Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966)
Son of Giovanni, Swiss post-impressionist painter, Alberto Giacometti was born in Borgonovo di Stampa, in Grisons Canton, in the heart of Val Bregaglia. His father together with his Godfather Cuno Amiet, symbolist painter (who influenced his artistic carrier) addressed him to painting and sculpting when he was 14. In 1922, he moved to Paris to attend courses at the Grande-Chaumière Accademy, under the guidance of the sculptor Antoine Bourdelle. From that moment on, he stayed in Paris, moving in the years of the War.
Many experiences and cultural influences affected his art in that period: cubism (Lipchitz and Leger overall), but also African and Oceanic sculpture, defined his style and his wild and totemic vision, and full of magic references of the human figure.
In 1931, he joined the Surrealist movement of André Breton. Despite being expelled in 1935, the approach to surrealism is one of the most important moments of his activity: it is in this period that he made his first objects in metaphorical function and introduced the problem of space and its delimitation, which will become central in his production.
His interest in the direct observation of reality, with particular reference to the human figure, is among the reasons of his expulsion from the Surrealist movement. He is fascinated by head and eyes, in which he perceives a glimpse of the mystery of life and of the human being: his family, especially his brother Diego, became his models.
The post-war period was characterized by the production of fixed, motionless, rigid figures, building frames and cages to isolate them from space, suspending them. References to the inaccessibility of the objects and the distances between men who approach the issues of existentialism: Not surprisingly, Jean Paul Sarte will be a careful interpreter of his work.
He died in Chur, in January 1966. Today, his sculptures are exhibited all over the world and auctioned at record prices.