Poster of Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti, is an artist acclaimed by the world’s community of artists because he embodied the spirit of modernism into his epoch. Also he is one of the highest record makers in the global art market of the recent times. With 250 masterpieces ranging from 1917 to 1966, the exhibition will present a comprehensive overview of the artist’s life-length career with a presentation of the artist’s time: culture and life. It is curated by Catherine Grenier in collaboration with Christian Alandete specially designed for the spectacular Yuz Museum space. The exhibition is one of the major exhibitions of 2016 endorsed by the Chinese and the French governments to support a joint effort of the world’s top art experts.

Alberto Giacometti’s Retrospective Exhibition will land in Yuz Museum, Shanghai in March, 2016. It is not only the first Giacometti exhibition in China, but also the world’s largest retrospective to date, after Paris – Centre Pompidou (2007). In May 2015, Yuz Museum and Fondation Giacometti held a signing ceremony in Beijing State Guesthouse, witnessed by representatives of the governments of France and China, and in October they announced the exhibition at Royal Academy of Arts in London. After that the Yuz Museum has recently launched a series of public programs and communication activities to warm up the exhibition.

Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti, one of the greatest sculptors and artists of the 20th century, is widely regarded as the embodiment of the spirit of modernism. Artistic images including the sculpture of “walking man” created by him, owning to the depiction of the postwar human psychology and the humanistic spirit of the 20th century, have become immortal masterpieces in the art history. As one of the spokesmen of the modern art of the 20th century, Giacometti has profound impact on the development of the postwar modern art, and has inspired numerous artists of the East and the West. Therefore he is widely recognized as “the artist of the artists”. He has also influenced many Chinese artists` practice as well as their perception to modern art. Besides, Giacometti is one of the world’s most ‘expensive’ sculptor, who has been a constant auction record breaker during the past decade.

Speaking about the figure of the walker, Mr. Budi Tek, founder of the Yuz Musuem says, ‘ he seems to move forward, against all misfortune, toward an unchartered territory of which he is not afraid… It’s that wide freedom of movement that Giacometti’s walking man conveys to me. Today, it is my honor and humble pleasure to be able to bring for the first time to China at the Yuz Museum in the West Bund of Shanghai, the Alberto Giacometti Retrospective. We are proud to be associated with the Giacometti Foundation to contribute to this historical moment in art. The knowledge and emotions, joined together by 250 works by the Master will impose their freedom and authority in the spectacular spaces of the Yuz Museum.’

Alberto Giacometti, Piazza, 1947-48; Bronze, 21 x 62.5 x 42.8 cm

Alberto Giacometti, Piazza, 1947-48; Bronze, 21 x 62.5 x 42.8 cm

Giacometti’s retrospective is curated by Catherine Grenier, director of Fondation Giacometti, who previously served as the deputy director of the National Museum of Modern Art – Centre Pompidou, with the associate curator Christian Alandete. The exhibition will present about 250 works owned by the Fondation Giacometti, which becomes a comprehensive overview of the artist’s career spanning half a century, including the most iconic “Walking Man” (1960), “Spoon Woman” 1927 (1953 version), “Walking Woman” (1932), “The Nose” (1947), “The Cage” (1951). The exhibition covers the entire career of Giacometti from the early years, the cubist and surrealist period all the way to the 1960s’ prolific period. Giacometti’s widely acclaimed works, such as portrait drawings, paintings, manuscripts and other archival material, will provide abundant clues for a comprehensive understanding and appreciation of his art. The extremely tiny works that he created in his 23-square-meter studio in Paris and the later works – huge monumental bronze sculptures created for New York Chase Manhattan Plaza, will form strong visual tension in the scene. The existential spirit and humanism conveyed will become the most thrilling part of the exhibition. The exhibition is not only a comprehensive review of the artist`s creation career, but also tries to reflect the culture and life of an exciting era after the war in the 20th century.

The Yuz Museum has launched a series of public education programs to preheat the exhibition, helping the audience to understand and appreciate the art of Giacometti from multiple angles. Before the opening on March 22, 2016, the public education events held at the Yuz Museum included a first “yuztalk” on Giacometti. Adrien Gardère, the leading scenographer and museographer who is creating a spectacular scenography for the exhibition, had a wonderful conversation with Ashok Adiceam, the director of the Yuz Foundation. By defining the museum, its mission and its spaces, as well as presenting the rules which govern the exhibition design, both shared their experience on 15th November.

Alberto Giacometti, Walking Man. 1961

Alberto Giacometti, Walking Man. 1961

Other programs will consist of film screenings, lectures about Giacometti at the China Academy of Art, chinese contemporary artists talk and so on. 50 Chinese artists will participate in the countdown activity “50 ways to see Giacometti”, which will provide a vivid reference and inspiration for the audience to understand and appreciate Giacometti. (See the final schedule on the Yuz Museum’s website and the official accounts release)

In 2016, the 50th anniversary of Giacometti’s death, a series of commemorative exhibitions about this master will be launched worldwide. Paris, Picasso Museum of Art, Zurich, Kunsthaus and other top international art museums will hold exhibitions about Giacometti before the great retrospective at London’s Tate Modern. The retrospective in Yuz Museum, Shanghai is an important station of this round of global commemoration, also the only station in Asia. Compared to other modern art exhibitions, this show is dedicated to presenting a “contemporary” Giacometti. Bringing this modernist master into a contemporary art space, which is converted from a huge aviation hangar, to have an open conversation with today’s audiences and the contemporary art world. The exhibition will also provide strong historical context support to the Yuz Museum’s rich collection of contemporary art.

This Exhibition is made possible by Yuz Foundation, in partnership with Fondation Giacometti, Paris.

About the exhibition

Opening: March 22, 2016

Dates: March 12 – July 31, 2016

Venue: Yuz Museum

Courtesy of the artist and Yuz Museum, for further information please visit

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