Giacometti (1901-1966) was a Swiss sculptor, painter, draftsman, and engraver. Alberto is interested in art from an early age. His remarkable career traces the evolution of the enthusiasms of European art before and after the Second World War.
In 1922, Giacometti moved to Paris where he experimented with cubism and surrealism and came to be considered one of the principal surrealist sculptors. Among his associates are Miró, Max Ernst, Picasso, and Balthus. Although his production extends into painting and drawing, the artist is most famous for his sculpture.
Giacometti's work is marked by the influence of African and Oceanic sculpture. When he became interested in it, in 1926, African art was no longer a novelty for modern artists of the previous generation (Picasso, Derain); it has even become vulgarized to the point of becoming decorative.
As a surrealist in the 1930s, Giacometti imagined innovative sculptural forms, with the aim of exploring themes derived from Freudian psychoanalysis, such as sexuality, obsession, and trauma. He moves away from a naturalistic and academic representation for a totemic and sometimes hallucinated vision of the figure, charged with a magical power.
Giacometti adhered to the surrealist movement of André Breton in 1931 and was excluded in February 1935, but surrealist processes played a continuous importance in his creation: dream vision, montage, and assembly, objects with metaphorical functioning, magical treatment of the figure.
After the Second World War, Giacometti paved the way for the creation of a style that sums up the interests of Sartre's philosophy of perception, alienation, and anxiety. His technique represents the human being alone in the world, turned back on himself, who fails to communicate with his fellows, despite his overwhelming desire to reach out. Reduced to the deepest of their value, Giacometti's figures evoke human suffering as a popular symbol of post-war trauma.
Although the art world of the 1950s is dominated by abstract painting in Europe and the United States, Giacometti's figurative sculpture remains an extremely influential model on how the human figure could return to art.
Giacometti died in 1966 of heart disease (pericarditis) and chronic bronchitis. His body is buried at his birthplace in Borgo novo, where he was buried near his parents.