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on February 22, 2013
While the events in the life of Giacometti were well researched and presented I was very frustrated with the author's writing style. I constantly found myself reading the same sentence several times trying to figure out just what Lord was trying to communicate to the reader. His word choice was pretentious I felt like the author was prone to psychoanalyze the people in his book which was at times distracting and seemly just based on personal opinion and speculation.
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on March 15, 2014
I read the book when it was first published and even had an autographed copy from the author. Helas, the original has disapeared and Amazon came to my rescue with a used book. Second time around is better than the first.
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on September 9, 2014
PIERCING LAYERS OF PERCEPTION.
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on September 24, 2013
I enjoyed this biography. It was simple and straightforward and very easy to read. While it was a good overview of the artists' life, it was short.
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on May 6, 2001
Scrupulously researched and intelligently written, Lord's biography of Giacometti is cleary a labor of love. Anyone seeking a compelling and articulate account of this artist's life will not be disappointed. The b&w photographs of Giacometti's family, intimates, and major works are well-chosen.
Yet the book is not without its problems. The author's prose stylings can seem somewhat oblique and hi-falutin; on occasion his weakness for facile psychoanalysis of his subject nearly undermines the entire project. For all the book's detail, it's curiously difficult to get a sense for how this artist viewed himself in the world. Did Giacometti consider himself a sophisticate? a bohemian? an artisan? an iconoclast? a failure? This is a polite, somewhat aloof biography of a passionate man.
Lord ably describes the evolution of this artist's process and work, and places it in clear historical context. Yet readers seeking a more incisive appraisal of Giacometti's aesthetic achievement might do better to turn to works by David Sylvester or Yves Bonnefoy ... Still, this is an accomplished, considered, well-crafted, and intelligent biography.
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on March 21, 2015
An important book. One of the piece bios written on a major artist and the best read on Giacometti I ever came across. My friend, a reputed gallery owner highly recommended it to me, and he was absolutely right.
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on January 6, 2000
When I started with this biography I knew little of Alberto Giacometti. To me he was a sculptor of tall lanky figures. Mr. Lord's book gave me a complete look at the man as artist/sculptor, man of genius and flawed individual. It points out the power of absolute focus on a personal goal. Anyone wanting to know of the artist in a personal way will enjoy this biography. The reading of the book was enjoyable albeit a few times getting too wordy with descriptions of motives for Mr. Giacometti. If I would flaw the book however it would be for a lack of illustrations of the artist's work. There were some pictures of the work but with such a complete biography it would have been nice to have a more complete coverage of the artist works, drawings, paintings and sculpture.
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on June 9, 2004
This book about Alberto Giacometti's life, from his boyhood in Switzerland, to his successful career in Paris, is an interesting read not only on the artistic level, but also on a personal level. This book presents Alberto's unique eccentricities and habits, his moral code, his issues with women, and his friendships (which include Simone de Beauvoir, Andre Breton, Andre Derain, Pablo Picasso and Jean-Paul Sartre) in a complete and exhaustive manner. It also recounts his complicated and close relationship with his brother and collaborator Diego. It was truly illuminating about the life of such an incredible artist.
However, the writing style is pretentious and sometimes so "writerly" as to be opaque. Lord dissects the actions of the people he writes about in a sometimes pompous way, and he is none too kind to the women in Giacometti's life.
But I recommend this book to people interested in Giacometti, as well as to those who like to read about the Parisian intelligensia around WWII and into the 60s.
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on October 16, 1998
Alberto Giacometti, a true genius, was a touchstone for the leading lights of the first half of the 20th century in paris -- from Picasso to Beckett. Lord's book explores his art, his relationships and his pursuit of what cannot be expressed with power and grace.
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