The Suna and İnan Kıraç Foundation Pera Museum is hosting the first major exhibition of Swiss sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti in Istanbul, featuring a retrospective approach of the artist’s decades of work.
Organized in collaboration with the Giacometti Foundation in Paris, the exhibition explores Giacometti’s prolific life, most of which was spent in his studio in Montparnasse, through the works of his early period as well his late work, including one unfinished piece.
The Giacometti Foundation is a French public interest institution, created by government decree in 2003. The foundation focuses on promoting, disseminating, preserving and protecting the work of Giacometti (1901-1966). The foundation holds the world’s largest Giacometti collection.
Curated by the Giacometti Foundation’s director, Catherine Grenier, the exhibition offers a chronological and thematic itinerary covering the two definitive periods of the artist’s life – before and after World War II – and touches upon his friendships with the leading artists and intellectuals of his period in Paris.
Devoted to Giacometti’s early works, the first part of the exhibition demonstrates the influence of Giovanni Giacometti, the father of the artist and a Swiss Post-Impressionist painter himself, on Giacometti’s output during these years and his role in his son’s development.
The exhibition also illustrates Giacometti’s relations with Post-Cubist artists and the Surrealist movement between 1922 and 1935, one of the important sculptures series he created during his first years in Paris, and the critical role he played in the art scene of the period.
The second part of the exhibition brings together the artist’s key works from his mature period, most of which were made between 1950 and 1960, a time when the artist had altered his perception of the world and depicted reality not as it was but as he saw it. This was also the period when he focused on the human figure.
As in his paintings, Alberto Giacometti worked nonstop on his sculptures, either from nature or from memory, trying to capture universal facial expressions.
In the 1960s, Giacometti paid homage to Paris, the city in which he lived, by drawing its streets, cafés and more private places like his studio and the apartment of his wife, Annette. The drawings would make up his last book, “Paris sans fin” (Paris Without End). A wide selection of lithographs from these drawings accompanies the exhibition, along with archival material, including letters, sketches and publications, as well as a selection of photographs.
The exhibition, which includes 123 artworks – 35 sculptures, 19 paintings, 37 drawings, 28 photographs and four archival documents – can be visited until April 26.
The exhibition is also accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue published by Pera Museum.