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Weekend 101: Giacometti Retrospective at The Tate Modern

The Tate: Giacometti Retrospective & The Tate Modern
The Giacometti retrospective is notable for the sheer volume of the artist’s work and showcases not only his instantly recognisable etiolated figures but also sketches, paintings and photographs that chart his exploration of art through five decades. This is the first time in sixty years that some of the exhibits have been displayed side-by-side, making this is the ultimate exhibition for anyone who considers themselves a fan of his work.

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But although many of us feel we know Giacometti’s works, the exhibition shows the influences that shaped them. From his fascination with West African and Egyptian art in the 20s and 30s to his ventures into surrealism – often highly criticised by the press but received with applause by the art community. The exhibition relates how during the war Giacometti’s sculptures became so tiny that at the end of the war he was able to transport his entire output from his years in Switzerland back to Paris in six matchboxes.

Alberto Giacometti Man Pointing 1947 Tate © Alberto Giacometti estate / ACS+DACS in the UK, 2017

Alberto Giacometti Man Pointing 1947 Tate © Alberto Giacometti estate / ACS+DACS in the UK, 2017

The iconic distorted shadow-like figures emerged post-war, their elongated limbs and bodies worked with incredible detail. These stick-like figures encapsulate the fragility of man, often captured in an endless walk to a never reached destination.

As well as his sculptures, a series of sketch books, paintings and photographs offer further insights into the life of this much celebrated artist.

This is a collection that is unlikely to be seen again for a long while – so it is well worth heading down to Bankside to get the chance of maybe a lifetime.

Alberto Giacometti Surrealist Composition c. 1933 © Alberto Giacometti estate / ACS+DACS in the UK, 2017

Alberto Giacometti Surrealist Composition c. 1933 © Alberto Giacometti estate / ACS+DACS in the UK, 2017

The Giacometti exhibition is open until 10th September 2017 at The Tate Modern.

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