Europe's most intense sculptor is the star of Tate's summer blockbuster.
It has been said, that Giacometti strode through the tumultuous 20th century like one of his dogged, sculpted walking men. Picasso may have been more mercurial, Matisse more colourful and Brancusi more absolute. But no other giant of modern times did intensity and concentration like the Swiss artist.
Unlike those three peers, his work offers few consolations for our short lives here on earth. Giacometti has been called an existentialist. And one notes that existentialism is one of the easier philosophies to grasp, just as his sculptures and prints are easy to recognise as his.
In 2017, it will be 50 years since Tate was the first London gallery to show this torturous artist when his brand was in its infancy. They now commemorate this with a retrospective that set to be a one off opportunity to see beyond those works we already know, and explore his influences, along with his greatest hits.
So although it cannot be denied that, by playing with scale and condensed form, he found some visual tricks that ensured his place in history, Tate will show a more experimental side to the portraits and figurative bronzes for which he is so well known.
See for example the plasters and drawings which are on loan from the Fondation Alberto et Annette Giacometti. The gallery’s access to this exciting and extensive archive is said to be unprecedented. So no matter how familiar this artist's mainstream work, his retrospective offers fresh excuses for post war angst.