Rita McBride is an American artist and sculptor. She is based in Los Düsseldorf. Alongside her artistic practice, McBride is a professor at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, served as its director until 2017. McBride is married to an American painter from Los Angeles. Working at the intersection of architecture and public space, McBride is known for her large scale works and installations, with her wider oeuvre incorporating performance and smaller scale sculptural work. Rita McBride was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1960, she received her BA from Bard College in New York in 1982 and her MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 1987, where she studied with Michael Asher and John Baldessari. After receiving her MFA, McBride began to exhibit her work initially with art galleries in Porto and Los Angeles, her work has been the subject of twenty monographs. McBride’s practice is concerned not only with sculptural or architectural form, but the situations and happenings which arise in the audience’s relation to the works.
Her most exhibited work, for instance, is a modular structure, assembled into a concave, arena-like seating area. First shown at the Witte de With in Rotterdam, Arena is activated by a calendar of programming curated by McBride and the host institution which range from lectures and artist talks to performance pieces by guest artists. McBride is the editor and co-author of a series of collaborative novels entitled Ways, each of which engage with a particular literary subgenre. Major public commissions include Dia Art Foundation, New York. S. 315, New York. Mae West, one of McBride's most known public works, is a 52-meter tall carbon structure in Munich. Built for the Effnerplatz, a hub for public and private transit in eastern Munich, it remarkably includes access for a tram line to run through its latticed base. Mae West caused a number of debates within the city; the sculpture and its reception by the residents of the area is the subject of Day After Day, a film by Alexander Hick. 2017-18: Particulates, Dia:Chelsea, New York 2017: Rita McBride: Explorer, Brussels 2015-16: gesellschaft, kestnergesellschaft/Kunsthalle Düsseldorf 2014: Public Tilt, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego 2013-14: Public Transaction, Museo Tamayo, Mexico City 2012: Public Tender, Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain 2010: Previously, Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Switzerland 2008: Public Works, Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany 2008: Some Settlements, Konrad Fischer Galerie, Düsseldorf 2007: Rita McBride, Galleria Alfonso Artiaco, Naples 2004: Exhibition, SculptureCenter, Long Island City, New York 2002: Naked Came the Stranger, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz 2000: Her House with the Upstairs in It, Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Galerie, Berlin 1999: Aloof and Incidental, Annemarie Verna Galerie and Mai 36 Galerie, Zürich 1997: The Donkey’s Way and Piggybackback, Galeria Pedro Oliveira, Porto 1997: Hyperinclusion, OSMOS, Berlin 1997: Rita McBride and Bonin, New York 1997: Arena & National Chain, Witte de With, Rotterdam 1994: Backsliding, one Great Leap and the “forbidden”, Michael Klein Gallery, New York 1990: Rita McBride New Work, Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles 1989: Rita McBride, Galeria Atlântica.
Porto 2017-18: Studio for Propositional Cinema | in relationship to a Spectator, kestenergesellschaft, Hannover 2016: EVERYTHING ARCHITECTURE, BOZAR, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels 2016: Liverpool Biennial 2016 2011: Making Is Thinking, Witte de With, Rotterdam 2007: The World as a Stage, Tate Modern and Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston 2003: Living Inside the Grid, New Museum, New York 2002: Taipei Biennial 2002: Great Theatre of the World, Taipei Fine Art Museum 2000: What If: Art on the Verge of Architecture and Design, Moderna Museet, Stockholm 1998: Where: Allegories of Site in Contemporary Art, Whitney Museum of American Art at Champion, Stamford, CT 1994: Breakdown, Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego 1991: There's no There, Indianapolis Museum of Art Ellipse Foundation, Alcoitão/Cascais Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Bundeskunstsammlung Zeitgenössischer Kunst, Bonn The Art Institute of Chicago Museum Ludwig, Cologne Des Moines Art Center, Iowa FRAC Bourgogne, Dijon Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung, Hannover San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art, La Jolla, California Hammer Museum, Los Angeles Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles De Vleeshal, Netherlands Museum Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach New York Public Library Queens Museum of Art, New York Whitney Museum of American Art, New York Neues Museum, Nuremberg FRAC Île-de-France, Paris Museu de Serralves, Porto Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam The Achenbach Foundation, San Francisco De Young Museum, San Francisco Legion of Honor, San Francisco Kunstmuseum St. Gallen De Pont Foundation for Contemporary Art, Tilburg Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz Institut d’Art Contemporain, Villeurbanne Wake Forest University Collection, Winston-Salem, North Carolina Kunstmuseum Winterthur Kunsthaus Zürich Rita McBride: Public Works, 1988 – 2015.
