Category Archives: Giacometti

Giacometti at Tate Modern

The long thin sculptures we associate with Giacometti

Another interesting retrospective of Giacometti’s work, though I preferred the exhibition of his portraits at the National Portrait gallery with lots more paintings and a broader view of his oeuvre. You can’t get very close to his small elongated sculptures and from the distance you are kept from them it’s hard to distinguish one from another

Most of the exhibits were sculptures – a surprising number of lifelike  heads in the multitude in Room 1, as well as some of his signature long thin sculptures. Once again I was frustrated by having the titles of everything so far from the objects.

The enormous double life-size sculptures in the last room were amazing but one of the best things in the exhibition was the film about him, showing the amazing care with which his clay figurines were made – his hands darting rapidly from eyes, to crown and to mouth, modelling with fingers, knives or modelling tools.

The Giacometti posters against a backdrop of the River Thames and St Paul’s

For some reason, the coffee on the exhibition floor is always better than that in the downstairs café and the view from the balcony of the 3rd exhibition floor is stunning.


Always lots of merchandising!!

Looking around gallery shops is always a pleasure, though we might buy a couple of things for the grandchildren, rarely for ourselves. We have accumulated too many things!!


Giacometti at the National Portrait Gallery London

Another superb exhibition
Another superb exhibition

I confess that my impression of Giacometti (1901-1966) was as a sculptor of long thin walking figures – mainly men – though I had seen the occasional drawn portrait.
The description ‘Pure Presence’ was given Alberto Giacometti by Jean-Paul Sartre who considered him an existentialist artist.

A post-impressionist style self-portrait painted 1921
A post-impressionist style self-portrait painted 1921 when he was 20

This exhibition not only shows his signature sculptures, together with a fascinating film showing his painstaking moulding of these figures, but a selection of portraits strongly influenced by his artist father’s post-impressionist style, as well as a collection of his later line portraits which are more familiar to us.
A large wonderful exhibition – I’d go again if there weren’t so much on in London this month.