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Culture in France

Giacometti's rough-edged frailty on show in Paris

Audio 10:00
Giacometti's brother Diego and other plaster heads, Maillol Museum, Paris
Giacometti's brother Diego and other plaster heads, Maillol Museum, Paris Rosslyn Hyams RFI 2018
By: Rosslyn Hyams
12 min

Paris's Maillol Museum was founded in 1995 by Dina Vierny, a model and close associate for 19th and 20th-century sculptor Aristide Maillol. It is currently showing the works of Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti, along with several works by artists such as Maillol, Aguste Rodin and Germaine Richier. Interesting to compare. To listen to Rosslyn Hyams's radio report click on the arrow in the top right hand of the photo.


Alberto Giacometti spent a lot of time in Paris, in his studio in Montparnasse, and his works have been more or less fashionable over the years since his death in 1966.

Today he is considered as one of the most important sculptors of his generation.

The exhibition at the Musée Maillol in association with the Giacometti Foundation, is laid out to enable an exploration of Giacometti's sculptures and drawing.

In bright white spaces, the delicate heads in glass cubes look all the more vulnerable.

How thin can a person be? Giacometti saw the human figure as frail, even cast in a solid metal like bronze. His rough-edged shapes contrast with the roundness and fullness of  Maillol's works. Although Giacometti himself went through a period of more classical creation before formulating the style he is best-known for..

The Giacometti Foundation has picked pieces for this exhibition which show how Giacometti played with ancient art   from North Africa, particularly Egypt, and Africa south of the Sahara, which corresponded to his times and remains strikingly adapted to tastes today.

The exhibition runs till March 2019.

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