Texts by Gina Ashcraft, Gregor Jansen, Mark von Schlegell, Susanne Titz, Christina Végh. Hannover, Kestner Gesellschaft. Rita McBride
Jean Philippe Arthur Dubuffet was a French painter and sculptor. His idealistic approach to aesthetics embraced so called "low art" and eschewed traditional standards of beauty in favor of what he believed to be a more authentic and humanistic approach to image-making, he is best known for founding the art movement Art Brut, for the collection of works—Collection de l'art brut—that this movement spawned. Dubuffet enjoyed a prolific art career, both in France and in America, was featured in many exhibitions throughout his lifetime. Dubuffet was born in Le Havre to a family of wholesale wine merchants who were part of the wealthy bourgeoisie, his childhood friends included the writers Georges Limbour. He moved to Paris in 1918 to study painting at the Académie Julian, becoming close friends with the artists Juan Gris, André Masson, Fernand Léger. Six months upon finding academic training to be distasteful, he left the Académie to study independently. During this time, Dubuffet developed many other interests, including music and the study of ancient and modern languages.
Dubuffet traveled to Italy and Brazil, upon returning to Le Havre in 1925, he married for the first time and went on to start a small wine business in Paris. He took up painting again in 1934 when he made a large series of portraits in which he emphasized the vogues in art history, but again he stopped. Years in an autobiographical text, he boasted about having made substantial profits by supplying wine to the Wehrmacht. In 1942, Dubuffet decided to devote himself again to art, he chose subjects for his works from everyday life, such as people sitting in the Paris Métro or walking in the country. Dubuffet painted with strong, unbroken colors, recalling the palette of Fauvism, as well as the Brucke painters, with their juxtaposing and discordant patches of color. Many of his works featured an individual or individuals placed in a cramped space, which had a distinct psychological impact on viewers. In 1943, the writer George Limbour, a friend of Dubuffet from childhood, took Jean Paulhan to the artist's studio.
Dubuffet's work at that time was unknown. Paulhan was impressed and the meeting proved to be a turning point for Dubuffet, his first solo show came at the Galerie Rene Drouin in Paris. This marked Dubuffet's third attempt to become an established artist. In 1945, Dubuffet attended and was impressed by a show in Paris of Jean Fautrier's paintings in which he recognized meaningful art which expressed directly and purely the depth of a person. Emulating Fautrier, Dubuffet started to use thick oil paint mixed with materials such as mud, coal dust, pieces of glass, straw, gravel and tar; this allowed him to abandon the traditional method of applying oil paint to canvas with a brush. The impasto technique of mixing and applying paint was best manifested in Dubuffet's series'Hautes Pâtes' or Thick Impastoes, which he exhibited at his second major exhibition, entitled Microbolus Macadam & Cie/Hautes Pates in 1946 at the Galérie René Drouin, his use of crude materials and the irony that he infused into many of his works incited a significant amount of backlash from critics, who accused Dubuffet of'anarchy' and'scraping the dustbin'.
