Looking at Giacometti by David Sylvester

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Synopsis

Winner of a Venice Bienniale Golden Lion Award, Looking at Giacometti is a compelling mixture of biography and criticism, including an extraordinary interview with Giacometti.

Written over a period of forty years, Looking at Giacometti is a profound response to the art of one of modernism’s greatest sculptors. It takes students from world-renowned art critic David Sylvester’s first visits to Giacometti’s studio in the late 1940s to the author’s prolonged sitting for the artist’s portrait of him in the 1960 and reflections on his complete oeuvre after Giacometti’s death. A compelling mixture of biography and criticism, and including a sixteen-page insert of black and white photographs by Patricia Matisse, this book sheds new light on twentieth-century art and thought.
 

About David Sylvester

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David Sylvester is an internationally renowned art critic who in 1993 became the first art critic to receive a Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale.
 
Published January 1, 1994 by Chatto & Windus. 280 pages
Genres: Arts & Photography, History, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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Sylvester goes into great detail in his discussions of Giacometti's work, but cannot resist frequent interjections of his own presence: ``I feel within my muscles the stance of the figure, feel I am adopting the same stance, feel this so strongly that sometimes I find myself doing so in reality- ...

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Publishers Weekly

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Sylvester (Rene Magritte) befriended Alberto Giacometti in Paris in 1948, visited him frequently in his studio and curated a retrospective of the Swiss sculptor's works in London in 1965, a year before Giacometti died.

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London Review of Books

Following on Chapter Six, which deals with the surrealist work – it’s the longest chapter in the book and goes unmentioned in the review – Chapter Seven is a discussion of two texts by Giacometti, one surrealist, the other post-surrealist, which touches on his working methods as a writer.

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