Two complementary exhibitions offer a unique holistic overview of the prolific artist best known for his emblematic, threadlike figures, and the work of his equally creative family

Two of the French Riviera’s most formidable art venues are teaming up this summer to mount a dual exhibition in honour of Alberto Giacometti and his family: Opening in Monaco on July 3, the Grimaldi Forum features an exceptional retrospective of the sculptor and painter’s work in collaboration with Fondation Giacometti; in St. Paul de Vence, the Fondation Maeght concurrently presents an exhibition titled “The Giacometti: a family of creators” which introduces the famous Swiss family of artists and their creative oeuvres to the French public.

Grimaldi Forum, Monaco: Alberto Giacometti, A Retrospective
July 3 – August 29

After its 2020 jubilee year fell victim to the pandemic, the Grimaldi Forum Monaco is back with a vengeance. In keeping with the big monograph exhibitions of artists previously presented here – Dalí, Bacon, Picasso, and Warhol – this year’s summer show is dedicated to Alberto Giacometti. Nearly 230 works, complemented by photographs, recreate the atmosphere of the artist’ studio, revealing the detours and questions that mark Giacometti’s creative process.

Giacometti and sculpture

The most important retrospective held in recent years is a deep journey into the artist’s works. Set in an “atmosphere of wonder”, it reflects his own wonder of a “marvellous reality”, as he often put it. He endeavored to represent, without hierarchy, what he saw around him: loved ones, objects from his studio, everyday things, landscapes from his Swiss childhood or the suburbs of Paris. Sylvie Biancheri, the Grimaldi Forum’s General Manager, explains that “…This exhibition aims at introducing not only the sculptor – with, among others, his iconic statues like Walking Man, which brought him international fame – but also the draughtsman and the painter in all his various phases, offering a complete view of his prolific artistic output”.

Curator Emilie Bouvard and scenographer William Chatelain place the visitor in the centre of the versatile artist’s personal space, opening their eyes to his extraordinary body of work. Laid out over 2,500 square metres and in 14 segments, the tour covers all the periods, media, and the creations – sculptures, paintings, drawings, and prints – that make up Giacometti’s legacy: from early works to his surrealist period, from the return to figuration to his post-model work, and to the invention of the great icons of the post-war period.

Giacometti La Fôret

Alberto Giacometti - Grande femme

His preferred themes – the representation of the human head, face, and female body – are highlighted but the visitor also discovers a different, unknown side – his loneliness and melancholy, and his hard work with his preferred models: his wife Annette, his brother Diego and his close friends. This is an encounter with another Giacometti, one who seeks to push the limits of sculpting, and a formidable painter who, in addition to portraits, also experiments with the genres of landscapes and still life.

For me, a sculpture is not a beautiful object but a means to try to understand a little better what I see, to try to understand a little better what attracts and amazes me about any head. Painting is a way of trying to understand what attracts and amazes me about any character, any tree or any object on a table.

— Alberto Giacometti, 1901 – 1966

Giacometti in Monaco

Fondation Maeght: The Giacometti, a Family of Creators
July 3 – November 14

While the Monaco exhibition is dedicated to the most famous member of the Giacometti family, the twin event at the Maeght Foundation in St. Paul de Vence takes a look at the multifaceted creativity of an artistic dynasty of painters, sculptors and architects. The exhibition takes Alberto as a its starting point, showcasing his work alongside that of his father Giovanni and his cousin Augusto, both major figures in Swiss painting at the start of the 20th century; as well as his two brothers, Diego, a gifted sculptor and designer, and Bruno, renowned for his contributions to post-war Swiss architecture.

Bringing together the Giacometti family’s work for the first time in France, the exhibition offers its visitors the opportunity to discover the talent and artistic influence of each member of this remarkable family in their respective fields; and explores their place in 20th century art history, their inter-family relationships and the enduring influence of Stampa, the Swiss hamlet in the Val Bregaglia (Bergell Valley) that was their home.

Fondation Maeght Giacometti expo

Approximately thirty major sculptures and drawings from Fondation Maeght’s collection are exhibited alongside paintings, films, archived photographs, and objects relating to the five artists. The exhibition includes loans from museum collections such as the Bündner Kunstmuseum in Chur (Switzerland), the MASI in Lugano (Switzerland), Kunstmuseum in Basel (Switzerland), the Giacometti Foundation (France) and Musée d’Orsay (France).

Practical Info

Grimaldi Forum

3 July – 29 August 2021
Espace Ravel of GRIMALDI FORUM MONACO
10, avenue Princesse Grace – 98000 Monaco
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays till 10 p.m.
The exhibition is accessible to disabled people and people with reduced mobility.
Tickets: in advance until 30 June, €6 on www.grimaldiforum.com
Full price: €11 (free for visitors under 18), reductions available
Ticket office: tel. +377 99 99 3000
e-mail ticket@grimaldiforum.com

Fondation Maeght

3 July – 14 November 2021
623 Chemin des Gardettes
06570 Saint-Paul de Vence, France
Open daily 10:00AM – 7:00PM (July – August), 10:00AM – 6:00PM (rest of the year)
Last admission 30 minutes before closing time
Tickets: full price €16, reductions available
Ticket office +33 (0)4 93 32 81 63
email info@fondation-maeght.com

another grey line

Photo Credits (in order of appearance)

Lead image by Paolo MontiAvailable in the BEIC digital library and uploaded in partnership with BEIC Foundation.The image comes from the Fondo Paolo Monti, owned by BEIC and located in the Civico Archivio Fotografico of Milan, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48037966; image edited (cropped)

Alberto Giacometti avec le plâtre de la Grande femme IV dans la cour de l’atelier, août 1960
Photo : Annette Giacometti
Archives de la Fondation Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti
La Forêt
1950
Bronze
57 x 61 x 47,3 cm
Collection Fondation Giacometti
© Succession Alberto Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris + Adagp, Paris)

Alberto Giacometti
Grande femme I
1960
Bronze
272 x 34,9 x 54 cm
Collection Fondation Giacometti
© Succession Alberto Giacometti (Fondation Giacometti, Paris + Adagp, Paris)

Exhibition poster courtesy Fondation Maeght

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