Artist research: Alberto Giacometti

20 July 2017. Alberto Giacometti was a Swiss artist (1901-1966) prolific as sculptor, painter, draughtsman and printer alike. I have to admit that I greatly admire Giacometti’s sculptures, I find his portrait paintings and drawings harsh, distant and forbidding without being able to find a reason. As my father is a sculptor, I am aware of the drawing hand typical of sculptors, which can add unintended harshness. The connection my tutor intended me to make was not immediately obvious to me. Maybe she wants me to have a closer look at the Giacometti’s use of line in connection with the wonderfully communicating painted backgrounds as e.g. in “Annette” (1951) (Leopoldmuseum, 2014).
Of course Giacometti’s famous emaciated figures addressing the suffering after the war leave an impression never to forget. They themselves are shadows of a being and they leave a shadow imprint of what they are and represent on me. Highly complex, highly intuitive and far beyond my present abilities. One of the sculptures I will not forget either for its originality and wit is “The Cat”, one of his very few bronze sculptures made of animals (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Alberto Giacometti (1954) “The Cat”. Source: Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966) [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons

For my next exercise I am to make a line drawing with paint. When I look at Giacometti’s sculptural work, it may even be described as line drawings in space. Maybe this is what I might be doing: take my collection of photos from the past and put them into space. This reminds me that I already made some 3D drawings in Part 5 of Painting 1 (Lacher-Bryk, 2017) (Fig. 2):

Figure 2. Making a painting of shadows using a 3D pen and observing the properties of the shadows cast in turn by these shadows

So this is what I want to do for Exercise 2.2: A large size collection of 3D line drawings of my photos from the past.


Giacometti, A. (1954) The Cat [bronze sculpture] [online]. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Available from:’Cat’_by_Giacometti%2C_1954%2C_Metropolitan_Museum_of_Art.jpg [Accessed 20 July 2017]

Lacher-Bryk, A. (2017) [Retrospective post] Part 5, project 3, exercises 1 and 2: Towards abstraction – abstract painting from man-made form and abstraction from study of natural forms [blog] [online]. Andrea’s OCA Painting 1 blog, 25 March. Available from: [Accessed 20 July 2017]

Leopoldmuseum (2014) Alberto Giacometti: Modernist Pioneer [online]. Leopoldmuseum, Vienna. Available from: [Accessed 20 July 2017]