Grasping the void

August 25, 2021

Monte Carlo • Alberto Giacometti at the Grimaldi Forum

230 works on display, including sculptures, paintings and prints. There are, also The Spoon Woman, The Walking Man and The Large Nude Female

. Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) was born at the dawn of the new century, son of art, his father Giovanni is a post-impressionist painter. At the age of twenty he moved to Paris and studied with Émile Antoine Bourdelle, a pupil of Rodin. Soon he realized that for him, making sculpture is very different from reproducing reality for what it appears, a thought that brings him closer to the surrealist movement, which he joined in 1928, detaching himself immediately to begin a research in strict isolation. His obsessive and continuous experimentation in search of deciphering the human: “every sculpture or painting is a long exercise to try to know what I see”.

He often portrays the same people - his brother Diego, his mother, his sister Ottilia, his wife Annette, his beloved of the last years, Caroline, he tries to lay bare what exists beyond any appearance. No psychologism, isolating the subject and faceting, digging, manipulating, shrinking the form to the extreme: “levare, levare materia and while I do it I have the impression that I still have to remove”, do and destroy, leave, every day everything starts all over again, often abandons what he does, never satisfied with the result obtained, which he always considers “unfinished”.

From his hands threadlike, tense, dense, fragile and resistant works come out, heads that thin like blades, figures of women in which life and death are balanced in a motionless verticality, sculptures that look like archaeological finds, paintings that have the strength of idols, timeless models of human beings, as in Egyptian or Etruscan art. The works are mirrors of the existentialist crisis of the twentieth century, with the bitter, indelible traces that two world wars left on wounded humanity: “I do painting and sculpture to bite into reality, to defend myself, to nourish myself”.

Life and death are balanced in the motionless verticality of sculptures that seem to be archaeological find

Emilie Bouvard, in Montecarlo, with 230 works of the Giacometti Foundation, of which she is the scientific director, realizes, through sculptures, paintings and prints, a large retrospective exhibition, set up at the Grimaldi Forum.

The exhibition is articulated like a path, with a prologue followed by the development of themes with variations, aimed at returning the spirit of the artist and the atmosphere of her atelier. Plaster female figures, hieratic like prehistoric divinities, The spoon woman (1927) and The woman whose hands hold the void (1934-1935) open the exhibition, and The Man Who Walks (1960) and the Large Female Nude close it.

In between, the creative arc of an entire life dedicated to trying “to grasp in the void the white, invisible thread of the marvelous”.


Alberto Giacometti

A retrospective Marvellous reality

Monte Carlo Grimaldi Forum

Until 29/08


The Author

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The daughter of collectors, she focuses on the history of visual art - her field of interest – and on writing - a passion she has cultivated since her childhood. A happy and fateful meeting as a teenager, while she was listening to Battisti, the Genesis and de André, led her to love Vivaldi, Beethoven, Schubert, chamber music and symphonic music. She is attracted to all the southern lands in the world, to the sea and to dark chocolate. She curates exhibitions and has written for different magazines in Italy and abroad. She feels happy and honoured to be a part of the AW ArtMag staff since its first release. Always looking for a motto, which she fatefully changes in tune with the dynamism of existence, in the present times she finds truth and comfort in Dante's "but to follow virtue and knowledge".

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