Alberto Giacometti

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Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti (Borgonovo, Switzerland, October 10, 1901 – Coira, Switzerland, January 11, 1966) was a Swiss sculptor and painter.

Alberto_Giacometti’s Biography

Alberto Giacometti at the 31st Venice Biennial in 1962, photographed by Paolo Monti.

Giacometti was born in Borgonovo, Val Bregaglia, Switzerland, near the Italian border, where she grew up in an artists’ environment. His father, Giovanni Giacometti, had been an impressionist painter, while his godfather, Cuno Amiet, was Fauvist.

After finishing high school, he moved to Geneva to study painting, drawing and sculpture at the School of Fine Arts and Paris, in 1922, to study at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Montparnasse under the tutelage of a associate of Rodin, the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle. It was there that Giacometti experimented with Cubism. However, he was more attracted to the Surrealist movement and by 1927, after his brother Diego became his assistant, Alberto had begun to show his first surrealist sculptures in the Tuileries Hall. A short time later, he was already considered one of the most important surrealist sculptors of the time.

Living in an area as creative as Montparnasse, he began to associate with artists such as Joan Miró, Max Ernst and Pablo Picasso, as well as writers such as Samuel Beckett, Jean-Paul Sartre, Paul Éluard and André Breton, for whom he wrote and He drew in his publication Le surréalisme au Service de la Révolution. Between 1935 and 1940, Giacometti concentrated his sculpture on the human head, focusing mainly on the gaze. This was followed by a new and exclusive artistic phase in which his statues began to stretch, lengthening his limbs. At this time he made a visit to Spain, despite being in the middle of the Civil War.

During the Second World War he lived in Geneva, where he met Annette Arm. In 1946 both returned to Paris, where they married in 1949. The marriage seemed to have a good effect on him as he was followed by the most productive period of his career. It was his wife who gave him the opportunity to be constantly in contact with another human body. Other models had found that posing for him was not an easy job, but Annette helped him enormously, patiently enduring sessions that would last hours until Giacometti achieved what he was looking for.

A short time later, an exhibition of his work was organized at the Maeght gallery in Paris and at the Pierre Matisse Gallery in New York, for which his friend Jean-Paul Sartre wrote the introduction. Perfectionist, Giacometti was obsessed with creating his sculptures exactly as he saw them through his exclusive point of view of reality.

In 1954 he was commissioned to design a medallion with the image of Henri Matisse, for which he created numerous drawings during the last months of the painter’s life. In 1962 he received the grand prize of sculpture at the Venice Biennale, which led him to become an international celebrity.

On February 3, 2010, his sculpture The Man Who Walks I (‘L’Homme qui marche I’) was auctioned in London for 65 million pounds (74.2 million euros, 104.3 million dollars ), thus surpassing the world record of a work of art sold in an auction that moment, according to the house that took care of the bid: Sotheby’s.

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