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Giacometti's studio to be reconstructed in Paris

The Giacometti Foundation that was envisaged by Annette Giacometti, widow of the artist Alberto Giacometti, will open a new institute this summer in the Montparnasse area where Giacometti had his studio. As press says: "It will be more than museum, it’s a research centre including an original reconstitution of Giacometti’s studio and a venue for temporary exhibitions".
The creation of such institute is a great opportunity for a better understanding of the artist’s creativity, primarily for dealers. "The Institut Giacometti is a fantastic tool for a better knowledge of Alberto Giacometti’s work," says the Parisian dealer Kamel Mennour, who sells Giacometti’s work.
The opening date of the institute is still to be confirmed so keep an eye on our news in order to be the first who gets to know about it.
Alberto Giacometti. Self-portrait
1921, 82.5×72 cm
Alberto Giacometti spent 40 years in his studio at Rue Hippolyte-Maindron (1926−1966). It was not only artist’s universe, but an extension of Giacometti himself.
In December 1926, Alberto Giacometti moved into a studio measuring 15 feet by 16 feet at 46 Rue Hippolyte-Maindron, which was a part of the building complex. Despite the constant desire to leave the studio due to lack of comfort, Giacometti constantly moved to the rue Hippolyte-Maindron after the war, upon his return to Paris in 1945. In 1947, Annette Argh (the future Mrs. Giacometti) became the tenant of the room adjacent to the main studio — later it would become their bedroom. By 1958, Giacometti had already occupied four workshops at the rue Hippolyte-Maindron.

Bust of Yanaihara in Alberto Giacometti’s Studio, Paris, 1960 Photo: Annette Giacometti © Giacometti Estate

The Foundation of Alberto and Annette Giacometti was finally established in 2003, a decade after Annette’s death. Its mission is to preserve and conserve its own collection that consist of the remains of the main studio (drawings, paintings, prints, plasters and bronze casts), with pieces of the famous painted walls, taken down in 1972, as well as the furniture.

Talking about the furniture, it is worth mentioning that on February 28, 2018 the chandelier of Alberto Giacometti will be offered for sale at Sotheby’s auction in London. Its preliminary estimate is 6 to 8 million pounds sterling, but it’s assumed this work can significantly rise in price, in view of the popularity of design objects and furniture by Giacometti in recent years.
This work combines elements of Alberto’s sculpture canon with a decorative object and was performed for Louis Broder, a Swiss publisher based in Paris. Giacometti created such things exclusively for his friends.

Left: Lustre avec femme, homme et oiseau (circa 1949) by Alberto Giacometti.

The foundation is also promoting Giacometti’s work internationally, organising exhibitions on Giacometti abroad.
Alberto Giacometti. Pointing man

Also in February, an exhibition will be open at the Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, Canada, and in April a joint exhibition on Bacon and Giacometti opens at the Fondation Beyeler in Basel, Switzerland. Retrospectives are being staged later this year at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain.

Alberto Giacometti is considered one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century and his elongated figures are among the greatest masterpieces of 20th-century art; one of them "Man Pointing" was sold in New York for $141.3m (£90m).

Left: Alberto Giacometti. Man Pointing. 1947, bronze. MoMA.

This year, Alberto Giacometti’s artwork is under increased attention. "Final portrait", a biopic of Alberto Giacometti directed by Stanley Tucci is on the wide screen, starring the Oscar-winning star Geoffrey Rush. He plays the Swiss painter and sculptor with Armie Hammer and Clémence Poésy co-starring.

Rush, who won an Oscar for his portrayal of another troubled genius — the pianist David Helfgott in Shine — told the Observer that the "perfect re-creation" of the studio was "very inspirational" - like a "gritty time-travel for me as an actor".

Left: Scene from "Final Portrait" shows the workshop of Alberto Giacometti in Paris. Photo:

Set in Paris in 1964, most of its drama takes place in the artist’s studio, a chaotic and claustrophobic slum cluttered with art, the tools of his trade and the detritus of his eccentric life, all splattered with paint and plaster.

On the left is Alberto Giacometti, on the right is Geoffrey Rush. Collage: Comme Au Cinema

The main focus is Giacometti’s eccentric friendship with one of his sitters, James Lord, a wealthy American writer and art lover. Giacometti promised that it would only take an afternoon to paint his portrait, but the sitting lasted for an intense 18 sessions, which ended only when an exasperated Lord convinced the obsessive artist to stop. That painting was sold in 1990 for more than $20m.

The film-makers recreated it with astonishing precision, relying on photographs and archive footage. They were guided by the Giacometti Foundation in Paris, which insisted that, once the shoot was over, none of the artworks would survive.

Title illustration: Giacometti painting in his Paris studio, in the foreground "La Grande Tête", 1958. Photograph of Ernst Scheidegger

Based on materials from The Art Newspaper, NewStatesman, Foundation Giacometti.