Alberto Giacometti's installed his studio rue Hippolyte Maindron. This place has fascinated all those who visited it. The most illustrious characters have boasted its charm and poverty! Jean Genet wrote...
Alberto Giacometti's installed his studio rue Hippolyte Maindron. This place has fascinated all those who visited it. The most illustrious characters have boasted its charm and poverty! Jean Genet wrote admirable pages about it. Jean-Paul Sartre came there often. Picasso also. Alberto Giacometti used to draw, engrave and paint on the walls of his studio. These were saved and protected from destruction by the will of Annette Giacometti and thanks to the talent of Michel Bourbon. Restored, then minutely removed and framed, these sections of walls have been exposed on several occasions.
It was in 1935-1936 that Alberto reversed things and decided to cast in the bronze, the vision he had of these walls. This is the work above, which in turn represents and symbolizes "the Workshop". We find in it the principal objects that Alberto Giacometti was working on: bust of Annette, shelf with books, etc.
This bronze, fused after one of the two bas-relief plasters made by Giacometti at the end of the 30s, is in fact part of the series of still lives that mark his remoteness from surrealism and his return to the subject.
If in this reversal, the artist lost friends (and dealers!) as he will recall later, he won his freedom of creation.
This is a view of his studio, with a shelf on which we recognize a small woman's bust (Rita or Isabelle), books, an apple, a glass and brushes ...
It was at this time that he took as a model Marguerite Rita Gueyfier for a fortnight. Finally, the sessions will occupy Giacometti until 1940. "I worked with model all day from 1935 to 1940. Nothing was such that I imagined a head (I left the figures very quickly, it was was too much for me) became for me an object totally unknown and dimensionless. Twice a year I started two heads, always the same, never succeeding, and I put my studies next to it" (letter to Pierre Matisse ", Alberto Giacometti, exhibition catalog, Pierre Matisse Gallery, New York, January 1948). It is from this period on, that date the first carved portraits of Giacometti, including Tête de Rita, which is represented on our bas-relief executed at the same time.
But as Yves Bonnefoy recalls, "the space of this relief is a place of archetypes, like on a frieze of ancient Egypt".
In 1935, Giacometti broke off almost definitively with the group of surrealists. The return to figuration and the rational will mark an important step in Giacometti's artistic career. 1936 marks the first integration of one of Giacometti's works into a museum collection, that of the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA), with Le Palais at 4h du Matin.
This bas-relief represents one of the most important works of this period. Influenced by an exhibition of Cezanne's works at the same time, the conception of the representation of space is a constant search for Giacometti, found in this sculpture. "A Still Life of Cezanne, in Giacometti's style".
Work casted after an original plaster signed Alberto Giacometti on the bottom right corner,
Work executed in Bronze in an edition of 8, numbered 1 through 8, with two Artist's Proofs, and two casts numbered 0/8 and 00/8 (Attested by Annette Giacometti in 1987)
Private Collection, France.
Giacometti - retour à la figuration 1933-47
Musée des Beaux-Arts de GENEVE, July - September 1986
Musée d'Art Moderne de la ville de Paris, October 1986 - January 1987
Rétrospective des oeuvres d'Alberto Giacometti
Washington, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, September - November 1988
San Francisco, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, December 1988 - February 1989
Susse Fondeur - Les Maîtres du Bronze
Bagatelle, Paris, June - September 1987
Centro de Arte Reina Sofia à Madrid, November 1990 - January 1991
Rétrospective Alberto Giacometti
Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, November 1991 - February 1992
Giacometti Exhibition Works
Sara Hilden Art Museum, Tempere (Finland), April 1992 - May 1992
Hiroshima Prefectoral Art Museum, Japan, February - March 1996
Shizudka Prefectoral Musuem of Art, April - May 1997 - Ashikaga Museum of Art, June - July 1997.
Giacometti, Yves Bonnefoy, Paris, Flammarion, 1991, p. 256, reproduction of the plaster, p. 257, ill. N° 236.
Ernst Scheidegger, Traces d'une amitié, Alberto Giacometti, Paris, 1991, reproduction of the plaster p. 125.