An Inspired Collaboration: Alberto Giacometti and Jean-Michel Frank
by| 23 Feb 2016
PARIS - Alberto Giacometti and Jean-Michel Frank met for the first time in 1928 – what followed was more than 15 years of artistic collaboration. About 70 models of lamps, vases, sconces, bowls, andirons, consoles and even chimneys were created by the artist for the decorator.
JEAN MICHEL FRANK SMOKING ROOM PARIS WITH OVALE BOWL BY ALBERTO GIACOMETTI © FRANÇOIS KOLLAR.
Frank was one of the first to discover the talent of the young Giacometti and quickly included the artist’s objects in his interior decoration. The two men shared a common idea: to get rid of the superfluous, and Giacometti in his work most certainly concentrated only on the essential. From Elsa Schiaparelli in Paris to Nelson Rockefeller in New York and Jorge Born in Buenos Aires, all of Frank’s clients went on to acquire Alberto Giacometti pieces.
The two men were also great friends, and often met to discuss either alone or to exchange ideas with the likes of Paul Rodocanachi, Salvador Dalí, Christian Bérard, Emilio Terry, Louis Argon and Marie-Laure de Noailles.
ALBERTO GIACOMETTI, "OVALE" BOWL. OFFERED IN THE UPCOMING DESIGN SALE IN PARIS ON 24 MAY.
Following Frank’s death, Giacometti continued to produce decorative art and objects, which he considered to be as important as his sculptures. With his brother Diego, distribution was entrusted to Jacques Adnet and Pierre Matisse before the brothers finally took care of it themselves, answering the growing demand from collectors and friends.
MALITTE MATTA, ANDRÉ BRETON AND ROBERTO MATTA, PARIS – 1966 © ADAGP, PARIS, 2012.
The “Ovale” patinated white plaster bowl that will be offered in Paris this May was created in 1934. No plaster pieces were made after Giacometti’s death in 1966 and this example was given by the artist to Roberto Matta and his wife Malitte as a wedding present in 1954 in Paris. A sign of their friendship, this bowl has been until now preserved in its original collection.