Two Brothers, Four Hands
Two Brothers, Four Hands
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Catalog Number: #181209
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 64
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: 0-8234-4170-9
ISBN 13: 978-0-8234-4170-9
Dewey: 709
Language: English
Reviews:
Publishers Weekly
Greenberg and Jordan (Meet Cindy Sherman) continue their impressive series of artist biographies with an account of 20th-century sculptor Alberto Giacometti and his brother Diego. The two grew up in Switzerland, born only a year apart, Alberto artistic and introspective, Diego adventurous: -One a daredevil, the other a dreamer, they are tied to each other as if by some secret understanding.- Alberto-s career begins in a Paris studio, and Diego joins him there, first as a model for Alberto, then, during WWII, learning how to cast in bronze. After the war, when Alberto-s gaunt, spare figures gain recognition as emblems that -rise up courageously from these ruins,- Diego casts and mounts the pieces, occasionally working on -sculptures of animals he stalked as a child.- Illustrations by Hooper (Mabel and Sam at Home) exude warmth in expressive black contours, and large planes of colored wash-the blue of Paris at night, the red of war-provide the spreads with moody overtones. Diego and his devotion to his brother emerge as the story-s most appealing elements in this fascinating retrospective. Back matter offers a detailed chronology, notes, and photos. Ages 7-10. (Apr.)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Readers meet two Swiss sculptors, brothers born a year apart, whose intertwined artistic lives spanned most of the 20th century and two world wars.Multiaward-winning team Greenberg and Jordan are best known for their astonishing ability to decode and explore sophisticated artists and movements: abstraction (Action Jackson, illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker, 2002), modern dance (Ballet for Martha, illustrated by Brian Floca, 2010), and art photography (Meet Cindy Sherman, 2017). Here they turn to the Giacometti brothers, born at the turn of the 20th century. The older, Alberto, was pronounced a "genius" by his family. Art academy- and studio-trained, driven to make sculpture like his hero, Rodin, he eventually found his way to Paris. The simple dual biography explains how the family dynamic required that his sometimes-unfocused younger brother, Diego, join him there. Spare text describes how Diego became a skilled, sensitive metal worker, beginning as Alberto's invaluable studio assistant and becoming Alberto's true, artistic amanuensis. Hooper's low-key, child-friendly details keep readers turning the pages. Ingenious scratchy, angular lines echo the wire models Diego fashioned to support Alberto's striking and evocative original clay figures (most were later cast in bronze). She overlays the lines on broad, patchworked areas of serigraphlike spreads, offering effective, emotional undertones to the action of the text and the tenor of the times. Backmatter includes a focus on Alberto's iconic, tensile, postwar masterpiece, Walking Man.An extraordinary achievement and a moving, affecting evocation of two lives lived together. (illustrated timeline, notes, photographs, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Born only a year apart in Switzerland in 1901 and 1902, brothers Alberto and Diego Giacometti were as different as can be. While Alberto painted indoors, Diego observed the animals outdoors. Although Alberto may be the more recognizable name in the art world, this picture-book biography reveals how the brothers' unique bond fostered each other's strengths. Told in chronological vignettes, it traces their converging paths as Alberto is accepted by the Surrealists in Paris but eventually abandons their rigid rules, Diego becomes a wanderer, and the two eventually move into a cold, leaky art studio. Greenberg and Jordan's vivid text continues with descriptions of WWII's impact on the brothers and its influence on Alberto's sculpture, particularly his long, lanky figures. What may surprise readers, even those already familiar with Alberto's work, is Diego's dedication to his brother's art, such as building structural bases, as well as Diego's own artistic vision, crafting decorative furniture inspired by nature. Hooper's loosely drawn and colored illustrations are a fine accompaniment to the less-structured forms of both Giacomettis. Observant readers will notice how the shadow of the brothers arm in arm pays tribute to Alberto's style. Concluding thumbnails of the brothers' art, an analysis of Alberto's Walking Man, and other important back matter add further insight. A moving introduction to this creative and symbiotic pair.
Reading Level: 2.0
Interest Level: 2-5

The inspiring true story of the Giacometti brothers, one an artist, the other a daredevil, both devoted to their craft . . . but even more devoted to each other.

Everyone who knew them agreed. Alberto was the genius of the family. His younger brother Diego was his opposite--he didn't care much for books or schoolwork, and he had no idea what he would be when he grew up. But despite their differences, the two brothers shared an intense bond.

Alberto Giacometti became one of the iconic artists of the twentieth century, whose tall, spindly sculptures grace the collections of museums around the world. Diego was always at his side, helping and encouraging, and in his spare time creating remarkable pieces of furniture, works of sculpture in their own right.

The poignant story of brothers and sculptors Alberto and Diego Giacometti is skillfully brought to life in the hands of multiple Sibert Honor authors Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan, and the spectacular artwork of Hadley Hooper.

This lavishly illustrated 64-page book includes extensive backmatter, complete with a timeline, source notes, photographs, and an essay on how to look at a Giacometti sculpture.


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