. (The horses no longer exist.) In the mid-1950s, Giacometti told writer Jean Genet that Dog was a form of self-portrait: "One day, I saw myself in the street like that. I was the dog." In 1964, Giacometti recalled the sculpture's genesis in greater detail: . . . One day I was walking along the rue de Vanves in the rain, close to the walls of the buildings, with my head down, feeling a little sad, perhaps, and I felt like a dog just then. So I made that sculpture. But it's not really a likeness at all. Only the sad muzzle is anything of a likeness.¹  The artist executed the sculpture immediately, "so as to get rid of the hound once and for all." In contrast to Giacometti's normally slow process of reworking portrait sculptures, the rapid modeling of the plaster animal sculptures recalls his Surrealist method of pulling a complete image from memory. The 1951 group represented Giacometti's last animal works.Adapted from "Giacometti 1901-1966" (1988) by Valerie J. Fletcher. Alberto Giacometti Standing Figure in a Box, 1948-49

  6. Drawings

  7. Written about Giacometti in 1959 Alberto Giacometti is a hungry sort of spaceman who eats away the forms he makes, leaving space supreme. He would carry them in his pockets like peanuts and crush them with a squeeze. After World War II, he began producing straw-thin stick men reminiscent of ancient Sardinian bronzes. They were universally admired, but Giacometti went on destroying most of them. This year he has finished nothing.

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