Five Essential Books on Alberto Giacometti


1.)  Matter, Herbert. Alberto Giacometti. Photographed by Herbert Matter. Text by Mercedes Matter. Foreword by Louis Finkelstein. With an introduction by Andrew Forge. New York: Harry M. Abrams, 1987.

The focus of our current “Matter/Giacometti” exhibition, Herbert Matter’s Alberto Giacometti highlights the talents of Matter as a photographer and designer while also showcasing the best of Giacometti. Beautifully conceived, with over 180 photographs, 45 in full color. Also included is commentary by Matter and his wife Mercedes, each close friends of Giacometti, with intimate perspectives on his life.

The German edition of this book is also on display at RARE as part of the “Matter/Giacometti” exhibition.

2.) Lust, Herbert C. Giacometti: The Complete Graphics and 15 Drawings. Introduction by John Lloyd Taylor. New York: Tudor Publishing Company, 1970.

“Whereas his sculptures and paintings embody the quintessence of being, the graphics are their commentary and affidavit—testimony in propr. persona of his multifaceted genius”—From the introduction by John Lloyd Taylor.

A complete study of Giacometti’s lesser-known drawings, Lust’s book features over 360 illustrations plus a full written catalog of attributed works, as well as an exclusive interview with Diego Giacometti about his brother’s career. His long friendship with both men provided Lust with both extensive and unique access to the works.

This copy is inscribed by the author to Mercedes and Herbert Matter: For Mercedes and Herbert / Whose creative life have so much helped American art community—may you continue to flourish! / Cordially / Herbert Lust.


3.) Hohl, Reinhold. Alberto Giacometti. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1971.

Hohl, who recently passed away in 2014, was a leading Giacometti scholar, often called upon to verify the authenticity of the artist’s works. His essays for this comprehensive volume furnish valuable biographical and critical evaluations of Giacometti’s life and work, while over 270 illustrations supply abundant visual references. Considered an essential text for Giacometti research.

4.) Bonnefoy, Yves. Giacometti: A Biography of His Work. Translated by Jean Stewart. Paris: Flammarion, 1991

A French poet and art critic, once heavily associated with the Surrealists, Bonnefoy’s Alberto Giacometti offers yet another perspective on Giacometti’s life and work. An important aspect of this large edition—585 illustrations, 200 in color, with an in-depth biography and aesthetic analyses—is that it also contextualizes Giacometti’s work among his contemporaries, contributing crucial insights into the artist’s canon.


5.) Dupin, Jacques and Michel Leiris. Alberto Giacometti. Paris: Maeght Editeur, 1978.

A small volume in French by the writers and critics Jacques Dupin and Michel Leiris, both of whom were leading members of Paris’ Left Bank intellectual community as well as friends and models of Giacometti. Leiris had the additional distinction of also having fallen out with Surrealist leader André Breton. Offers a biographical timeline, a finite yet diverse sampling of Giacometti’s work, and essays by the authors. 150 illustrations, 24 in color.

All five copies featured in today’s Rarities are available for purchase at RARE as part of “Matter/Giacometti.” Please contact us for further information and pricing.


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