New York

Alberto Giacometti

MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art

For those who have never been to the Giacometti Foundations in either Zurich or Basel, the current retrospective at the Museum of Modem Art is filled with riches: Many of the plaster works never translated into wood or bronze, nor ever seen outside Switzerland because of their extreme fragility, are now assembled with the Modern’s walls. By insisting on these works, which are shown in force, the exhibition seems intent on righting the wrong done so consistently to Giacometti when scholars and critics extract the artist from the milieu of his contemporaries (such as Brancusi or André Breton) to anoint him as Jean-Paul Sartre’s Existential acolyte, the sculptor of “man in a situation,” about which more below. Indeed, the bipartite division of the oeuvre, articulated by its arrangement on two separate floors of the museum, reinforces the category of a “Surrealist” Giacometti, a figure marked

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