Giacometti Tate Modern Review


All ages


Tate Modern

Bankside, SE1 9TG

Alberto Giacometti Tate Modern

10 May–10 September 2017


£18.50 adults, £16.50 concessions, under 12s free.

Click here to book tickets.

Alberto Giacometti, Tate Modern: existential genius will wow kids and adults alike 

Fifty years since Tate first showed London his work and Giacometti is back at the Tate Modern. 

a&u review

"Giacometti's tall, graceful elongated figures are among the most recognisable images in 20th century art. And children love them - a cross between a pipe cleaner and a magnificent sand dribble, the wow factor is there right away.

And this wonderful, glorious show is full of wow - though not just thanks to the stick men. In the opening gallery, you are greeted by a roomful of 28 heads sculpted throughout his life - his mother, his brother, his wife, a tiny Simone de Beauvoir. They are a motley crew, eyeballing you the viewer, challenging you to come and take a look.

The second room is Giacometti the young artist turning abstract surrealist. Clearly influenced by ancient tribal art, children will sense the tension of the latent violence as sharp points interact with smooth curves. There is something of the insect being impaled on a pin about Point to the Eye. And, there is definite gross me out value to the knobbly pointed phallus entitled Disagreeable Object to be Thrown Away.

The third room is given over to decorative objects Giacometti produced in the 30s to earn a living and are of more interest to adults. Kids will be running ahead to the next gallery and the four large sculptures that dominate it. They won't need a grown up to explain the African influence in Spoon Woman or the Egyptian-ness of Walking Woman. The scorpion-like form of Woman with the Throat Cut is a perfect talking point for surrealism.

After the scale and fluidity of this room, a series of mini figures are contained in a single vitrine that runs round the next gallery. How tiny and detailed some of these are, like beautifully crafted matchsticks. 

In the next room, back in Paris after the war Giacometti starts to produce his iconic elongated figures. The sculptures in this gallery are not huge but delicate and beautiful in their isolation.



Then on to larger scale versions, a man on a cart, a suspended arm, a disembodied leg, a bizarre Pinocchio nose. Mums and Dads will enjoy the portraits that adorn the walls and the film of the great man himself at work in his studio but children are going to be grabbed by the wonderful pieces of bronze, plaster, clay that fill the space. 

A joy. Go!"

Reviewed by Emily Turner, 8 May 2017 




Alberto Giacometti Tate Modern

10 May–10 September 2017


£18.50 adults, £16.50 concessions, under 12s free.

Click here to book tickets.


Bankside, SE1 9TG

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