Diego Giacometti 1902-1985
Born in 1902 in Borgonovo, Switzerland, just 19 months after his brother Alberto, Diego Giacometti is known for his artistic and recognizably styled bronze furniture as well as his frequent incorporation of animals in his designs.
In 1925, after studying business in Basel, Diego left Switzerland to join his brother in Paris where he was studying sculpture with Antoine Bourdelle. After moving to Paris, Diego shared a studio with Alberto on rue Hippolyte-Maindron where they worked together until the ends of their lives. They worked very closely throughout their lives and their early work is almost indistinguishable.
Their first earned commissions in Paris were for the interior designer Jean-Michel Frank between 1929 and 1940. Frank’s clients included society elite such as Mary and Nelson Rockefeller and Elsa Schiaparelli, which gave the Giacometti’s a productive and visible outlet for their talents.
Although Diego began accepting personal commissions in 1938 with the design of the wall and ceiling lights for Guerlain's new office on the Champs-Elysées, it was not until after the Second World War that the brothers’ work began to diverge and Diego began designing furniture and decorative art in earnest. His style solidified into the recognizable functional and strong structural elements of sinewy bronze paired with depictions of flora and fauna inspired from his youth in the rural Swiss Alps.
After Alberto’s death in 1965 Diego continued to develop and hone his artistic skills and further refine his style. Diego was soon working on commissions for the furniture and fixtures for large public buildings including the Fondation Maeght in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, the musée Chagall in Nice and the musée Picasso in Paris. Diego continued to work on his furniture and sculptures until his death in 1985.