CONTEMPORARY ART MOVEMENTS

PUBLISHER
Hatje Cantz

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 11 x 12.25 in. / 204 pgs / 162 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Active

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: FALL 2018 p. 32   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9783775744171 TRADE
List Price: $85.00 CDN $112.50

AVAILABILITY
Out of stock

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Riehen, Switzerland
Fondation Beyeler, 04/25/18–09/02/18

BROWSE THE 2018 FALL CATALOG

From 'Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin' to 'The Swimming Pool in Photography' to 'Protest: The Aesthetics of Resistance,' with new monographs on Yayoi Kusama, Hilma af Klint, James Turrell and Jack Whitten, and announcing D.A.P. distribution for Glenstone Museum and SPBH Editions.

  

HATJE CANTZ

Bacon / Giacometti

Edited by Catherine Grenier, Ulf Küster, Michael Peppiatt.

Graham Keen's photograph of Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon at the Tate Gallery, London, 1965, is reproduced from 'Bacon / Giacometti.'

Alberto Giacometti (1901–66) and Francis Bacon (1909–92) were friends and rivals whose creative visions shaped art from the latter half of the 20th century to the present. This volume, published for a show at the Fondation Beyeler, marks the first time that a museum exhibition has been devoted to these two artists, revealing commonalities and amazing parallels between them.

Bacon and Giacometti shared a belief in the importance of the human figure and the old masters they both studied, copied and paraphrased. Both integrated cage-like entities into their works as a means of isolating figures in their surroundings. Both occupied themselves with the fragmented, deformed body and also shared an obsession with portraiture; both characterized themselves as "realists." And although the human figure always served as a touchstone in their work, they each raised its level of abstraction to an extreme. The painter Isabel Rawsthorne played a key role in the relationship between Giacometti and Bacon: she was a close friend of both artists, posed for them, and was also briefly Giacometti's lover.

For this show, loans of works by Bacon have been made from major private collections and renowned international museums, including the Art Institute in Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Centre Pompidou, Paris. The Giacometti loans come almost entirely from the Fondation Giacometti in Paris. They include numerous original plaster sculptures from the artist's estate that have never before been shown in public.


Graham Keen's photograph of Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon at the Tate Gallery, London, 1965, is reproduced from 'Bacon / Giacometti.'

PRAISE AND REVIEWS

Financial Times

Jackie Wullschlager

A pairing of modernist giants…. Pity, horror, awe and supreme formal virtuosity: Bacon and Giacometti both had false start careers before World War II and emerged after it with a conviction, against the tide of abstraction, that only an art of Old Master gravitas, obsessively concerned with distortions and fragments of the human form, could uphold figuration after the Holocaust.

The Art Newspaper

"highlights similarities between the artists, including being obsessed with depicting the human head, as well as differences such as Giacometti’s use of grey, which is in stark contrast to Bacon’s lavish use of colour."

Apollo

Samuel Reilly

"brings their differences into focus, and celebrates the sparks generated by the friction of the encounter…. In this meeting of contrasts – Giacometti’s upright, stony figures; Bacon’s prone, fleshly blobs – what impresses is how each artist has, on his own terms, managed to create an object that both moves and is still."

Bacon / Giacometti

STATUS: Out of stock

Temporarily out of stock pending additional inventory.

FROM THE BOOK
Excerpt from the Foreword by Sam Keller, Catherine Grenier, Ulf Küster and Michael Peppiatt

Two of the twentieth century’s most outstanding artists meet: Alberto Giacometti and Francis Bacon. Both have influenced art and intellectual discourse in the postwar period. They are individualists, each evolving his own deeply personal style. The Englishman Bacon is a self-taught painter who spent nearly his entire life in London. The Swiss-born Giacometti is a sculptor, painter, and draftsman from a family of artists in the Bregaglia Valley, near the Swiss-Italian border. Despite their differences, which highlight the uniqueness of their respective achievements, Bacon and Giacometti are closely related artistic personalities, with striking similarities in their lives and work. Bacon, born in 1909, reportedly said of Giacometti, eight years his senior: “This is the man who has influenced me more than anyone.”

The two men shared a fascination with the traditions of the artistic past, to which they both felt indebted. Bacon’s main interest was European painting, from the Old Masters, such as Diego Velázquez and Rembrandt van Rijn, to the pioneers of modernism, including Vincent van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. Giacometti, too, engaged with contemporary art but was equally intrigued by non-European cultures and by the art of antiquity, particularly that of ancient Egypt. In their positive relationship to tradition, both artists showed anti-modernist leanings, which also informed their lifelong adherence to the human figure and to working from models and photographs.

Both artists consciously elected not to pursue the path of abstraction, which otherwise dominated art after 1945. It was artists such as Bacon and Giacometti, marked by the crisis of humanity following two world wars, who convincingly addressed the turmoil that surrounded them, by seeking in their work to uncover the essence of the human. The modern individual and his or her complex relationships with other individuals and groups, the manifold forms of existential distress and suffering, loneliness and pain, sexuality and violence, life and death: these are some of the crucial themes to which both Giacometti and Bacon devoted rigorous attention. Their quest for truth and beauty in art was accompanied by self-doubt and nagging obsessions, stemming from a persistent fear of failure.

Both artists lived a life of extremes. They worked in small, cramped studios, cluttered to the point of chaos, that served as a source of inspiration and creativity. They combined intensive work with an excessive lifestyle. Giacometti was a chain smoker, and Bacon a gambling addict. They both drank abundantly and had sexual preferences that placed them outside social norms. Giacometti had a known penchant for prostitutes and spent long nights in their company. Bacon lived a relatively open gay life at a time, before 1967, when homosexuality was still criminalized under British law. Both artists had connections with the demimonde, as well as with the art world and patrons from the upper echelons of society. In particular, they were on close terms with other artists and members of the intellectual vanguard in their respective cities. Each achieved fame in his own lifetime and was internationally revered. Both artists could be rough in manner and scathing in their judgments, but exceptionally charming on a personal level, as contemporaries recalled.

FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/18/2018

Blurring and deformation in 'Bacon / Giacometti'

Blurring and deformation in 'Bacon / Giacometti'

Francis Bacon's "Portrait of Michael Leiris" (1976) is reproduced from Bacon / Giacometti, published to accompany the Beyeler Foundation's current exhibition. "Bacon's process of blurring and deformation, especially in the treatment of heads, is similar to the sculptural method of Giacometti," Ulf Küster writes. "Both artists manipulated the model's appearance and left his or her individuality in doubt. That the resulting portraits may be more honest than if the artists had striven for greater verisimilitude is one thing; the other is that, by making their working processes visible, Bacon and Giacometti drew attention to the importance of their individual form of artistic expression, which—in portraits too—is always in the forefront." continue to blog


FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 7/17/2018

The milestone telling its story in 'Bacon / Giacometti'

The milestone telling its story in 'Bacon / Giacometti'

Alberto Giacometti's "Grande tête mince" (1954) is reproduced from Hatje Cantz's beautifully produced exhibition Beyeler Foundation catalogue, Bacon / Giacometti. "Filled with doubts and obsessions, enriched by the experience of failure, animated by the same inner violence," Catherine Grenier writes, "Giacometti and Bacon, who were both friends of the writer Leiris, could have recognized themselves equally in an observation of Leiris's, on the subject of Giacometti, but just as applicable to Bacon: 'There are moments of what can be called crisis, the only ones that count in life.… I love Giacometti's sculpture because what he makes is like the petrification of one of these crises, the intensity of a chance event swiftly caught and immediately frozen, the milestone telling its story." continue to blog


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