Fifty years on from the death of Alberto Giacometti (1901–1966), the major temporary exhibition “Alberto Giacometti: Beyond Bronze“. Masterworks in Plaster and Other Materials’ illuminates the fundamental aspects of this world-famous Swiss artist’s oeuvre and technique. At the heart of the presentation are 75 precious original plasters from the artist’s estate, which came to the Kunsthaus in 2006 as the result of a gift by Bruno and Odette Giacometti to the Alberto Giacometti Foundation. They have been examined by restorers from the Kunsthaus and prepared for this exhibition as part of a multi-year research project.
For Alberto Giacometti, plaster was of great importance as a material – far more than just an intermediate stage between clay model and bronze cast. It allowed him to paint or rework his objects in a wide variety of ways. Indeed, a significant number of his sculptures exist only in a plaster version.
Through numerous masterpieces from every stage of his career, the exhibition focuses on Giacometti’s artistic approach to the material nature of his chosen media, affording an insight into the creative process of one of the century’s greatest artists. While the precious and fragile plasters are the centre of the display, the presentation also includes many works in other materials, such as marble, wood and bronze.
The exhibition complements the holdings of the Kunsthaus with important loans from other collections, notably the non-public Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti in Paris, which are being shown for the first time on this scale in Switzerland.