Alberto Giacometti, Suspended Ball, 1930–31, plaster, metal, 23 7/8 × 14 × 14 1/4". © Alberto Giacometti Estate/Licensed by VAGA and ARS, New York.



Tate Modern
May 10–September 10, 2017

Curated by Frances Morris and Catherine Grenier

The crucial place of Alberto Giacometti in the history of modern sculpture was confirmed at the Venice Biennale in 1956, where he showed six tall female bronzes called Femmes de Venise, after the city of their first exhibition. The fragile plasters for these instantly famed figures will be seen together for the first time in sixty years at Tate Modern’s immense survey of more than 250 works of sculpture, drawing, and book illustration. The Femmes de Venise were first executed in clay, then cast in plaster and further reworked with knives, brushes, and paint (often as thin red and black lines dug into the surface), leading to a further skein of structure (traceries lost in their final bronze incarnations). Still, Giacometti’s scraped and scratched graphic addenda (present in other works) were seen as a new strategy for depicting a realistic world while honoring what was then deemed most philosophically pertinent—the Existential.