He did receive some positive feedback as well—Clement Greenberg took notice of Dubuffet's work and wrote that'rom a distance, Dubuffet seems the most original painter to have come out of the School of Paris since Miro...' Greenberg went on to say that'Dubuffet is the one new painter of real importance to have appeared on the scene in Paris in the last decade.' Indeed, Dubuffet was prolific in the United States in the year following his first exhibition in New York. After 1946, Dubuffet started a series of portraits, with his own friends Henri Michaux, Francis Ponge, George Limbour, Jean Paulhan and Pierre Matisse serving as'models', he painted these portraits in the same thick materials, in a manner deliberately anti-psychological and anti-personal, as Dubuffet expressed himself. A few years he approached the surrealist group in 1948 the College of Pataphysique in 1954, he was friendly with the French playwright and theater director Antonin Artaud, he admired and supported the writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline and was connected with the artistic circle around the surrealist André Masson.
In 1944 he started an important relationship with the resistance-fighter and French writer, Jean Paulhan, strongly fighting against'intellectual terrorism', as he called it. Dubuffet achieved rapid success in the American art market due to his inclusion in the Pierre Matisse exhibition in 1946, his association with Matisse proved to be beneficial. Matisse was a influential dealer of contemporary European Art in America, was known for supporting the School of Paris artists. Dubuffet's work was placed among the likes of Picasso and Rouault at the gallery exhibit, he was only one of two young artists to be honored in this manner. A Newsweek article dubbed Dubuffet as the'darling of Parisian avant-garde circles,' and Greenberg wrote positively about Dubuffet's three canvasses in a review of the exhibit. In 1947, Dubuffet had his first solo exhibition in America, in the same gallery as the Matisse exhibition. Reviews were favorable, this resulted in Dubuffet having at least an annual, if not a biannual exhibition at that gallery.
Due to his participation in a steady stream of art exhibitions within his first few years
Wassily Wassilyevich Kandinsky was a Russian painter and art theorist. Kandinsky is credited as the pioneer of abstract art. Born in Moscow, Kandinsky spent his childhood in Odessa, where he graduated at Grekov Odessa Art school, he enrolled at the University of Moscow. Successful in his profession—he was offered a professorship at the University of Dorpat—Kandinsky began painting studies at the age of 30. In 1896, Kandinsky settled in Munich, studying first at Anton Ažbe's private school and at the Academy of Fine Arts, he returned to Moscow in 1914, after the outbreak of World War I. Following the Russian Revolution, Kandinsky "became an insider in the cultural administration of Anatoly Lunacharsky" and helped establish the Museum of the Culture of Painting. However, by "his spiritual outlook... was foreign to the argumentative materialism of Soviet society", opportunities beckoned in Germany, to which he returned in 1920. There he taught at the Bauhaus school of art and architecture from 1922 until the Nazis closed it in 1933.
He moved to France, where he lived for the rest of his life, becoming a French citizen in 1939 and producing some of his most prominent art. He died in Neuilly-sur-Seine in 1944. Kandinsky's creation of abstract work followed a long period of development and maturation of intense thought based on his artistic experiences, he called this devotion to inner beauty, fervor of spirit, spiritual desire inner necessity. Kandinsky was born in Moscow, the son of Lidia Ticheeva and Vasily Silvestrovich Kandinsky, a tea merchant. One of his great grandmothers was a Princess Gantimurova explaining the "slight Mongolian trait in his features". Kandinsky learned from a variety of sources while in Moscow, he studied many fields while including law and economics. In life, he would recall being fascinated and stimulated by colour as a child, his fascination with colour symbolism and psychology continued. In 1889, he was part of an ethnographic research group which travelled to the Vologda region north of Moscow.
In Looks on the Past, he relates that the houses and churches were decorated with such shimmering colours that upon entering them, he felt that he was moving into a painting. This experience, his study of the region's folk art, was reflected in much of his early work. A few years he first likened painting to composing music in the manner for which he would become noted, writing, "Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings; the artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul". Kandinsky was the uncle of Russian-French philosopher Alexandre Kojève. In 1896, at the age of 30, Kandinsky gave up a promising career teaching law and economics to enroll in the Munich Academy where his teachers would include Franz von Stuck, he was not granted admission, began learning art on his own. That same year, before leaving Moscow, he saw an exhibit of paintings by Monet, he was taken with the impressionistic style of Haystacks.
