Paris, France — It is one of the Parisian gems tucked away in the Montparnasse neighborhood, a neighborhood that has historically been the predilection of artists, among them Alberto Giacometti. Sculptor, painter, draftsman, writer, Alberto Giacometti moved to Paris in 1922 and lived and worked there while studying under the great sculptor Antoine Bourdelle. He would ultimately become one of the greatest sculptors of the 20th century, celebrated for his skinny statues. Today his home and studio is now the Fondation Giacometti Institut in the heart of the Montparnasse district. In addition to his works and his studio which remains intact, the Fondation puts on several temporary exhibitions each year juxtaposing modern and contemporary artists with the works of Giacometti.
The current show features the works of French contemporary artist and photographer Sophie Ristelhueber and who is particularly known for her photography of the devastation of war. Entitled Sophie Ristelhueber. Legacy. the show exhibits works revolving around family and familiar landscapes. She chose herself the works of Giacometti that are juxtaposed with hers, drawing on the part played by his family and the environment of his childhood in Switzerland, selecting a series of heads in plasters as well as portraits of his family that he painted, a rare chance to see his works on paper. Her works have been exhibited in prestigious institutions throughout the world including the MoMA in New York and the Tate Modern in London. The show at the foundation runs through November 30th.
A new exhibition is slated to open up on December 12th bringing together the works of Giacometti with another figure of the Surrealist movement, Salvador Dalí. The two artists, contemporaries and friends imagined a joint project in the early 1930s, the Garden of Dreams, an extraordinary garden conceived for the Viscount and Viscountess de Noailles, one of France’s oldest aristocratic families. The project juxtaposed Giacometti’s sculptures with the fantasy works so characteristic of Dalí and set in a sculptural outdoor environment conceived by Giacometti. The show aims to re-create the space for the first time.
Alberto Giacometti was born in 1901 during the golden age of Swiss painting and into the art circle that brought it about, including his father, the painter Giovanni Giacometti and his godfather Cuno Amiet. A descendant of Italian Protestants he was born into a rugged and isolated region of the Swiss Alps. From his youngest age Giacometti was surrounded by vibrant art. The Institut Giacometti is located in a beautiful building where the exhibition spaces enable the visitor to dialogue with the art works. The Institut is also a center for the study of art history dedicated to modern art techniques. Guided tours of the temporary exhibition and Giacometti’s studio are available in English. Workshops are all on the agenda as well. Reservations are recommended.
And on a news front, the Foundation Giacometti will in 2026 move into the former Invalides Train Station on the splendid Esplanade des Invalides in Paris to become the Musée & École Giacometti (The Giacometti Museum and School) which is slated to bring together over 10,000 of the artist’s works and offer the Fondations unique educational experiences.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette
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