Giacometti: Pure Presence opens at the National Portrait Gallery

Giacometti: Pure Presence, an exhibition designed by Stanton Williams, is on display at the National Portrait Gallery from 15 October 2015 to 10 January 2016.

Swiss artist Alberto Giacometti is regarded as a leading modernist and surrealist sculptor, and the exhibition comprises over 60 works including paintings, sculptures and drawings, spanning the range of the artist’s career. This is the first ever exhibition to solely consist of portraits by the celebrated 20th-century artist Alberto Giacometti.

Led by director Paul Williams, Stanton Williams have worked with the National Portrait Gallery and curator Paul Moorhouse to design an exhibition which will celebrate Giacometti’s work and highlights his obsessive evocation of human presence through a range of styles and subjects. The exhibition design seeks to convey the quality of the artist’s own working environment and the changing nature of natural daylight, using backlit, abstracted clerestory elements and varied lighting within the gallery spaces.

Paul Williams said: “For anybody who has not been involved in exhibition design, I find it is difficult to explain the pleasure and satisfaction gained from working on an installation such as Giacometti. It is an experience so different from any of our building projects, but at the same time confronting the same fundamental architectural issues of space, light, materials and movement. The key difference, however, is that when designing an art exhibition the primary aim is to create spaces that embrace the demands of the work and curatorial ambition. And that only comes through many hours of dialogue, questioning and looking closely at the works themselves, which of course is a huge privilege.”