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Museo Picasso Malaga Opens Alberto Giacometti Retrospective

The Museo Picasso Málaga presents Alberto Giacometti. A Retrospective, an exhibition on view 17 October 2011 – 5 February 2012, that precisely reflects the different stages in the career of one of the outstanding artists of the last century. Giacometti’s work is crucial to understanding the development of the avant-gardes and the subsequent evolution of contemporary art, while as an artist he nevertheless defies classification. This project challenges the conventional reductionist view of Giacometti’s oeuvre.

This is the first Alberto Giacometti retrospective to be held in Spain in more than 20 years, and it will bring together 198 artworks in the Palacio de Buenavista. The 20 photographs and 166 of the other works are from the collections of the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, in Paris, created by the artist’s widow. The show is completed by three works by Gioacommetti that are on loan from private collections and from the Zurich Kunsthaus, along with a work by José Ruiz Blasco and a selection of eight works by Pablo Picasso from private collections, the MPM’s own permanent collection and the Fundación Picasso Casa Natal.

The activities that have been scheduled to take place alongside this exhibition include workshops, jointly organized with ONCE, that involve six resin copies of sculptures by Alberto Giacometti; a seminar that will examine the subject of Architects, Film-makers and Artists in their Studios; a series of talks to be held in Malaga and Paris on The Artist’s Studio; guided tours of the exhibition for adults and schoolchildren, and workshops for school group during term-time and for children in general during the Christmas holidays.

With his exhibition of Alberto Giacometti (Borgonovo, Switzerland, 1901 – Chur, Switzerland, 1966), the Museo Picasso Málaga presents the work of a key figure in twentieth-century art and a contemporary of Pablo Picasso, with whom he coincided in Paris, although, though the Swiss artist was a generation younger. Despite the evident aesthetic and existential differences that characterize their work and their attitudes, there are significant points in common in the two artists’ careers, such as being sons of artists, their academic training, their move to Paris during their youth from peripheral countries to the artistic centre of the time, and their shared interest in the Old Masters.

The exhibition also addresses other key facets of Giacometti’s life and work, such as his obsession with inventing new modes of representation by stripping traditional genres such as the portrait, the still-life, the human figure and landscape down to the barest minimum. The show also explores his belief in the existence of a reality beyond the realm of appearances, as evidenced by his brief foray into Surrealism – a reality he perceived as being in constant flux and transformation.

The 169 works by Giacometti brought together for this exhibition, which include oil paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, furniture and textiles, and the 20 photographs by other artists documenting the artist at work, are grouped in different sections and arranged chronologically to show the successive stages of his aesthetic evolution: the earliest works, his arrival in Paris and first exposure to non-academic influences, his interest in late Cubism, his artistic relationship with creative talents such as Picasso and Cézanne, the notion of the cage as delimited space and the human as an artistic genre, among other topics. Alongside them are displayed a small selection of works by Pablo Picasso that illustrate the common features of both artists, as described above.

Image: Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966)
Head of a Man on a Base
c. 1949-1951
Painted plaster
22.3 x 7.5 x 9.5 cm
Collection Fondation Giacometti, Paris
© Sucession Giacometti/Vegap, Madrid, 2011

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