Giacometti in Postwar Paris, Norwich

Hearts must have sunk at the Sainsbury Centre on discovering that Giacometti's centenary year had inspired similarly prestigious exhibition projects from the likes of the Centre Pompidou and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

By MIRANDA YATES

Hearts must have sunk at the Sainsbury Centre on discovering that Giacometti's centenary year had inspired similarly prestigious exhibition projects from the likes of the Centre Pompidou and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

This is especially galling since ours is probably the only venue to have a special relationship with the artist – Giacometti was a friend of the Sainsburys, who sat for him, and whose portraits form part of this extraordinary exhibition.

The 120 pieces are gleaned from the relatively short period (1945-65) that Giacometti spent in Paris before his death, but they are examples from a particular fertile period.

The exhibition gains everything from the narrow timescale of its work, which allows the visitor a furtive peep through the studio keyhole and into the artist's head. After seeing dozens of paintings and line drawings you begin to learn something of Giacometti's more macabre obsessions.

The artist used the walls from his backstreet Parisian studio as a vertical drawing pad and some of these are displayed.

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Preserved bricks, daubed with the ghostly remains of sketches, provide a haunting sense of Giacometti's obsessive revisiting of the human form.

Whatever you do don't miss The Forest where bronze emaciated people form the trees.

New York's and Paris's loss is Norwich's gain. This is a brilliant exhibition.

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