NEW COMPACT EDITION AVAILABLE for 35 euro
Flammarion, Paris, 2008 (new paperback edition)
out of print
Alberto Giacometti (October 10, 1901 – January 11, 1966) was a Swiss sculptor, painter, draftsman, and printmaker.
He was born in Borgonovo, now part of the Swiss municipality of 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 was 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 Miró, Max Ernst, Pablo Picasso and Balthus.
From 1936 to 1940 Giacometti concentrated his sculpting on the human head, focusing on the model’s gaze, followed by a unique artistic phase in which his statues became stretched out; their limbs elongated. Obsessed with creating his sculptures exactly as he envisioned through his unique view of reality, he often carved until they were as thin as nails and reduced to the size of a pack of cigarettes, much to his consternation. A friend of his once said that if Giacometti decided to sculpt you, “he would make your head look like the blade of a knife.” After his marriage his tiny sculptures became larger, but the larger they grew, the thinner they became. Giacometti said that the final result represented the sensation he felt when he looked at a woman.
Giacometti was a key player in the Surrealist Movement, but his work resists easy categorization.
Yves Bonnefoy (born June 24, 1923) is a French poet and essayist. His works have been of great importance in post-war French literature, at the same time poetic and theoretical, examining the meaning of the spoken and written word. He has also published a number of translations, most notably Shakespeare and published several works on art and art history, including Miró and Giacometti.