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Alberto Giacometti Hardcover – February 22, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: Assouline Publishing (February 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2843233003
  • ISBN-13: 978-2843233005
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,099,179 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

One of the most universally admired artists of the 20th century, the Swiss-born sculptor/painter Alberto Giacometti (1901-66) is best known for a series of bronzes depicting ghostly, attenuated figures made during a burst of intense creative activity inspired partly by the cataclysmic events of World War II. The largest retrospective of Giacometti's work ever mounted almost 200 individual sculptures, paintings, and drawings, shown at Zurich's Kunsthaus and New York's MoMA has generated Klemm's fine catalog, the best book on this major figure to have appeared since James Lord's definitive Giacometti: A Biography (Noonday, 1997. reprint.). In addition to the aforementioned sculptures, Kunsthaus curator Klemm has assembled a farrago of this artist's eclectic accomplishments, from his early eminence among the Parisian Surrealists onward. Worth the entire cover price is the handful of pages depicting the astonishingly agile still-life drawings from the artist's productive mid-century years. An excellent and deeply inspiring book true to its subject; recommended for all art collections. Also timed to coincide with the exhibition is the publication of an elegantly packaged, slipcased set of two thin monographs profiling Alberto and his lesser-known sibling, Diego (1902-85), a designer of furniture and objets d'art and the metal smith who cast many of his brother's major bronzes. Identical in format and size, these books are primarily a conglomeration of a few dozen photos of artwork alongside short introductory biocritical essays and brief chronologies. Next to Klemm's hefty volume, each of these works feels more like a repackaged article from a glossy art journal, suitable as an attractive gift book but providing little for most library users. Nonetheless, as the only title currently available on the younger Giacometti, the set can be recommended for more comprehensive collections. Douglas F. Smith, Oakland P.L.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Born in Tours in 1923, Yves Bonnefoy graduated in history of science and philosophy. He is first and foremost, however, a writer, and has devoted himself primarily to the analysis of poetry and art. He published his first volume of poems, Du Mouvement et de l'immobilité de Douve, in 1953. He has also written numerous essays, including Rome 1630, L'Improbable, L'Arrière-pays and Entretiens su la poésie, and has translated Shakespeare and Yeats into French. Many of his poetic works have been translated into English (In the Shadow's Light, 1990; New and Selected Poems, 1996) along with a number of his essays (The Act and the Place of Poetry, 1989; The Lure and Truth of Painting, 1995), all published by the University of Chicago Press. He was awarded the Prix Montaigne in 1978 and the Bennett Award in New York in 1988. He has been invited to teach at numerous American universities, among them Yale, Princeton, the University of California and City University, New York. He was elected in 1981 to a Chair of Comparative Poetry at the Collège de France, and is a doctor honoris causa at various universities, including the University of Chicago.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews

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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ivor E. Zetler on August 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
This large tome is a translation into English from the original written in French and released in 1991. It is written by Yves Bonnefoy, who is primarily a poet by profession. His writing is often of an analytic bent in which he attempts to demonstrate how Giacometti's personality and life experience influenced the sculpture and paintings that he created. Be warned, the style is often prolix and difficult to fathom. I present a random quote from the book as an example.

" And this is, in a sense, yet another sign of the potential fecundity, the richness of this new period: between these two extremes, without sacrificing anything to their fundamental mystery, Giacometti is now entitled to suggest many compositions-of 'incredible complexity'-which, without reaching the essence of things, none the less will point to it. Sometimes they will let the never-mastered terror before nothingness overwhelm the artist's mind, sometimes they suceed, perhaps, in conveying the 'wonder' of life which remained Giacometti's great supporting thought during these months. Many things become possible: all of them ambiguous".

Fortunately not all of the writing is as incomprehensible as this exerpt, but similar passages abound. Ultimately the attentive reader should be able to get some idea of what Bonnefoy is attempting to convey.

The redeeming feature of this book is the copious amount of quality reproductions of Giacometti's enigmatic and often haunting sculptures and paintings. These beautiful images often occupy a full page and are in themselves a good enough reason to acquire this book.There are additionally some interesting photographs of the artist and his studio.

Despite my reservations about the text, I would still recommend this book as an excellent overview of Giacometti's life and work.
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8 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Clive Murray-white on January 9, 2007
Format: Paperback
Alberto Giacometti gave Western art perhaps the most persuasive and comprehensive view of the state of being human post WW2; eroded to its core yet still possessing the intelligence to think it way out of the mess it constantly makes for itself.

Yves Bonnefoy's book Giacometti is the definitive work on this artist and should be compulsory reading for anyone contemplating becoming a contemporary artist as it contains all the clues that would alow someone to understand such essential things as integrity and the balancing act between idea and artistry.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Santiago on January 9, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It was a gift for my wife how loves Giacometti.
I thought it was a longer book in terms of pages, but still a nice product.
Extremely long time for delivery.
My wife is very happy.
Good quality.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By don gatterdam on November 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you love his work you must get this book. Its a great catalog of some of his finest works.
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