Alberto Giacometti

Alberto Giacometti
 

Alberto Giacometti standing in the doorway
of his brother Diego’s atelier, Paris c.1950


 

Ernst Scheidegger, who died at the age of 92 in February 2016, was a photographer, journalist, publisher and filmmaker particularly famous for documenting the life and career of sculptor Alberto Giacometti, a friend since the early 1940s. Scheidegger recorded the life of Giacometti, both in and out of the studio, in photographs and made a significant film about him in 1962. Over the years, Scheidegger’s photographs of Giacometti have been exhibited in a great variety of institutions in cities including Zurich, Frankfurt, Venice and Aix-en-Provence. Scheidegger studied at the Art School in Zurich in 1939 before becoming a window-dresser at a department stores in the city. In the late 1940s, back at the Art School, he took a course in photography and worked as an assistant to Max Bill. He collaborated with two major institutions during the 1950s, documenting artists such as Joan Miro and Hans Arp for the Galerie Maeght and working as a freelance photo-journalist for the Magnum agency. He travelled internationally and his journalism featured in print around the world, including in magazines such as Life and Paris Match. Around this time, he was also responsible for the first books to be published on the works of Miro, Arp, Giacometti and Marino Marini, as part of the Horizont series. Scheidegger launched his own publishing house in Zurich and later opened his own art gallery. He continued to practice his own photography and work closely with artists. In 2001, he was made an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Later that year, to mark the centenary of Giacometti’s birth, the Alberto Giacometti by Ernst Scheidegger portfolio was published as part of a jubilee exhibition presented in the Kunsthaus Zurich and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

 
 
Alberto Giacometti
 

Left: Alberto Giacometti at work in his atelier ( II ), Paris c.1950
Right: Early structure of Giacometti’s “L’homme qui chavire” in his atelier, Paris c. 1955