experiences?. He was celebrated for his elongated figures that followed his break from the
surrealists. But, who was Alberto Giacometti?
Alberto Giacometti was born in 1901 in the Italian speaking town Borgonova,
at 14 he began sculpting. When he turned twenty, he moved to Paris to continue his studies but
shortly returned home.
Back home, Alberto Giacometti studied with the famous sculpture Bourdelle. With him he
drew and sculpted with models. Though, in 1925 he gave up working with live models and in a
few years he had begun to achieved a measure of fame.
In the late 20s, Giacometti was invited by Andre Breton to join the Surrealists. Surrealism
traditions. They sought to demonstrate, as Breton said, ?that no limits can be set to human
Like the most of the surrealists of his time, Giacometti?s art was guided by the aim of
works involve a figure or dismembered appendage trapped or precariously hanging.
In 1933, Giacometti?s random way of putting together volumes and his equally
The life size, bronze sculpture was headless and armless. It?s slenderly stylized and is
noticeably a woman?s figure. The left leg and foot are placed slightly in front of the other and
forward motion are characteristics in ?Walking Woman? that were quite visible in the last twenty
years of Giacometti?s works.
When the statue was exhibited in 1933, it was fitted with wooden arms and the scroll of a
cello as a head and other devices to serve as hands. Though, as time passed, Giacometti dropped
these surrealist pieces. This headless, armless figure seemed as a revelation for the artist.
In 1936 Pierre Matisse, an art dealer, purchased ?Walking Woman?. This was a significant
choice do to the fact that the statue was the beginning of the distinguishing works of the last
In 1934 Giacometti began working from models again. Because of this, the surrealist
group expelled him for his diversion and regarded it as ?retrograde?. The years that followed,
Giacometti alternated between life and memory. Oddly enough, the typical characteristics of his
works, elongated distortions and two-dimention characteristics, were much more pronounced
when a live model was used.
until 1945. While in Switzerland, Giacometti met Annette Arn, whom he married in 1949. He was
sculptures seemed to be getting smaller and smaller. According to Giacometti, he could not
explain why his statues became so small. ?I could not understand it. All my statues ended up one
centimeter high. One more touch and hop! the statue vanishes.? Though, some inferred that his
Toward the end of his life, Giacometti had come to the conclusion that he did not need to
leave his studio to find the world. For the majority of his future life, Giacometti concentrated on
he acknowledged that the final version is in no way an improvement over the first. His reason for
been described as decaying or exploding flesh, and the forms are always hauntingly distorted. The
they are simple frontal poses and though the face is entirely sketched, it?s always densely
black, gray and brown, the resulting effect is oddly haunting; the gaze of the subject is impossibly
heavy. The somber hues of black, brown and gray fill his drawing and paintings. It is striking that
Giacometti was able to focus his attention so acutely on a few simple subjects in his effort to
His artwork depicted the brutality of life, but showed a yearning for another kind of existence.