Jean Genet et Alberto Giacometti dans l’atelier, 1957
Photo Isaku Yanaihara
© Archives Fondation Giacometti

26 Jun 2020

The Giacometti-Genet friendship

: the ascetic and the rogue
Albert Dichy

The meeting between the two men remains a mystery. A priori, nothing brings the artist and the writer together: neither their art, nor their history, nor their temperament, nor their style. Yet, of all the writers he knew and frequented, Giacometti distinguishes Genet as an "exception". Of the sculptor, Genet declared that he was not only "the man he admired the most", but also "the only one". Between them, there was more than a friendship, a crossroads of artists. There are nine portraits of Genet in Giacometti's work, and Genet devoted a thin 40-page book, L'Atelier d'Alberto Giacometti, to his portrait painter, which Picasso would say is the most beautiful book dedicated to an artist. So what happened between them?


Albert Dichy - L'amitié Giacometti-Genet - L'ascète et le voyou from Fondation Giacometti on Vimeo.

Albert Dichy is the literary director of IMEC, whose creation and development he accompanied. A specialist in the work of Jean Genet, he has had his posthumous writings published by L'Arbalète and Gallimard. Co-director of the Théâtre complet of the author in the Bibliothèque de la Pléiade, he has notably published, with Pascal Fouché, Jean Genet, matricule 192.102 (Gallimard, 2010). Also editor of the work of the poet Georges Schehadé, in 2016 he is co-curator of the MuCEM exhibition Jean Genet, l'échappée belle with Emmanuelle Lambert.

Live: Friday, June 26 at 5 p.m.


To search for a work, consult the Alberto Giacometti Database