Alberto Giacometti (Alberto Giacometti)

Alberto Giacometti

Sculptor.  His signature works are elongated human figures that convey a sense of isolation and anguish.  Their rough,  charred-looking surfaces capture light and shadow in compelling ways.  Giacometti arrived at this style after World War II and many see it as existential commentary on the postwar human condition,  though the artist himself claimed he was after more spiritual qualities.  He was also a painter and printmaker,  and wrote poetry.  Giacometti was born in Borgonovo,  near Stampa in Switzerland.  He received initial art training from his father,  modernist painter Giovanni Giacometti, and later studied painting in Geneva,  France and Italy.  He devoted himself to sculpture after 1925.  In 1927 he moved into a studio in the Montparnasse district of Paris,  and apart from a period of WWII Swiss exile (1942 to 1945) lived there the rest of his life.  Cubism,  Surrealism,  and African art were his strongest influences and his early sculptures were spiky abstractions.  Later he returned to a more figurative approach.  Long admired in France (Jean-Paul Sartre wrote an essay about him),  Giacometti became internationally famous after winning the Grand Prize at the 1962 Venice Biennale.  In 1965 he had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City  and his work has proven most popular in the United States,  with several major museums keeping his pieces on permanent display.  Since 1998 Giacometti’s portrait has appeared on the Swiss 100 franc banknote. (bio by: Bobb Edwards)


  • October, 10, 1901
  • Switzerland


  • January, 01, 1966
  • Switzerland


  • Cemetery of the Church of San Giorgio
  • Graubünden
  • Switzerland

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