"Giacometti: Critical Essays" considers Giacometti's work and career from the 1920s to the 1960s via a series of specific contextual studies. Active during a complex period in France's intellectual history, Giacometti took on a number of different artistic styles in his work, and forged a remarkable set of affiliations with the writers and thinkers around him. This book throws new light on important aspects of Giacometti's work and its reception. It examines little-explored areas of his output and approach, such as his relationship to his own studio, his work in the decorative arts, his tomb sculptures and his use of the pedestal. It also focuses on some of the crucial ways in which his work was articulated by writers of the period and beyond, such as Michel Leiris, Francis Ponge, Isaku Yanaihara and Tahar Ben Jelloun. In this way the book brings to life some of the energising tensions and debates informing Giacometti's work - his associations with both surrealism and existentialism, his production of both 'high' art and decorative objects, and his concern with both formal concerns such as scale and material and with the expression of philosophical and poetic ideas - all of which have greatly contributed to Giacometti's status as one of the most fascinating artists of the twentieth century.
Peter Read is a specialist on modern French literature and the visual arts. His many publications include books on the works of Apollinaire and Picasso and essays on Rodin, Surrealism and 20th-century French poetry. He is currently Professor of French at the University of Kent. Julia Kelly has published and lectured on a varied range of artists and subjects, from Picasso and Giacometti to surrealism and the relationship between art and ethnography. She was a lecturer and co-ordinator for the AHRC Research Centre for Studies of Surrealism and its Legacies at the University of Manchester, where she is now an Honorary Research Fellow.