Alberto Giacometti et Samuel Beckett dans l'atelier dit "du téléphone", rue Hippolyte-Maindron, Photo Georges PIERRE, 1961 © Corbis, Sucession Alberto Giacometti

From 09 Jan To 08 Jun 2021

Alberto Giacometti / Samuel Beckett. Fail again. Fail better.

Paris, France
At the Institut Giacometti

Among the literary friendships of Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966), the one between him and Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) is not the best known, but it is one of the most lasting.
It goes back to 1937 and develops in the post-war period. The two artists liked to meet in the endless evenings in the cafés of Montparnasse, then to stroll around Paris at night. Their deep kinship brought their works closer together, and this was expressed in an exceptional collaboration: Giacometti's production of a set for a staging of En attendant Godot in 1961.

Curator: Hugo Daniel

The guided tour of the exhibition online

Log in from home and meet the Giacometti Institute mediation team to discover our new exhibition "Giacometti / Beckett. Fail again. Miss better. », Whose rooms and works were filmed! This half-hour interactive guided tour will introduce you to the long friendship between Alberto Giacometti and Samuel Beckett which dates back to 1937 and continued until the artist's death in 1966. This exhibition highlights the deep kinship between the two works, through a selection of sculptures, audiovisual works and unpublished archives. At the heart of the visit stands the tree created by Giacometti in 1961 for the decor of Waiting for Godot, testimony to the exceptional collaboration between the two artists.
Tuesday to Saturday, at 12:00 p.m.

The associated programming of this exhibition is supported by:


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For the first time, the Giacometti Institute presents the links that brought the artist and the writer together. The exhibition will address their long friendship, their collaborations, and the affinity between their works that crossed the trajectory of Existentialism. Alongside Giacometti's outstanding sculptures, such as The Cage (1950), Three Men Walking (1947), The Tree for Godot (1960), and often unpublished drawings, many of Beckett's texts, plays, stagings and films will be on display. The connection made between Giacometti's sculptures and drawings and Beckett's texts, audio and film pieces will allow us to tackle the major themes that bring them together: the importance of the creative process experienced between repetition and disappointment (the famous "better miss" from Cap au pire), their interest in a body that is both medium and constrained, the importance of scenography, the dislocation of body and speech, solitude, and a sense of the absurd.

About the exhibition 
We regularly share on the work of Giacometti and the pedagogical activities proposed by the Institute's mediation team. Another way to cultivate and discover the Beckett-Giacometti friendship from your own home! 

Beckett set to music by Pedro Garcia-Velasquez
Beckett set to music by Pedro Garcia-Velasquez
Will music have the last word? Will words succeed in cutting the music's whistle? From this confrontation, Samuel Beckett drew a radio play, Words and Music, which was to be performed from January 29 to 31, 2021 at the Athénée Théâtre Louis-Jouvet. Pedro García-Velásquez's music proposes a dialogue between his robots and Beckett's text read by Johan Leysen. With this sound performance, discover the exhibition "Giacometti / Beckett" in a different way!

Reading nights at the Giacometti Institute 
With this digital edition, the nights of reading are coming to your home on the weekend of January 23rd.
For the occasion, find the readings of Jean-Paul Sartre's La recherche de l'absolu by Wajdi Mouawad and Marcher jusqu'au soir by and by Lydie Salvayre alongside L'Homme qui marche.
Let yourself also be carried away by the sound of France Culture's podcasts with the reading of Giacometti's writings by Valérie Lang or the artist's reflections in his text Le Rêve, le Sphinx et la mort de T. read by Gérard Cherqui. Performances broadcast from Saturday 23rd January on our social networks and website.

Online performance by Lisa Dwan, A body of Beckett
Award-winning actress Lisa Dwan, who has won awards in theatre, film and television, is known for her performances in adaptations of the works of Samuel Beckett. Trained by Beckett's muse Billie Whitelaw, she is considered his artistic heiress.
With this online rendezvous, Lisa Dwan will present the role of dance in Beckett's work in an immersive performance. This conference, A Body of Beckett, is both an exploration of Beckett's work and her metaphysical interrogations. An online performance to be discovered only live on Zoom on February 13, 2020.

Denis Lavant reads Beckett at the Institut Giacometti
In partnership with the Théâtre de l'Athénée, actor Denis Lavant is the exceptional guest of the Giacometti Institute. Installed next to the set of Giacometti's performance of En attendant Godot, the actor and Beckett lover reads selected excerpts from the plays of Samuel Beckett.
Soon on our social networks.

Replay En attendant Godot from home
While waiting to visit the exhibition, discover our new Instagram filter!
Thanks to virtual reality, it allows you to easily install at home the room decor designed by Giacometti. Actresses, actors, amateurs or enthusiasts, don't hesitate to post and share your most beautiful interpretations of Beckett!
See the Instagram filter


Giacometti / Beckett - Rater encore. Rater mieux.

Éditions Fage, Lyon, Fondation Giacometti, Paris 2020
176 pages
Language: French/English
Format: 23,6 x 17 x 2 cm
Price: 28 €
ISBN: 978 2 84975 658 4

13 Jan 2021

Performance de Pedro Garcia Velasquez

La musique aura-t-elle le dernier mot ? Les mots réussiront-ils à couper le sifflet de la musique ? De cet affrontement, Samuel Beckett a tiré une pièce radiophonique, Words and Music, qui devait être jouée du 29 au 31 janvier 2021 à l'Athénée. La musique de Pedro García-Velásquez propose un dialogue entre ses robots et le texte de Beckett lu par Johan Leysen. Avec cette performance sonore, découvrez l’exposition « Giacometti / Beckett » autrement !

Read more
01 Feb 2021

Visite guidée en ligne de l'exposition.

Giacometti/Beckett. Rater encore. Rater mieux.

Connectez-vous depuis chez vous et retrouvez l’équipe de médiation de l’Institut Giacometti pour découvrir notre nouvelle exposition « Giacometti/Beckett. Rater encore. Ratier mieux. », dont les salles et les œuvres ont été filmées ! 
Du mardi au samedi, à 12h00


Read more
13 Feb 2021

The Body of Beckett

Online performance by Lisa Dawn

Samuel Beckett mis en musique par Pedro García-Velásquez à l'Institut Giacometti

Gerard BYRNE, Hugo DANIEL - About the tree

To search for a work, consult the Alberto Giacometti Database