Giacometti: Critical Essays brings together new studies by an international team of scholars who together explore the whole span of Alberto Giacometti's work and career from the 1920s to the 1960s. During this complex period in France's intellectual history, Giacometti's work underwent a series of remarkable stylistic shifts while he forged close affiliations with an equally remarkable set of contemporary writers and thinkers. This book throws new light on under-researched aspects of his output and approach, including his relationship to his own studio, his work in the decorative arts, his tomb sculptures and his use of the pedestal. It also focuses on crucial ways his work was received and articulated by contemporary and later writers, including Michel Leiris, Francis Ponge, Isaku Yanaihara and Tahar Ben Jelloun. This book thus engages with energising tensions and debates that informed Giacometti's work, including his association with both surrealism and existentialism, his production of both 'high' art and decorative objects, and his concern with both formal issues, such as scale and material, and with the expression of philosophical and poetic ideas. This multifaceted collection of essays confirms Giacometti's status as one of the most fascinating artists of the twentieth century.
’This informative and imaginative critical mosaic champions a comparative pallet in approaching the uniqueness of powerful aesthetic artefacts. […] The book will absorb literary critics as much as art historians: it is a testimony to Giacometti’s own iconic figure striding confidently forwards but enveloped in the frames allowing him to move.’ French Studies
Contents: Introduction, Peter Read; From 'vue d'atelier' to 'vie d'atelier': 46 rue Hippolyte-Maindron and the beginnings of Giacometti, Jon Wood; Giacometti's objects: poetry, childhood and the neurotic theatre of projection, Michael Stone-Richards; Giacometti's break with surrealism: abstraction, Hegelianism and the communicating vase, Robin Spencer; Giacometti and the Kaufmann tomb, Casimiro di Crescenzo; Giacometti's Geneva period (1941-45): the birth of new sculpture, Thierry DufrÃªne; Giacometti and the basis of sculpture, Alex Potts; Alberto Giacometti, Michel Leiris and the myths of existentialism, Julia Kelly; From spectre to sceptre: Giacometti's sculpture in the writing of Francis Ponge, Peter Read; 'An unknown country': Isaku Yanaihara's Giacometti diaries, Akihiko Takeda; Giacometti in Fez, Sarah Wilson; Select bibliography; Index.
We have become familiar with the notion that sculpture has moved into the 'expanded field', but this field has remained remarkably faithful to defining sculpture on its own terms. Sculpture can be distinct, but it is rarely autonomous. For too long studied apart, within a monographic or survey format, sculpture demands to be reintegrated with the other histories of which it is a part. In the interests of representing recent moves in this direction, this series provides a forum for the publication and stimulation of new research examining sculpture's relationship with the world around it, with other disciplines and with other material contexts.
The Henry Moore Institute, a centre for the study of sculpture, has developed this series. A part of the Henry Moore Foundation, the Institute is an international research hub located in the vibrant city of Leeds where Henry Moore began his training as a sculptor.