I was reading an interview of Giacometti by David Sylvester in a 2003 copy of Modern Painters. Two points that struck me are worth relaying. Firstly, to limit yourself in terms of subject. AG spoke of limiting oneself to a tablecloth on a table; staying in the same room , in front of the same table and paint nothing but that. He spoke about being astonished by a glass and in limiting himself to a single glass, he had a much better notion of all the other objects- ” In having a quarter of an inch of something, you have a better chance of holding onto a a certain feeling of the universe than if you had pretended to be doing the whole sky.”

The second point I enjoyed was his idea of success – “A successful painting, a failed painting, it’s all the same to me… The failed one interests me as much as the successful one.” AG felt it worthwhile to exhibit works that were not the best because if they hold up then the good ones are sure to!

Paul Aster, ‘Beyond Illusion’, Modern Painters, Summer 2003, 22-24.


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