Alberto Giacometti: Toward the Ultimate Figure

The exhibition Alberto Giacometti: Toward the Ultimate Figure gathers an ensemble of masterpieces focusing on the artist’s major achievements of the postwar years (1945–66). Combining all media—sculpture, painting, and drawing—the show of 60 works draws upon the deep resources of the artist’s personal collection and examines a central, animating aspect of his oeuvre: his extraordinary, singular concern for the human figure. Co-organized by the Foundation Giacometti in Paris and the Cleveland Museum of Art, the exhibition will also be presented at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Seattle Art Museum; the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City; and the Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City.

Alberto Giacometti (1901–1966) owes his fame to his invention of a unique style of rendering human figures. During the last years of his life, the thin and elongated bodies animated by tormented surfaces became emblematic of his final, mature style. The exploration of an elemental body, its placement in space and its relationship with the plinth are among the issues Giacometti confronted in trying to solve essential questions for modern sculpture in his continuous creative struggle. The process led him to create iconic human forms informed by a broad range of philosophical issues, as the exhibition reveals through the display of such masterworks as The Nose (1947) and Walking Man I (1960).