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VINE VOICEon 10 March 2010
This is a wonderful book to look through but reading it is fairly hard going. I'm not an art historian but neither am I totally ignorant on the subject. My problem was not what was said, but how it was said. Some of the writing in this book is unbelievably, and unnecessarily, complex. Whether this is overblown academic posing or bad translation and lazy editing I'm not sure, but it makes frustrating reading. For example, a sentence from the first page, talking about Giocometti's mother, runs: "A woman of such eminent strength, who imposed her will with such a clear conscience and, moreover, whose moral worth was so evident within a tradition still steeped in Calvinistic austerity, not so say Puritanism, was after all someone who accepted the Law, who represented it and served its cause, and so one might picture Signora Giacometti as 'masculine', like Madame Rimbaud, for instance, that other great figure, who loomed over a modern artist's achievement and who lived at almost the same period and in a similarly provincial and conservative social milieu." Most of the book is like that. The overall effect is extremely pompous and condescending. However, if you can put up with that, it is very interesting and enlightening. The illustrations are excellent - I look forward to the day when ebook technology will mean that we'll be able to have art books with 360 degree video of sculptures but, until then, photographs like these are almost as good as being able to see the real thing.

Finally, from a practical point of view, it is worth noting that it is a large book and a paperback so it is almost impossible to look through it without a table to rest it on.
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on 28 May 2013
This is a disappointingly thin book. It contains mostly photographs and very little information about Giacometti. It shares the cover design with a book on Giacometti by the same author that is very much larger that gives a full and comprehensive account of the artist and his life and work.
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on 4 May 2011
I bought this book mainly for pictures of Giacometti's paintings and drawings and was not disappointed.
Giacometti worked mainly in sculpture so the bulk of the books photographs are of sculptures made throughout his career, it was fascinating to see how his style evolved from the surrealist phase to the more well known walking figures. There are plenty of photographs of Giacometti's paintings and drawings covering still life as well as the figurative works. What I read of the text was typical art book text, in other words dull, however if you know nothing of Giacometti you will probably find it useful.
The main feature of the book is the large full page photographs of Giacometti's work and if you really want to know about Giacometti's life you would be better looking for the biography by James Lord(Giacometti: A Biography), I can also recommend Lord's book A Giacometti Portrait which covers a period of 18 days when Lord sat for a portrait with Giacometti, the book gives a great insight into Giacometti's working methods and mindset.
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