He would write about this experience: That it was a haystack the catalogue informed me. I could not recognise it; this non-recognition was painful to me. I considered. I dully felt, and I noticed with surprise and confusion that the picture not only gripped me, but impressed itself ineradicably on my memory. Painting took on splendour. Kandinsky was influenced during this period by Richard Wagner's Lohengrin which, he felt, pushed the limits of music and melody beyond standard lyricism, he was spiritually influenced by Madame Blavatsky, the best-known exponent of theosophy. Theosophical theory postulates that creation is a geometrical progression, beginning with a single point; the creative aspect of the form is expressed by a descending series of circles and squares. Kandinsky's book Concerning the Spiritual In Art and Point and Line to Plane echoed this theosophical tenet. Illustrations by John Varley in Thought Forms influenced him visually. In the summer of 1902, Kandinsky invited Gabriele Münter to join him at his summer painting classes just south of Munich in the Alps.
She accepted, their relationship became more personal than professional. Art school considered difficult, was easy for Kandinsky, it was during this time. The number of his existing paintings increased in the beginning of the 20th century. For the most part, Kandinsky's paintings did not feature any human figures. Riding Couple depicts a man on horseback, holding a woman with tenderness and care as they ride past a Russian town with luminous walls across a river; the horse is muted while the leaves in the trees, the town, the reflections in the river glisten with spots of colour and brightness. This work demonstrates the influence of pointillism in the way the depth of field is collapsed into a flat, luminescent s
Richard Serra is an American artist involved the Process Art Movement. He lives and works in Tribeca, New York and on the North Fork, Long Island. Serra was born on November 1938, in San Francisco as the second of three sons, his father, was a Spanish native of Mallorca who worked as a candy factory foreman and in steel mills. Serra described the San Francisco shipyard where his father worked as a pipe-fitter as an important influence to his work, saying of his early memory: “All the raw material that I needed is contained in the reserve of this memory which has become a recurring dream.” His mother, Gladys Feinberg, was born in Los Angeles to Russian Jewish immigrants from Odessa. Serra went on to study English literature at the University of California, Berkeley in 1957 before transferring to the University of California, Santa Barbara, graduating with a B. A. in 1961. While at Santa Barbara, he studied art with Rico Lebrun. Serra helped support himself by working in steel mills, to have a strong influence on his work.
Serra studied painting in the M. F. A. program at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture between 1961 and 1964. Fellow Yale Art and Architecture alumni of the 1960s include the painters and sculptors Brice Marden, Chuck Close, Nancy Graves, Robert Mangold, he claims to have taken most of his inspiration from the artists who taught there, including Philip Guston and the experimental composer Morton Feldman, as well as painter Josef Albers. While at Yale, Serra proofed Albers' book Interaction of Color. In 1964, after he received his M. F. A, he went to Paris. He was awarded a Fulbright fellowship the following year in Florence. Since he has lived in New York. In New York, his circle of friends included Carl Andre, Walter De Maria, Eva Hesse, Sol LeWitt, Robert Smithson. At one point, to fund his art, Serra started a furniture-removals business, Low-Rate Movers, employed Chuck Close, Philip Glass, Spalding Gray, others. In 1966, Serra made his first sculptures out of nontraditional materials such as fiberglass and rubber.
Serra's earliest work was abstract and process-based made from molten lead hurled in large splashes against the wall of a studio or exhibition space. In 1967 and 1968 he compiled a list of infinitives, titled "Verb List," that served as catalysts for subsequent work: "to hurl" suggested the hurling of molten lead into crevices between wall and floor, he began in 1969 to be concerned with the cutting, propping or stacking of lead sheets, rough timber, etc. to create structures, some large, supported only by their own weight. His "Prop" pieces from the late 1960s are arranged so that weight and gravity balance lead rolls and sheets. Cutting Device: Base Plate Measure consists of an assemblage of heterogeneous materials into which two parallel cuts have been made and the results strewn around in a chance configuration. In Malmo Role, a four-foot-square steel plate, one and a half inches thick, bisects a corner of the room and is prevented from falling by a short cylindrical prop wedged into the corner of the walls.
