He drank with Sartre, mocked Picasso and took silent walks with Beckett Jean Genet described the studio of his friend Alberto Giacometti. One evening in Alberto Giacometti found himself lingering late at the Café de Flore in Paris. Most of the other customers had gone, but at the adjoining. One does not have to look long on the antediluvian face of Giacometti to sense this artist’s pride and will to place himself at the beginning of th.

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This confusion of two spaces has had some odd results.

Alberto Giacometti by Jean-Paul Sartre

And the gaze is crucial even in the smaller faces of the thin figures, which were often made from memory. Giacometti never speaks of eternity, never thinks of it. My favourite room is probably Room 2, which hiacometti his early works from the s, and of his transition from naturalistic to more abstract forms.

I remember when I saw my first Giacometti statue. He can giaocmetti feel it beneath his fingertips; it is the intangible counterpart of his movements.

He has chosen for himself a weightless material, the most ductile, the most perishable, the most spiritual: Giacometti has been able to give giaccometti matter the only truly human unity: The two men were friends, and Giacometti came to to see himself as standing in the existential tradition, and of his work as asking existential questions about humanness, and human fragility, in the post-Holocaust world.

Giacometti knows that there is nothing redundant in a living man, because everything there is functional; he knows that space is a cancer on being, and eats everything; to sculpt, for him, is to take the fat off space; he compresses space, so as to drain off its exteriority.

On the edge of madness: the terrors and genius of Alberto Giacometti

So the distance from the figures to my eyes is imaginary. Something required to understand the boundaries of art. But at times, tiring of the struggle, he has sought to mineralize his fellow human beings: There was only a long indistinct silhouette, moving against the horizon.


As to the spectator, he takes the imaginary for the real and the real for the imaginary…. The passion of sculpture is to make oneself totally spatial, so that from the depth of space, the stature of a man may sally forth.

Sartre and Giacometti: words between friends

Mohamed Lotfy rated it it was ok Feb 16, F rated it really liked it Aug 06, The attempt to reflect the reality of vision did not only result in the elongated figures for which he is most famous, and the Tate exhibition will demonstrate his versatility and range.

Giacometti has a horror of the infinite. When I look at this woman of plaster, it is my cool gaze I encounter in her. These arms pretend to move, but they float, steadied between high and low by supports of iron; these frozen forms contain within themselves an infinite dispersion; it is the imagination of the spectator, mystified by a gross resemblance, which lends movement, warmth and life, to the eternal collapse of matter.

Take Ganymede on his pedestal.

I recognize in them, more clearly than in an athlete of Praxiteles, the figure of man, the real beginning and absolute source of gesture.

The idea alone possesses such immediate translucency, the idea alone is at a stroke what it is… It is to give sensible expression to this pure presence, to this gift of the self, to this instantaneous coming forth, that Giacometti resorts to elongation.

This is because he was the first one to take it into his head to sculpt man as he appears, that is to say, from a distance. Jun 09, Gui Martins Pinheiro rated it it was amazing.


And they will make their first appearance at a major retrospective opening at Tate Modern in London next month.

And it is true that his figures, being designed to perish on the very night of their birth, are the only sculptures I know that retain the extraordinary but apparently perishable grace. He leaves them to it and goes back to his work. In seeking the truth, he has found only convention. Now the Giacometti Foundation in Paris has found new methods of restoring his plaster sculptures, many of which were damaged by being broken apart and covered in orange shellac to be cast in bronze.

A model was hired and he embarked on a week-long stint of working from life that extended to 20 years. Between the model and the material there seems to be an unbridgeable chasm; yet the chasm exists for us only because Giscometti took hold of it.

He had some money now, though he insisted on living in his studio, refusing to indulge Annette in her desire for an ordinary home. He has chosen to sculpt the situated appearance, and he has shown that in this way the absolute may be attained.

All that remains are creases in the plaster. Giacometti was born in a remote Swiss valley inthe son of a successful, conventionally realist Swiss painter.

These are sculptures that change as we look at them, because of their curious proportions and the intensity of their expressions.

Yet everything is there: Moreover, I must add that as a citizen and a thinking being I believe that all life is the opposite of solitude, for life consists of a fabric of relations with others.