The Swiss sculptor/painter Alberto Giacometti (1901-66) is one of the most universally admired artists of the century. An early postmodernist with an extremely personal vision, he is best known for the gaunt, attenuated standing bronze figures he made during the final 20 years of his life. The critic Robert Hughes has written that the vast space created around them by their own etiolation is "the visual metaphor of Existentialist Man." This book is a piecemeal assemblage of paragraph-long quotations, from the artist and others, about Giacometti's life and artistic struggles. The material has been arranged chronologically and interspersed with some interesting snapshots of him at work in the studio (a Gitane invariably gripped in his plaster-stippled fingers) and reproductions of individual works. Although such a patchwork compilation is better suited to Studs Terkel or a fan biography, because it is Giacometti it remains by default an engaging read for the average art lover and a worthwhile purchase for academic and large public libraries. The definitive biography continues to be James Lord's Giacometti: A Biography (LJ 1/86).--Douglas F. Smith, Oakland P.L., CA Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.