Still, he is better known for his minimalist constructions from large sheets of metal. Many of these pieces emphasize the weight and nature of the materials. Rolls of lead are designed to sag over time. Around 1970, Serra shifted his activities outdoors. Serra constructs site-specific installations on a scale that dwarfs the observer, his site-specific works challenge viewers' perception of their bodies in relation to interior spaces and landscapes, his work encourages movement in and around his sculptures. Most famous is the "Torqued Ellipse" series, which began in 1996 as single elliptical forms inspired by the soaring space of the early 17th century Baroque church San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane in Rome. Made of huge steel plates bent into circular sculptures with open tops, they rotate upward as they lean in or out. Serra begins a sculpture by making a small maquette from flat plates at an inch-to-foot ratio: a 40-foot piece will start as a 40-inch model, he makes these models in lead as it is "very malleable and easy to rework continuously."
He consults a structural engineer, who specifies how the piece should be made to retain its balance and stability. The steel pieces are fabricated in Germany; the steel he uses takes about 8–10 years to develop its characteristic dark patina of rust. Once the surface is oxidized, the color will remain stable over the piece's life. Serra's first larger commissions were realized outside the United States. Shift consists of six walls of concrete zigzag across a grassy hillside in Ontario. Spin Out, a trio of steel plates facing one another, is situated on the grounds of the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo, the Netherlands. Part of a series works involving round steelplates, Elevation Circles: In and Out was installed at Schlosspark Haus Weitmar in Bochum, Germany. For documenta VI, Serra designed Terminal, four 41-foot-tall trapezoids that form a tower, situated in front of the main exhibition venue. After long negotiations, accompanied by violent protests, Terminal was purchased by the city of Bochum and installed at the city's train station in 1979.
Carnegie, a 39-foot-high vertical shaft outside the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh
Fabian Marcaccio is an Argentine-Italian born artist living and working in the United States whose trans-genre works including "Paintants" and'"Draftants" have been exhibited worldwide. Marcaccio was born to a native Argentine mother and Italian father in Rosario de Santa Fe where he attended the University of Philosophy. In 1985, at age 22, he moved to New York City, where he continues to work, he has exhibited throughout the United States and South America. In 2004, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein organized a retrospective of his work, the same year that a solo exhibition was mounted at the Miami Art Museum, he exhibits with galleries in New York, Los Angeles, Paris and Barcelona. He has participated including, his multidisciplinary collaborations include projects with the architect Greg Lynn that resulted in an exhibition at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio in 2001 and projects with composer Claudio Baroni creating animated operas and a 2005 scored, paintball performance at Weston Hall in Toronto, Canada.
Marcaccio’s work investigates whether the traditional medium of painting can survive in the digital age. He has used printmaking transfer techniques to make paintings and became well known in the 1990s for his manipulations of the conventions of painting. More he has relied upon digital and industrial techniques to infuse his painting process with spatial and temporal concerns; the results are environmental paintings, “Paintants” that combine digitally manipulated imagery, sculptural form, three dimensionally painted surfaces. On September 10, 2011 Marcaccio received the "Bernhard Heiliger Award for Sculpture 2011" from the Mayor of Berlin, Klaus Wowereit. Bernhard Heiliger Award for Sculpture. Http://www.artnexus.com/Notice_View.aspx? DocumentID=22521 Radical Shift: Political and Social Upheaval in Argentinean Art since the 1960s https://web.archive.org/web/20110327235036/http://www.e-flux.com/shows/view/9294 “Fabian Marcaccio” Interview by Shirley Kaneda BOMB 41/Fall 1992, ART http://bombsite.com/issues/41/articles/1573 "Paintants Corporation - Fabian Marcaccio | paintantscorporation.com".
