The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao is dedicating an exhibition to one of the greatest sculptors in all of history and one of the most important artists in the 20th century. The new Alberto Giacometti show in Bilbao is one of the rare occasions in which visitors have the chance to see Women of Venice all together, the exceptional set of female figures that Giacometti began to create as his contribution to the 1956 Venice Biennale.
The Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presents “Alberto Giacometti. A Retrospective”, an exhaustive exhibition of more than 200 sculptures, paintings, and drawings by Alberto Giacometti (1901–1966), one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, throughout 40 years of his artistic output. The show offers a unique perspective on the artist’s oeuvre, with a particular focus on the extraordinary collection of art and archival materials conserved by the Fondation Giacometti in Paris, which was assembled by the artist’s widow, Annette.
“I encourage the public to immerse themselves in the Museum’s galleries on a tour that summarizes more than four decades in his career through 200 pieces—including sculptures, paintings, and works on paper—which pay homage to Giacometti’s creative spirit and his tireless quest for the truth,” said Ignacio S. Galán Chairman and CEO of Iberdrola.
“The show bears faithful witness to the artist’s constant evolution from his earliest works associated with Cubism and Surrealism—defined by their greater symbolic content and more abstract features—to his slender, rough figures on multiple scales.”
The human figure is a core subject in Giacometti’s works. Over the years, he created works inspired by the people around him, essentially his brother Diego, his wife Annette, lovers, and friends. “Sculpture, painting and drawing have always helped me to understand my vision of the outside world, especially the face and the human being as a whole. Or put more simply, my fellow beings, and especially those who are close to me for one reason or another.”
Giacometti’s ideas on how to approach the human figure have become essential questions in contemporary art for subsequent generations of artists.
The exhibition underscores the artist’s interest in malleable materials like plaster and clay. While many creators limit themselves to using plaster as an intermediate working material as they produced a work—after shaping the object in clay but before rendering it in bronze—Giacometti often used this material for both the initial shape and the definitive form of the object. A good example of this is the exceptional set of eight plaster sculptures entitled Women of Venice which will be presented at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao for the second time since it was created for the 1956 Venice Biennale, and which was displayed at the Tate Modern in London in 2017 after being restored by the Fondation Giacometti of Paris.
Alberto Giacometti. A Retrospective (Dates: from October 19, 2018 to February 24, 2019) is organized by the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in conjunction with the Fondation Giacometti of Paris. Sponsor: Iberdrola. The exhibition Alberto Giacometti. A Retrospective is accompanied by a generously illustrated catalogue whose numerous texts and essays address aspects related to the artist and his milieu spanning 40 years.