Acquired from the artist by the present owner, 1984
PROPERTY OF A
In 1965, at the age of twenty, this collector first met Alberto Giacometti at the Café La Closerie des Lilas. "We discussed many things, including Chinese culture, a topic of mutual interest." The collector had recently visited China and acquired a strangely shaped sculpture which he decided to present to Giacometti. It was then that Alberto introduced him to his brother Diego. "However, due to our mutual shyness, I did not meet Diego again until three years later." It was Marguerite Maeght who took the collector to Diego's home on the Rue du Moulin Vert in Paris. "Thus I entered into his life and, above all, he into mine."
Having already acted as an independent curator and a cultural advisor, working with such great artists as Picasso and Chagall, the collector was no stranger to the artistic community. Yet of Diego he says, "How intimidated I was to meet this 'monstrès sacrès'! It took me three years after I was reacquainted with Diego to find the courage to acquire a work from him or to ask him to create works for my home." The two men's friendship grew as they spent Saturday afternoons taking walks, seeing Shakespearean plays and socializing with their mutual friends, the Massons and Vieira da Silva. "Our friendship was unique. I have never encountered the same simplicity and affection with others as I did with Diego."
Prior to 1966, many friends and collectors enjoyed the fruits of Diego Giacometti's labors by commissioning works and interior designs. But after the death of his brother, Alberto, these opportunities became less frequent, as the artist found it increasingly difficult to realize more elaborate and personalized creations. It was therefore an extraordinary gesture of friendship that, in 1982, Diego Giacometti designed household fittings and furniture, as sculptural objects and architectural features for his friend's new Parisian residence as well as for his country home.
"Touching memories of Diego's life and work remain fresh in my mind: when I, along with other friends attempted to reorganize his chaotic lifestyle, the joy we felt when he recovered from an accident, and when the long-anticipated comprehensive book about his work by Daniel Marchesseau was being prepared in conjunction with the 1986 exhibition at the Mushé des Arts Décoratifs in Paris (to which we all contributed). During his final illness we gathered unhappily at his side, and when he left us, we felt a strangely transcendent sense of peace."
Some of the works which are being offered in this collection were gifts from Diego Giacometti's personal holdings. These lots (294-337) represent the full range of the artist's talents, and their wit and charm will delight collectors around the world.
The Property of a
M. Butor, Diego Giacometti, Paris, 1985, p. 59 (another cast illustrated)
D. Marchesseau, Diego Giacometti, Paris, 1986, pp. 70-71 (other casts illustrated)
Paris, Parc des Expositions, Ob'Art, Feb., 1986, no number