Great Painter: Giorgio Morandi

I’ve grown up studying Italian painter Giorgio Morandi because all of his paintings are subtle explorations of simple objects. He almost only painted still lives, save a few landscape paintings, and did so with sensitivity to tone, color, and composition. These objects are quite ordinary, but they take on a life of their own in the context of his paintings. What I remember being most significant about his work was the lack of any hard line to be found; all his edges are soft. He was concerned with value, not drawing, and let things like exact proportions fall by the wayside in favor of achieving a harmonious balance between the subjects in his still lives. Simply put: his paintings are quiet, peaceful, restrained, and beautiful. “What interests me most is expressing what’s in nature, in the visible world, that is”; he also said, “Nothing is more abstract than reality”.

Images via The Met, Paint Tube, and NYTimes


About Cate

Cate is a former decorating editor of a shelter magazine based in Manhattan, who has recently moved from the Big Apple to Charlottesville with husband and baby. An interior design enthusiast, she enjoys all things aesthetic.
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4 Responses to Great Painter: Giorgio Morandi

  1. Stephanie says:

    At first I thought that said Giorgio Moroder and I got really excited haha.

  2. Margaret Kelley says:

    I like these.

  3. Ken says:

    Great post, thank you. I’d never heard of this guy until the New Yorker reviewed his show at the Met 3 years ago, and then I was really sorry I couldn’t get up there and see it. Having now just returned from a trip that included museums and galleries in New York and Boston, it’s a treat to find this new column. I hope Jacob Lawrence is on the schedule!

  4. Chiara says:

    Great post!
    I’m from Italy, and it’s always exciting to read such passionate thoughts about a painter that is maybe one of the greatest artist of 20th century but is dramatically underrated in his own country.
    I take this opportunity to refer you to a crowdfunding campaign for a documentary about Morandi that’s been launched by the independent film studio for which I work. We called the documentary “La polvere di Morandi” (literally “Morandi’s Dust”), and it is probably the first video project to explore Morandi’s secluded life and to reveal his unique personality through memories, anecdotes, and the emotions and recollections of those who knew him closely. We need to raise funds to complete the production and we’ve started a campaign on Indiegogo:
    I was wondering if maybe you could share this with your contacts, as we’re looking for help from Morandi’s “fans” all around the world 🙂 we also have a website on which you can find all kind of info, photos, videos etc.
    Sorry to have bothered you, and I hope you’ll write more about Morandi! 🙂

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