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Alberto Giacometti
Alberto Giacometti’s art creates a profound experience of figure and space. Focusing on the “energetic” quality of the void (the space immediately surrounding a person or object), his work is at once conceptual and emotional, anonymous and specific, ancient and modern. Issues of mortality, embodiment and the human condition manifest in his emaciated figures, isolated in space. Throughout his career, his sculptures, paintings, and drawings were described as Surrealist, Existentialist, and Expressionist; his work at once applying to all, but conforming to none. Jean-Paul Sartre poetically interprets his Existentialist notion of space: “Giacometti knows that space is a cancer on being, and eats everything; to sculpt, for him, is to take the fat off space, he compresses space, so as to drain off its exteriority.”

Alberto Giacometti (b. 1901 Borgonovo; d. 1966 Chur, Switzerland) moved to Paris in 1922 and studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. His first large-scale exhibitions were organized by the Arts Council Gallery, London (1955) and the Kunsthalle Bern (1956). Further retrospectives were shown at the Kunsthaus Zürich (1962), the Tate Gallery, London, Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark (through 1965). Also in 1965, the Alberto Giacometti-Foundation was inaugurated. Recent large-scale exhibitions were presented at Kunsthaus Zürich and the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2001), and the Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (2010), which traveled to Museum der Moderne Mönchsberg, Salzburg (2011). Gagosian Gallery mounted its first Giacometti exhibition in 1993 and inaugurated its new gallery in Geneva with his work in 2010.