Paris, France — Salvador Dalí. Diego Giacometti. They were two of the key players on the Surrealist scene. Both artists worked in myriad mediums. Both possessed unfettered imaginations. The two artists, contemporaries and friends imagined a joint project in the early 1930s, the Gardens of Dreams, an extraordinary garden conceived for the Viscount and Viscountess de Noailles, one of France’s oldest aristocratic families and great art collectors and patrons of the arts. The project, known only through drawings by the two artists, 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.
The project is known through drawings and includes surrealist artworks by Alberto Giacometti within a vast dreamy landscape that is quintessential Dalí. The landscape includes a sculptural environment conceived by Giacometti for an open-air space, the Project for a Square which illustrates the concept of the garden as shared by Giacometti and Dalí as well as revealing their taste for ambiguous forms and images. Giacometti developed Project for a Square when he and Dalí were imagining together the garden for a villa of the Noailles in the southern French beach town of Hyerès.
The Fondation Giacometti Institut is one of the Parisian gems tucked away in the Montparnasse neighborhood, a neighborhood that has historically been the predilection of artists, and 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 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 along with conferences and performances. 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 Fondation’s unique educational experiences. The Gardens of Dreams exhibition is running until April 9th. It will be presented at the Kunsthaus in Zurich in Switzerland from April 14th until July 2nd. ©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette. https://www.fondation-giacometti.fr/en
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