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Giorgio Morandi at the Museum of Modern Art, Bologna

  • 22

    January 2009
  • 13

    April 2009
MAMbo, Bologna  

A great anthological exhibition dedicated to the artistic course of the great Italian painter



At the present time, Giorgio Morandi is gaining high visibility on the international cultural scene, with long-term events and projects. A highlight of these events is the anthological exhibition Giorgio Morandi 1890-1964, curated by Maria Cristina Bandera and Renato Miracco (from January 22 to April 13, 2009, at MAMbo - Museo d'Arte Moderna, Bologna), along with the upcoming restoration of the house in Bologna where the artist lived up until 1964. It will become a location for research.


The exhibition

The exhibition, one of the most complete ever dedicated to the Bologna-born painter, presents over a hundred works: a comprehensive group illustrating the artist's career and expressive development, from his artistic origins to metaphysics, and on to the evanescent style of his later years. All the techniques that he used are exemplified.


The selection performed by the curators includes works belonging to the Museo Morandi in Bologna, but also many pieces from the collections owned by scholars and the painter's friends. There are also a number of paintings purchased by collectors who met Morandi and immediately understood his talent. The show comprises masterpieces that now belong to American museums, and this makes the show a unique opportunity for those visiting this Italian event. Other pieces have been loaned by important Italian institutions and museums.


Morandi (Bologna, 1890-1964) made his debut as a painter when the avant-garde currents had reached the height of their development. Though he travelled very little (he made just three journeys abroad, to Switzerland, rather late in life), he was nonetheless a painter with considerable cultural knowledge. He had detailed and up-to-date knowledge on all the trends of modern European painting, by means of books and publications that were often sent to him directly by the most perspicacious critics. But he rarely discussed such matters. He was more interested in his work as a painter and as a professor of etching techniques at the Fine Arts Academy in Bologna. However, the works that he made at the start of his career reveal his personal relationship with international avant-garde currents. He painted some wholly Cubist works, developed a close relationship with the Futurist movement, and was perhaps the most subtle painter working in the Metaphysical style. Following the end of the avant-garde period and the progressive decline of the subversive approach typical of those styles, Morandi began to develop his own independent route as an artist, using various techniques - oil painting, etching, watercolour, drawing - and creating a language of refined simplification.


The elemental clarity of his compositions, along with the abstract transfiguration of his gaze, shaped his approach to reality, dissolving its outlines. In fact, he said, "There is nothing, or very little, that is new in this world. The important thing is the different and new way in which an artist finds himself considering and seeing things in the realm of so-called nature, and the works that preceded and interested him."



(picture: Giorgio Morandi, Still life, 1956)




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