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Indepth Arts News:

"Alberto Giacometti"
2000-05-18 until 2000-09-10
Portland Museum of Art
Portland, ME, USA United States of America

Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) is recognized as one of the greatest European artists of the 20th century. The first showing of this modern masters work in the state of Maine, Alberto Giacometti features more than 50 works, including sculpture, paintings, drawings, and prints. This important exhibition is drawn primarily from the collection of Herbert C. Lust, who was a friend of the artist between 1949 and 1961, and is the author of a catalogue raisonn‚ of Giacomettis prints. Alberto Giacometti is on view at the Portland Museum of Art from May 18 through September 4, 2000.

Alberto Giacometti includes 13 drawings, ranging from precise and light-filled interiors to the haunting stare of a masterful late drawing of his brother and frequent model, Diego. Lithography and etching became a natural extension of his drawings. This vital component of his art is represented with more than 30 prints, including an early Surrealist work, Mute, Moving Objects (1931); late, piercing portraits such as Buste II (1960) and Buste dhomme (1964); and an important series of lithographic views of his studio, produced in 1954. Giacomettis painting is represented by two works, Head and Still Life (both 1946), executed during a crucial period in the development of his late style. Also featured in the exhibition are three sculptures from this period, the beautiful and early Chignon Woman (1949), a memory portrait of Giacomettis former lover, Isabel Delmer; Bust of Diego (1961); and a 7-foot-tall cast of the famous Walking Man I (1961).

Alberto Giacometti was born in Switzerland in 1901. His father, Giovanni, was a painter, and Alberto displayed a precocious talent from an early age. He trained first with his father then briefly in Geneva before moving in 1922 to Paris, where he would spend most of his life. He gained fame as a Surrealist sculptor, producing such ground-breaking works as The Palace at 4 a.m. (1932-33) and Woman with her Throat Cut (1932) (both in the collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York), only to break with the group when he decided to return to working with the live model, a practice the Surrealists abhorred. Obsessed with the idea of rendering human forms as they are perceived in space, Giacometti developed his signature style of stark, attenuated human figures during the 1940s--creating the masterworks for which he is best known today.

The exhibition will be accompanied by an illustrated catalogue, which features a memoir by Herbert Lust on his friendship with the artist.

Alberto Giacometti is made possible through the generous support of Saco River Telegraph and Telephone Company and an anonymous donor.

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