Paintantscorporation.com. Retrieved 2015-09-20. "Fabian Marcaccio". The-artists.org. Retrieved 2015-09-20. Https://web.archive.org/web/20121018121510/http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G1-61755632.html http://oneartworld.com/Florence+Lynch+Gallery/Hypertexturalities+_28Architectures+and+Morphologies_29.html Video Corpse - Variant Paintants
Christian Boltanski is a French sculptor, photographer and film maker, most well known for his photography installations and contemporary French Conceptual style. He is the partner of Annette Messager; the writer Christophe Boltanski is his nephew. Boltanski began creating art in the late 1950s, but didn't rise to prominence until a decade through a few short, avante-garde films and some published notebooks in which he referenced his childhood. In 1986, Boltanski began creating mixed media/materials installations with light as essential concept. Tin boxes, altar-like construction of framed and manipulated photographs, photographs of Jewish schoolchildren taken in Vienna in 1931, used as a forceful reminder of mass murder of Jews by the Nazis, all those elements and materials used in his work are used in order to represent deep contemplation regarding reconstruction of past. While creating Reserve, Boltanski filled rooms and corridors with worn clothing items as a way of inciting profound sensation of human tragedy at concentration camps.
As in his previous works, objects serve as relentless reminders of human suffering. His piece, uses six photographs of Jewish students in 1939 and lights to resemble Yahrzeit candles to honor and remember the dead. "My work is about the fact of dying, but it's not about the Holocaust itself."Additionally, his enormous installation titled "No Man's Land" at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, is a great example of how his constructions and installations trace the lives of the lost and forgotten. Christian Boltanski has participated in over 150 art exhibitions throughout the world. Among others, he had solo exhibitions at the New Museum, the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Magasin 3 in Stockholm, the La Maison Rouge gallery, Institut Mathildenhöhe, the Kewenig Galerie, The Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme and many others. From 1 July to 25 September 2011, museum Es Baluard exhibited "Signatures", the installation Christian Boltanski conceived for Es Baluard and, focused on the memory of the workers who in the 17th Century built the museum's walls.
In 2002, Boltanski made the installation "Totentanz II", a Shadow Installation with copper figures, for the underground Centre for International Light Art in Unna, Germany. In the winter of 2017/2018 he created a new installation for the Oude Kerk, titled "After", it tackled the theme of. The exhibition was shown from 24th of november 2017 until 29th of april 2018. 1994 Kunstpreis Aachen 2007 billionéateurs sans frontières award for visual arts by Cultures France 2007 Praemium Imperiale Award by the Japan Art Association 2001 Goslarer Kaiserring, Germany 2001 Kunstpreis, given by Nord/LB, Germany Tamar Garb, Didier Semin, Donald Kuspit, "Christian Boltanski", London, 1997. Lynn Gumpert and Mary Jane Jacob, "Christian Boltanski: Lessons of Darkness," Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, 1988. Didier Semin, "Christian Boltanski," Paris, Art Press, 1988. Nancy Marmer, "Christian Boltanski: The Uses of Contradiction," "Art in America," October 1989, pp. 168–181, 233–235. Lynn Gumpert, "Christian Boltanski," Paris, Flammarion, 1984.
Marian Goodman Gallery Tate Magazine Interview ICP: Christian Boltanski Folkestone Triennial: Christian Boltanski Christian Boltanski Exhibitions listed at kunstaspekte.de MoMA profile Art Icono Magasin 3: Christian Boltanski The Jewish Museum
Alberto Giacometti was a Swiss sculptor, painter and printmaker. Beginning in 1922, he lived and worked in Paris but visited his hometown Borgonovo to see his family and work on his art. Giacometti was one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century, his work was influenced by artistic styles such as Cubism and Surrealism. Philosophical questions about the human condition, as well as existential and phenomenological debates played a significant role in his work. Around 1935 he gave up on his Surrealistic influences in order to pursue a more deepened analysis of figurative compositions. Giacometti wrote texts for periodicals and exhibition catalogues and recorded his thoughts and memories in notebooks and diaries, his self-critical nature led to great doubts about his work and his ability to do justice to his own artistic ideas but acted as a great motivating force. Between 1938 and 1944 Giacometti's sculptures had a maximum height of seven centimeters, their small size reflected the actual distance between his model.
