The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Opens Alberto Giacometti: Toward the Ultimate Figure

Touring exhibition featuring the work of Alberto Giacometti, one of the most important artists of the 20th century, makes its stop in Houston

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is now presenting Alberto Giacometti: Toward the Ultimate Figure, an ensemble of 60 masterpieces highlighting the artist’s major achievements of the postwar years (1945-66).

Co-organized by the Foundation Giacometti in Paris and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the exhibition is co-curated by Ann Dumas, MFAH and Hugo Daniel, Fondation Giacometti and will be on view at the MFAH from through February 12, 2023.

Widely acclaimed as one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century, Giacometti (1901-66) reasserted the validity of the figure and figural representation at a time when abstract art had become dominant in the international art world.

His works became associated with existentialism; to many, Giacometti’s emaciated figures—evoking alienation, fear, insignificance and uncertainty—embody the psychological complexities of the Cold War era.

Stripped to essentials, compressed and flattened, these fragile beings present themselves as expressions of a deep crisis facing art and humanity.

“Alberto Giacometti was a defining artist of modernism and of the 20th century,” said Gary Tinterow, Director and Margaret Alkek Williams Chair, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. “Toward the Ultimate Figure brilliantly explores Giacometti’s creative process to illuminate how he came to produce his iconic figures.”

Exhibition Overview
The exhibition is presented in 12 thematic sections that illuminate Giacometti’s focus on the human form and the development of his signature style including Paris: Life in a Studio in Montparnasse, Obsessed with Heads, Into Thin Air, On Solid Ground, Other Spaces: Landscapes, Creating a Myth: Giacometti Seen by Photographers, Alberto Giacometti: A Portrait in Film, Giacometti and the Literary Scene, The Human Condition, Models from the Inner Circle, Grappling with the Real, and Standing Woman, Walking Man.

More information available at

Photos: V. Sweeten