Looking at Giacometti

David Sylvester, Author
David Sylvester, Author Henry Holt & Company $27.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-8050-4210-8
Reviewed on: 03/04/1996
Release date: 03/01/1996
Paperback - 176 pages - 978-0-8050-4163-7
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Sylvester (Rene Magritte) befriended Alberto Giacometti in Paris in 1948, visited him frequently in his studio and curated a retrospective of the Swiss sculptor's works in London in 1965, a year before Giacometti died. In this searching, lyrical appreciation, Giacometti's fragile, long, slender but never ethereal human figures, forever ""trembling on the brink of movement,"" are seen as emblems of our transitory existence, evoking a sense of loss and impermanence. Sylvester analyzes the ""reciprocal relationship"" between a Giacometti sculpture and the spectator, a confrontation that reveals the solitude of each. By underscoring affinities and parallels between Giacometti's works and those of Cezanne, Miro, Lipchitz, Magritte, de Chirico and Francis Bacon, Sylvester places him firmly among modern artists who ""render visible the process of translating reality into art."" Featuring photos of Giacometti's sculptures and paintings, this perceptive study includes a biographical sketch as well as two interviews from 1964. (Mar.)
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