Giacometti Portrait (Classic Reprint)by James Lord
1 Giacometti had gone to London on Tuesday. He was anxious to see the rooms at the Tate Gallery in which his retrospective exhibition is to be held in the summer. Although he likes London and has friends there, he always feels that he cannot spare much time from his work and consequently planned to be away only a few days, returning
Excerpt from Giacometti Portrait
1 Giacometti had gone to London on Tuesday. He was anxious to see the rooms at the Tate Gallery in which his retrospective exhibition is to be held in the summer. Although he likes London and has friends there, he always feels that he cannot spare much time from his work and consequently planned to be away only a few days, returning to Paris on Friday. We had agreed that as soon as he got back I would pose for him. His idea was to do merely a quick portrait sketch on canvas. It would take but an hour or two, an afternoon at most.
Saturday was the twelfth of September. I went to the studio about three o'clock. It would have been no surprise to discover that he hadn't returned yet. His plans are always subject to unexpected change. But I found him sitting in the room where the telephone is, staring at the floor. When I asked him how it had been in London, he said, "All right." Then he looked at me curiously for a minute and said, "Shall we work for a little while?"
We went down the open passageway to his studio. He began at once to work with the clay of a slender female figure about two feet tall which had been his constant preoccupation for the past weeks. Occasionally he would murmur, "Merde!" and from time to time he reached out and tweaked the clay of a smaller figure on the stand beside him.
"We'll work for a little while," he said, "just for a little while, because later I want to work on the bust of Diego."
Diego Giacometti is Alberto's brother, assistant, model, and closest friend. His studio is only about twenty-five feet back along the passageway from Alberto's, beyond the bedroom and the telephone room. There he not only makes plaster casts of his brother's sculptures and patinates the bronzes but also designs and builds in bronze some of the handsomest contemporary furniture. The bust to which Alberto referred, one of the scores he has done of his brother, was about eighteen inches high, modeled directly from life and very little distorted. It stood on the cluttered, dusty table just below the large studio window.
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Giacometti was a very unique individual - his attachment to the notion of true likeness being gained through a repetitive process of looking and drafting and re-drafting was very engaging to read about....good read if you're into this kind of thing.
This is most insightful book i have ever read concerning, art or an artist. Pure magic! I have yet to find any book that has been able to catch the ethos of an artist, or any person for that matter.