“One can travel this world and see nothing. To achieve understanding it is necessary not to see many things, but to look hard at what you do see.” Giorgio Morandi.
Galerie Karsten Greve, in Paris, presents a museum-quality exhibition of delicate works by the Italian artist Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964), including 38 still-lifes and 15 landscapes in the artist’s landmark earthy, yellow, grey and pastel tones. The exhibition runs until 7 October 2017 and features paintings, drawings, watercolours, and engravings which range from 1927 to 1963. Most of them are on loan from major private collections and deal with themes of silence, melancholia and contemplation. Assembling so many works by an artist who painted so little remains a feat.
Morandi was a solitary figure, working on his own in his Bologna studio most of his life. His art, partly inspired by Paul Cézanne and Lawrence Carroll, focused on depicting his immediate surroundings. His inspiration came from the views from his window and the crystalline bottles, simple vases, and sad cardboard boxes dotted around his space. On canvas, the items took a different life and became disembodied entities, remaining the artist’s “models” throughout his life. Morandi was initially briefly attracted to the Futurists but then moved on to metaphysical painting in the late 1910s, drawn by attempts to embody space in concrete terms and by depicting precise shapes geometric form reaching a rare form of purity and beauty. This exhibition is not to be missed.