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Alberto Giacometti in History of Art

Alberto Giacometti is a Swiss artist interested in sculpture, graphics, and painting, giving more preference to creating memorable and unique figures. Alberto, as a rule, was addicted to philosophical, existential, and phenomenological aspects, which he successfully “transformed” into a creative channel. Uncertainty is the main feature of his personality, becoming a driving force throughout his life. The master’s works were influenced by modernist and avant-garde trends, such as Surrealism and Cubism.

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Nevertheless, the artist became famous precisely because of the unusual style in statues, which would later be called existential. His sculptures are tall, thin, and almost disappearing, resembling the skeletons of burnt wooden cult figures and trembling reflections in the water or distant silhouettes dissolving in the fog. In fact, Giacometti’s works have occupied the top positions in the lists of the world’s most expensive sculptures in recent years.

It is important to emphasize that Giacometti’s main activity fell at the beginning of the 20th century. The creator’s interest in art was formed in early childhood when the boy began modeling and painting. Alberto often imitated in his first works the manner of his father, Giovanni Giacometti. Having received special education, Alberto embarked on bright and impressive wanderings in different countries, looking for sources of inspiration and getting acquainted with the art’s representatives and the great works.

Since 1922, the Swiss creator has shown his talents and abilities in French circles; he studied, lived, and worked mainly in Paris. During these periods, Alberto made acquaintances with Pablo Picasso, Louis Aragon, Andre Breton, and other artists. He met Alexander Archipenko, who introduced him to the role of emptiness and form in sculpture, as well as took Antoine Bourdelle’s lessons. Fascinated by Cubism and Surrealism, the humanistic manner in sculptures, Giacometti explored dynamics and moved away from painting.

Further, the creator abandons his philosophical research and primarily analyzes figurative compositions. After World War II, people could see Alberto’s most famous tall and slender figures. The subject of these statues was the author’s perception and individual spectator experience. Therefore, the mature Giacometti was occupied with the ratio of volumes, masses, and the human figure’s secret in sculpture. In painting and drawing, he turned to the issues of spatial depth and the human face’s mystery. The sculpture is by no means the only genre in which the master worked.

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