Friday, October 3, 2008

Giorgio Morandi - For the Love of Ordinary

If you've seen drawings from my series "Things" you won't be surprised to know that I treasure the work of Giorgio Morandi, the subject of a major exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum in New York (through December 14.) Morandi (1890-1964) was a very modest Italian artist who lived quietly in the Bologna apartment he shared with his sisters and almost never went anywhere. He painted bottles - that's it, bottles. Occasionally he added a pitcher or a jar, but mostly it was bottles. Not only that, his palette scarcely made it out of the neutral beige - brown-grey range; the work is the essence of subtle. His paint on the canvas is soft and juicy; it is his one concession to sensuality, but it is a good one and works beautifully. There is something about a Morandi painting that gets under your skin, something you can't explain in long words and high-sounding art talk. His work is the best argument I know for valuing the everyday, and for coming to the understanding that it isn't the subject that makes a great work of art, but the ability of the artist to connect to something deeply human. Don't try to make those bottles into anything they aren't - they're just bottles, but that's enough. Find more information about the Met Exhibit at


Karen Murphy said...

They're so serene.

Unknown said...

Whoa, great artist. Having this up on your blog really does explain in depth your love of ordinary objects. This is instructive in a variety of ways: about Morandi, about your art, about the importance of subtly in art. Thanks!!