Μy success will always be less than my failure | Alberto Giacometti, 1901-1966

Alberto Giacometti, Small self-portrait, 1921                      Alberto Giacometti, Bust of Annette VIII, 1962


"It is impossible to do a thing the way I see it because the closer I get the more differently I see."

"The human face is as strange to me as a countenance, which, the more one looks at it, 
the more it closes itself off and escapes by the steps of unknown stairways."

"The object of art is not to reproduce reality, but to create a reality of the same intensity."

"Artistically I am still a child with a whole life ahead of me to discover and create. 
I want something, but I won't know what it is until I succeed in doing it."

"The one thing that fills me with enthusiasm is to try, despite everything, 
to get nearer to those visions that seem so hard to express."


Alberto Giacometti, The Palace at 4 a.m., 1932


"When I see a head from a great distance, it ceases to be a sphere
 and becomes an extreme confusion falling down into the abyss."

"The head is what matters. The rest of the body plays the part of 
antennae making life possible for people and life itself is inside the skull."

"At first, one sees the person who is modelling; but little by little, all of the 
possible sculptures that could be made come between artist and model."

"The more I work, the more I see things differently, that is, everything gains 
in grandeur every day, becomes more and more unknown, more and more 
beautiful. The closer I come, the grander it is, the more remote it is."

"That's the terrible thing: the more one works on a picture, 
the more impossible it becomes to finish it."  


Alberto Giacometti, 1927


"All the art of the past rises up before me, the art of all ages and all civilizations, 
everything becomes simultaneous, as if space had replaced time. Memories of 
works of art blend with affective memories, with my work, with my whole life."

"In every work of art the subject is primordial, whether the artist knows it or not. 
The measure of the formal qualities is only a sign of the measure of the artist's 
obsession with his subject; the form is always in proportion to the obsession."

"All the sculptures of today, like those of the past, will end one day in pieces... 
So it is important to fashion ones work carefully in its smallest recess and 
charge every particle of matter with life."

"Taste for things of the past evolves, doesn't it? What was a 
masterpiece a hundred years ago is no longer so today."


Alberto Giacometti, The Invisible Object (Hands Holding the Void) 1935                                                                                       Alberto Giacometti, Suspended Ball, 1931


"I paint and sculpt to get a grip on reality... to protect myself."

"When I make my drawings... the path traced by my pencil on the sheet of paper is, 
to some extent, analogous to the gesture of a man groping his way in the darkness."

"If we master a bit of drawing, everything else is possible."

"I've tried doing so, for it was never my intention to paint only with gray. But in the course of my 
work I have eliminated one color after another, and what has remained is gray, gray, gray!"

"Only reality interests me now and I know I could 
spend the rest of my life in copying a chair."


Alexander Liberman, Alberto and Annette Giacometti, 1950


"Art is the residue of vision."

"When you look at art made by other people, you see what you need to see in it."

"I've been fifty thousand times to the Louvre. I have copied everything in drawing, trying to understand."

"It was always disappointing to see that what I could really master in terms of form boiled down to so little."

"In a burning building I would save a cat before a Rembrandt."

"When one lives with problems of importance, the prostitute is ideal. 
You pay, and whether or not you fail is of no importance. She doesn't care."


Alberto Giacometti, Surrealist Table, 1933                                  Alberto Giacometti, Throat Cut, 1930-33


"All I can do will only ever be a faint image of what I see and my success 
will always be less than my failure or perhaps equal to the failure."

"I don't know if I work in order to do something, or in order to know why I can't do what I want to do."

"What I am looking for is not happiness. I work solely because it is impossible for me to do anything else."

"The form is always the measure of the obsession."

"In the past I have never thought about loneliness when working, and I don't think about it now. 
Yet there must be a reason for the fact that so many people talk about it."

"The older I grow, the more I find myself alone."


Alberto Giacometti modeling a bust, 1965


"Once the object has been constructed, I have a tendency to discover in it, 
transformed and displaced, images, impressions, facts which have deeply moved me."

"If only someone else could paint what I see, it would be 
marvellous, because then I wouldn't have to paint at all."

"Failure is my best friend. If I succeeded, it would be like dying. Maybe worse."

"The more you fail, the more you succeed. It is only when everything is lost and - instead of 
giving up - you go on, that you experience the momentary prospect of some slight progress. 
Suddenly you have the feeling - be it an illusion or not - that something new has opened up."


Man Ray, Woman Holding Giacometti's Disagreeable Object, 1931-32              Ottilia, Bruno, Alberto and Diego, Stampa, 1910  


"If the glass there in front of me astounds me more than all the glasses I've seen in painting, and if I even think 
that the greatest architectural wonder of the world couldn't affect me more than this glass, it's really not worth 
while going to the Indies to see some temple or other when I have as much and more right in front of me."

"I don't know who I am or who I was. I know it less than ever. I do and I don't identify myself with myself. 
Everything is totally contradictory, but maybe I have remained exactly as I was as a small boy of twelve."


 Alberto Giacometti, 1901-1966


Alberto Giacometti, Hands Holding a Void, 1935                                            Alberto Giacometti, Skeleton in a Cage and Seahorse, 1933
Alberto Giacometti, Seated Nude, 1961
Alberto Giacometti, Letter to Pierre Matisse, 1947 
Alberto Giacometti, Composition I , 1935                                  Alberto Giacometti, The Cage, 1930-31
Alberto Giacometti, The Palace at 4 a.m, 1932
Alberto Giacometti modeling a bust 1965
Gordon Parks, Alberto Giacometti, 1951
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Annette and Alberto Giacometti, Paris, c. 1946
Herbert Matter, Alberto Giacometti's studio                                              Ernst Scheidegger, Annette Giacometti and Friend, c 1950 
Herbert Matter, Alberto Giacometti  
Alberto Giacometti and Samuel Beckett looking at tree sculpture for Waiting for Godot  
Alexander Liberman, Alberto, Diego and Annette Giacometti, 1950s
 Annette and Alberto Giacometti, 1951                                        Sabine Weiss, Annette and Alberto Giacometti, 1954

Annette Arm (1923–1993) was born in Pregny, near Geneva. After taking a secretarial course, she worked at the Red Cross 
during the Second World War. This was when she met Alberto Giacometti — a refugee in Switzerland since January 1942 
- in a brasserie. In July 1946, she joined him in Paris, and they were married in 1949. Up until Alberto’s death in 1966, 
Annette was his main female model.

Annette posing  as a model for Alberto Giacometti, Paris, 1962
Jacques-André Boiffard, Alberto Giacometti, 1931
Cuno Amiet, Portrait of Alberto Giacometti, 1910   Giovanni Giacometti, The painter (Alberto Giacometti), 1921   
Henri Cartier Bresson, Alberto Giacometti, 1961                                     Annette and Alberto Giacometti
H.C. Bresson, Giacometti on the way to his Studio, Stampa, 1961   Alberto with his sister Ottilia Giacometti, 1923
Yannis Tsarouchis and Alberto Giacometti in Milan, 1961
Henri Cartier-Bresson, Alberto Giacometti, Rue d'Alésia, Paris, 1961


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