The Tate Modern's new exhibition brings together more than 250 works by the famous sculptor and painter Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966). Giacometti's stretched silhouettes are among the most recognisable works of modern art but this exhibition also looks at his plaster and drawings, many of which have never been previously exhibited.
The exhibition charts the progress of the artist's career, from his first works produced in the 1920s to the emblematic bronze sculptures of the 1960s. Tate Modern indicates that it aims to "reposition Giacometti as an artist with a much wider interest in materials and textures, especially plaster and clay. The elasticity and malleability of these materials enabled them to work in an inventive way, continuously reworking and experimenting with the Plaster to create its distinctive textured and scraped surfaces. "
Giacometti, born in Switzerland, arrived in Paris in the 1920s, where he joined successively Cubists and Surrealists in 1931. The sculptures of the artist are exhibited alongside his drawings and books. The diverse range of displayed works reveals his interest in decorative arts, as well as in Egyptian and African art.
The artist left Paris in 1941 for Geneva, until the end of the Second World War. He began to work on smaller sculptures which were more realistic in style. After the war and his return to Paris, Giacometti began to produce the fine, elongated silhouettes that established his fame, crystallising the theme of alienation.
The exhibition also explores key figures in the life of the artist, including his wife Annette Giacometti, his brother Diego and his last mistress Caroline.