“Alberto Giacometti”

Six exhibitions to see in Venice during the Biennale

From 13 May to 26 November, a dense programme has been scheduled at Venice for the 57th Biennale. From Xavier Veilhan’s “Merzbau musical” to Mark Bradford’s social project, we take a little look at the openings not to miss. This year, the Venice Biennale is being steered by a Frenchwoman, Christine Macel, curator of the department of contemporary and prospective creation at the Centre Pompidou. The event’s theme, “Viva Arte Viva”, covers the capacity of artists to “invent their own universes” and “inject vitality into the world we live in”, in the words Paolo Baratta, president of the Venice Biennale foundation. This faith in art and the future is a deliberate choice on Baratta’s part after a beautiful but austere 2015 vintage, curated by Okwui Enwezor (“All the World’s Futures”). The Italian city will be welcoming numerous exhibitions and national pavilions simultaneously. Much to see, to hear, and to reflect on…   French Pavilion: a new-generation recording studio This year, the French Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is being overseen by Xavier Veilhan, and shouldered by curators Lionel Bovier (director of the MAMCO in Geneva) and Christian Marclay (artist and musician). Veilhan, as successor to Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, is setting up a project called “Merzbau musical” which plays on the volumes and decors of the French Pavilion’s space, drawing inspiration from a recording studio. The exhibition’s title is a nod to Kurt Schwitters whose “Merzbau” consisted of a habitable construction of variable dimensions, composed of salvaged objects. Schwitters’ project, initially intended to be named “Cathédrale de la misère érotique” (Cathedral of Erotic Misery), started in Hannover, then continued in Oslo and New York, throughout the artist’s life. In the French Pavilion, Xavier Veilhan places at the public’s disposal all types of musical instruments – some existing, others invented for the...

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Swiss pavilion at the Venice Biennale: homage to Alberto Giacometti

Three artists — the duo formed by Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler, along with sculptor Carol Bove ¬— will be paying homage to sculptor Alberto Giacometti at the Venice Biennale, via the exhibition “Women of Venice”. Shown in the Swiss pavilion constructed by Bruno Giacometti, brother of Alberto, the works were specially created for the 2017 Biennale. Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler will be presenting a previously unreleased documentary on Flora Mayo, the artist’s mistress and an artist in her own right, while Carol Bove will be offering a set of new sculptures inspired by groups of figures by the master...

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Death of French-American collector William Louis-Dreyfus

Famous billionaire art collector, William Louis-Dreyfus, died at the age of 84 years on 16 September. The personal fortune of the French-American figure is estimated at being worth $3.4 billion. This philanthropist, businessman and father of the Emmy Award-winning actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus, had a collection worth $50 million with pieces by Jean Dubuffet, Helen Frankenthaler and Alberto...

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The Swiss pavilion of the 57th Venice Biennale pays homage to Alberto Giacometti

In 2017, the Swiss pavilion’s exhibition for the 57th Venice Biennale, from 13 May to 26 November, will be curated by Philipp Kaiser and will pay homage to Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966). Titled “Women of Venice”, this group exhibition will focus on the contemporary legacy of the sculptor who systematically declined invitations to represent Switzerland in Venice.  Alberto Giacometti, born in Borgonovo in the Grisons canton, defined himself as an international artist and always refused to be associated with a national identity. Even when the new Swiss pavilion was constructed by his brother, architect Bruno Giacometti, in 1952, Alberto, invited to show his works there, suggested that another artist be featured instead of him. In 1956, he finally agreed to present, in the French pavilion, a set of sculptures called “Women of Venice”. Alberto Giacometti was awarded the Grand Prix for Sculpture in Venice in 1962, several years before his death, as a sign of international recognition of his...

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Twenty years of friendship with Giacometti at Artcurial

Parallel to the Biennale des Antiquaires, Artcurial is holding, on Wednesday 14 September in Paris, its Brollo sale, open for display to the public as of 7 September. Sixteen bronze furniture pieces, including three by Alberto Giacometti, are being presented, as well as plaster preparatory studies or prototypes. For example, we find a pair of lionhead armchairs by Diego Giacometti, estimated as being worth between 150,000 and 200,000 euros. Shortly after his brother’s death, Diego met Eliane and Daniel Brollo, and was friends with them from 1965 to 1985. Over this period, Diego developed a bestiary with which he decorated his furniture. For example, he liked to portray small mice, as on two dresser stools (200,000 to 300,000 euros). Many pieces were directly acquired by the collector couple, or given to them by the artist. The collection includes lights, chairs, armchairs, tables, coffee tables and objects, including a pair of two-headed horse chandeliers or a bronze cat maître d’hôtel, worth between 50,000 and 70,000...

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