In this context he self-critically stated: "But wanting to create from memory what I had seen, to my terror the sculptures became smaller and smaller". After the war, Giacometti created his most famous sculptures: his tall and slender figurines; these sculptures were subject to his individual viewing experience—between an imaginary yet real, a tangible yet inaccessible space. In Giacometti's whole body of work, his painting constitutes only a small part. After 1957, his figurative paintings were as present as his sculptures, his monochromatic paintings of his late work do not refer to any other artistic styles of modernity. Giacometti was born in Borgonovo, Switzerland, in the canton Graubünden's southerly alpine valley Val Bregaglia near the Italian border, as the eldest of four children of Giovanni Giacometti, a well-known post-Impressionist painter, Annetta Giacometti-Stampa, he was a descendant of Protestant refugees escaping the inquisition. Coming from an artistic background, he was interested in art from an early age.
Alberto attended the Geneva School of Fine Arts. His brothers Diego and Bruno would go on to become architects as well. Additionally, Zaccaria Giacometti professor of constitutional law and chancellor of the University of Zurich, grew up together with them, having been orphaned at the age of 12 in 1905. In 1922, he moved to Paris to study under the sculptor an associate of Rodin, it was there that Giacometti experimented with Cubism and Surrealism and came to be regarded as one of the leading Surrealist sculptors. Among his associates were Miró, Max Ernst, Bror Hjorth, Balthus. Between 1936 and 1940, Giacometti concentrated his sculpting on the human head, focusing on the sitter's gaze, he preferred models he was close to -- the artist Isabel Rawsthorne. This was followed by a phase. Obsessed with creating his sculptures as he envisioned through his unique view of reality, he carved until they were as thin as nails and reduced to the size of a pack of cigarettes, much to his consternation. A friend of his once said that if Giacometti decided to sculpt you, "he would make your head look like the blade of a knife".
During WWII Giacometti took refuge in Switzerland. There in 1946 he met a secretary for the Red Cross. After his marriage his tiny sculptures became larger, but the larger they grew, the thinner they became. For the remainder of Giacometti's life, Annette was his main female model, his paintings underwent a parallel procedure. The figures appear isolated and attenuated, as the result of continuous reworking. Subjects were revisited: one of his favorite models was his younger brother Diego. In 1958 Giacometti was asked to create a monumental sculpture for the Chase Manhattan Bank building in New York, beginning construction. Although he had for many years "harbored an ambition to create work for a public square", he "had never set foot in New York, knew nothing about life in a evolving metropolis. Nor had he laid eyes on an actual skyscraper", according to his biographer James Lord. Giacometti's work on the project resulted in the four figures of standing women—his largest sculptures—entitled Grande femme debout I through IV.
The commission was never completed, because Giacometti was unsatisfied by the relationship between the sculpture and the site, abandoned the project. In 1962, Giacometti was awarded the grand prize for sculpture at the Venice Biennale, the award brought with it worldwide fame; when he had achieved popularity and his work was in demand, he still reworked models destroying them or setting them aside to be returned to years later. The prints produced by Giacometti are overlooked but the catalogue raisonné, Giacometti – The Complete Graphics and 15 Drawings by Herbert Lust, comments on their impact and gives details of the number of copies of each print; some of his most important images were in editions of only 30 and many were described as rare in 1970. In his years Giacometti's works were shown in a number of large exhibitions throughout Europe. Riding a wave of international popularity, despite his declining health, he traveled to the United States in 1965 for an exhibition of his works at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
As his last work he prepared the text for the book Paris sans fin, a sequence of 150 lithographs containing memories of all the places where he had l