Alberto Giacometti: Early Works in Paris (1922-1930)

April 28, 1994 - June 11, 1994

Yoshii Gallery is pleased to announce its upcoming exhibition of sculpture and drawings by Alberto Giacometti. This exhibition, curated by the Giacometti scholar Casimiro Di Crecenzo, has been made possible with the generous assistance of the Alberto Giacometti Foundation, Kunsthaus, Zürich; The Print Collection of the Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; and Pierre Matisse Foundation, New York, among others. Featured in this exhibition will be two rarely exhibited documents, Giacometti’s (First) Letter to Pierre Matisse and his Tentative Caralogue of Early Works, both 1947, which offer an extensive explanation of these early works in Paris.

The exhibition covers Giacometti’s formative years in Paris, between 1922 and 1930, when the artist was developing his mature style based on the influences of the avant-garde, tribal, and ancient art, as well as his traditional art training, the combination of which positioned him for the fame and recognition he would soon achieve as part of the Surrealist movement. The cultural climate of Paris was instrumental in exposing Giacometti to this multitude of new ideas. The influence of Egyptian, Sumerian, Mexican, Oceanic, and African art forms appears in his work due to the artist’s frequent visits to the Musée du Louvre. Also present are Cubist and Surrealist elements gleaned from the modern artists such as Lipchitz, Brancusi, Laurens and Picasso.

Since 1947, when Sartre characterized Giacometti with an existentialist image, the artist’s work between 1922 and 1935 has been overlooked, mainly because it did not appear to relate to his more famous post-war elongated figures. Upon closer observation, however, the seeds of his later aesthetic and formal preoccupations are readily visible. This exhibition offers a fascinating glimpse of Giacometti at the start of his career, experimenting and grappling with ideas from all over the world.

An illustrated catalogue of the exhibition is available upon request.