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Kunsthaus Zürich presents for the first time works from the bequest of Bruno Giacometti
Giovanni Giacometti (1868-1933), Annetta und Giovanni Giacometti, around 1902/03. Oil on card board; 16,5 x 19,5 cm. Estate Bruno Giacometti.

ZURICH.- From 27 July 2012 to 17 February 2013, the Kunsthaus Zürich presents the first showing of works from the bequest of Bruno Giacometti (1907-2012), consisting primarily of more than 250 pieces by his brother Alberto and father Giovanni. There will also be a special presentation featuring sculptures and paintings from the Alberto Giacometti Foundation, revealing where and how these works will be exhibited in the Kunsthaus from 2017, and a chance to see the first results of the multi-year project to restore the Giacometti plasters.

The presentation, designed by collection curator Philippe Büttner, is housed on the 1st floor of the building’s modern section. It is divided into two parts. The first presents the most important of the generally little-known paintings, sculptures and works on paper by Giovanni and Alberto Giacometti that were bequeathed to the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft following the recent death of Giovanni’s son and Alberto’s brother Bruno Giacometti (1907-2012).

Giovanni is represented here not least as a great colourist, with depictions of his wife Annetta and their children Alberto, Diego, Ottilia and, of course, Bruno playing a central role. A small picture of exceptional quality dating from 1902/03 shows Giovanni together with Annetta. Among a series of landscapes, the winter pictures are particularly striking. There are also drawings by Giovanni, plus a selection from the approximately 60 of his sketchbooks that Bruno and his wife Odette donated to the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft back in 2005. Works by Alberto include a number of sculptures together with an extensive corpus of mostly early drawings as well as important paintings from the mature and late phase of his production; prominent among them is one of the rare late landscapes: ‘Le jardin à Stampa’ from 1959. The elegant plaster relief of a flying albatross created in 1937 for the American magazine Harper’s Bazaar sheds light on a largely unknown facet of the great sculptor.

This exhibition pays tribute to a leading patron and active supporter of the Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft and the Alberto Giacometti Foundation.

A selection of key works by Alberto Giacometti from the Alberto Giacometti Foundation will also be on show, with paintings from his mature period complementing exceptional sculptures such as ‘L’Homme qui marche’ from 1947 and ‘Le chariot’ from 1950. These have been moved from their previous location up to the bright and airy rooms in which they and other works are to be exhibited after the Kunsthaus extension opens in 2017. For visitors, it is a chance to experience the potential that the extension will unlock within the existing building, and which is documented in the exhibition ‘The New Kunsthaus. Great Art and Architecture,’ opening on 5 October 2012.

The early works by Alberto from the Giacometti Foundation can still be viewed on the ground floor, but again with more room to appreciate them fully.

The spacious galleries dating from the 1970s will also provide a permanent home for the plasters to which the third part of the special presentation is devoted. Organized by chief restorer Hanspeter Marty, it will be completed in October and will present the results of the technological analysis carried out as part of a four-year research and restoration project launched in 2010. These findings will serve as the basis for the subsequent restoration and conservation phase. Visitors will encounter both plasters whose forms were used for the celebrated bronze casts, and plaster sculptures that are works of art in their own right.

The three-part special presentation offers an in-depth insight into the oeuvre of the Giacometti family of artists, of which the Kunsthaus Zürich holds a collection of unparalleled size and quality.

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