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Alberto Giacometti & Samuel Beckett

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Type of connection
icon of a paperclipFriendship
‘Giacometti dead,’ wrote novelist, playwright Samuel Beckett in January 1966, ‘Yes, take me off to the Père Lachaise jumping all the red lights’. Alberto Giacometti’s premature death from heart disease provoked feelings of deep loss in the Irish writer. The precise moment of Giacometti and Beckett’s original meeting remains uncertain, but it is likely the two were introduced by mutual artistic acquaintances in Paris in the late autumn of 1937.

Their friendship however was not immediate. Beckett was prone to long, sometimes awkward, silences. Whereas Giacometti was notoriously extroverted and talkative. Their bond developed gradually, as a result of their shared artistic concerns and preoccupations.

Interestingly, the period in which they maintained the most frequent contact, spanning loosely from 1945 - 1960, is also the time in which both artists produced many of their most celebrated works.

Describing Giacometti’s approach to his work during this period, Beckett stated: "He was not obsessed but possessed I suggested that it might be more fruitful to concentrate on the problem itself rather than struggle constantly to achieve a solution But Giacometti was determined to continue with his struggle, trying to progress even if it was only by so much as an inch, or a centimetre, or a millimetre." (Source: Tate.org.uk)

Tags: paris, friendship - Add tags.

Giacometti and Samuel Beckett in Giacometti’s studio 1961
Giacometti and Samuel Beckett in Giacometti’s studio 1961