Luxembourg & Dayan is delighted to present Alberto Giacometti: In His Own Words (Sculptures 1925-1934). Focused on a series of sculptures from this crucial decade in Giacometti’s life, the exhibition provides a rare insight into the development of the artist’s practice, which led to the crystallization of the more familiar style that characterizes Giacometti’s later work. This exhibition will include over 18 sculptures from this period, many of which will be exhibited in the UK for the first time.
The exhibition takes its cue from a letter that Alberto Giacometti wrote to his New York dealer and friend Pierre Matisse (1947) that accompanied a group of sculptures planned for an exhibition at Matisse’s New York gallery. “Here is the list of sculptures that I promised you” Giacometti wrote, “but I could not send it without explaining a certain succession of facts […] without which it would make no sense”. What followed these words is a fascinating account of Giacometti’s thoughts on sculpture; a testimony of his relentless pursuit to express truth in his work in a manner that is not limited to mere external resemblance. It was in this decade that Giacometti adopted the retreat to memory that is now considered so fundamental to his oeuvre.
Giacometti’s letter reveals how this period was marked by a deep personal and stylistic crisis, which gradually led him to withdraw from traditional sculptural techniques and to experiment with Primitivism, Cubism, and Surrealism. The exhibition brings together a rare corpus of plaster, bronze, and wood sculptures that reconstitutes the importance of this particularly exciting period in Giacometti’s life, including seminal works such as Tête (Autoportrait), 1927, Femme Couchée, 1929, and Objet Désagréable, 1931.
Luxembourg & Dayan is honoured to collaborate with the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti, the Alberto Giacometti Stiftung, the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, The Morgan Library, and other private lenders. This is the most comprehensive exhibition to date focusing solely on this period of Giacometti’s oeuvre.