Paris sans fin. Original lithographs by Alberto Giacometti
1 December 2018 – 24 February 2019
Open daily from 4 to 8 pm
Opening 1 December at 5 p.m.
Hermann Geiger Cultural Foundation
Piazza Guerrazzi 32, Cecina, Livorno (Italy)
From 1 December 2018 to 24 February 2019 the Hermann Geiger Cultural Foundation is hosting Paris sans fin. Original lithographs by Alberto Giacometti in its exhibition hall in Cecina. Curated by Klaus Littmann and organised by Littmann Kulturprojekte, the exhibition presents 150 lithographs by this great master of twentieth-century art, accompanied by photographs portraying him at work while he models with clay the famous fragile, tall figures that marked his later production. The works on display belong to Carlos Gross’s private collection, one of the largest set of lithographs by Giacometti worldwide.
The original prints, together with a short unfinished text, make up the artist’s book Paris sans fin. Posthumously published by Tériade in 1969 in 250 copies, it is widely considered as Giacometti’s artistic testament. The work as a whole is indeed a journey across Paris. On foot or by car, the artist roams through the streets carrying a folder of transfer paper on which he draws with a lithographic pencil. This medium forces him to work from life and without much hesitation, so as to avoid erasures and second thoughts: it is a way for him to detach himself from the almost obsessive routine of the atelier, from familiar models, from the very long posing sessions, and from the work that he incessantly modifies, undoes and restarts, in order to pursue the idea of immediacy in artistic representation. Giacometti thus represents boulevards, cafés, buildings, and monuments of the Ville Lumière, as well as nudes, objects, and portraits of his loved ones – his wife Annette, his brother Diego – and of the prostitutes he often uses. The lithographs were chosen, ordered and numbered by the artist himself, who thus proposes his personal, subjective vision of the city that welcomed him in 1922.
Born in Borgonovo di Stampa in 1901, Alberto Giacometti began his artistic training alongside his father, a painter, dedicating himself to painting and sculpture from a very young age. He then attended several art schools in Geneva and admired the works of Giotto and Tintoretto in Italy. After moving to Paris, where he was to spend the most important years of his artistic life, he got in touch with the avant-gardes – including cubism, which particularly influenced his works – and studied primitive art. In 1928 he joined surrealism, which he eventually abandoned in 1935 to undertake a new research path centred on the attention paid to the figure. During World War II he moved back to Switzerland, where he met his wife-to-be Annette. Returning to Paris in 1945, he devoted himself to the creation of his famous tall, slender figures. His artistic maturity was crowned with international success and characterized by a rich production of portraits, a genre he never abandoned throughout his career. He died in Chur in 1966.