A Biography of His WorkBook - 1991
Although Alberto Giacometti has long been recognized as one of the most original artists of the twentieth century, his life and work have not been the subject of a large illustrated monograph for many years. Yves Bonnefoy, poet, essayist and friend of the artist, has been reflecting on Giacometti's work since their first meeting, and began working on this book in 1981 while giving a series of lectures at the College de France. Yves Bonnefoy examines the entire range of Giacometti's creative production: sculpture, painting, drawing, which was the basis of the artist's work, and his lithographs-among the finest produced in this century. By focusing on the works of art themselves rather than on the details of the artist's life, and by relying on the evidence of Giacometti's important writings and statements, the author reveals the psychological and intellectual context of Giacometti's inspiration, and provides a wealth of new interpretations of his drawings, canvases and sculptures. Giacometti's early artistic development within his family circle, the impact of his voyages to Italy, the nature of his early apprenticeship in Antoine Bourdelle's studio in Paris, and his interest in African and Oceanian arts are traced with the help of contemporary accounts. Bonnefoy attributes great importance to Georges Bataille's thinking-re-evaluated here-and its influence on Giacometti's work, together with that of surrealism and the ideas of Andre Breton, whose relationship with the artist is analyzed. The periods that constituted the most significant moments of Giacometti's life are explored, especially his return to the study of the human figure in 1935, the Walking Man series in 1947, and the period of his study of 'heads' both in painting and sculpture during the 1950s. Bonnefoy's reflection on Giacometti's creative world leads him to raise important questions about the secret and profound relationship that an artist born in the mountains maintained with light, one that Giacometti sought to relive through his emotive landscapes. In writing Alberto Giacometti: A Biography of His Work Yves Bonnefoy benefited from documentary and photographic assistance from Annette Giacometti and other members of the artist's family, friends, and the galleries that exhibited his work. This study, therefore, evokes not only Giacometti's oeuvre, but also his childhood and later environment, his studios and the works that were important to him. Bonnefoy's penetrating analysis of Giacometti's work throws much new light on issues central to the understanding of twentieth-century art as a whole. Accompanied by an extensive biographical chronology and bibliography and illustrated with nearly 60 works and documents, many of which are published here for the first time, this monograph will remain an essential for years to come.
Publisher: Paris : Flammarion, c1991.
Branch Call Number: B Giacometti
Characteristics: 575 p. : 34 cm.