ROBILANT + VOENA, First Floor, 38 Dover Street, London W1S 4NL
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday, 10am – 6pm
ROBILANT + VOENA are pleased to announce an exhibition of GIORGIO MORANDI Still lifes, curated in
partnership with Galleria D’Arte Maggiore G.A.M., Bologna, opening 12 October through 29 November.
Featuring 14 paintings, 3 watercolours and 2 drawings, this will be a focused study on Giorgio Morandi’s key
subject matter of the still life in its various incarnations. Shells, bottles, jugs, bowls, boxes and flowers are
examined through the eyes of one of the most important Italian modern painters, whose work has inspired
increasing critical and popular acclaim. This will be the first significant exhibition on the artist in London since
the 2001 Tate Modern survey which contributed so vitally to his international prestige. Accompanied by a fully
illustrated catalogue, with an introduction by Francesco Poli, this exhibition will present a unique opportunity
to come close to masterworks by this influential ‘artist’s artist’, several of which are previously unseen works
from private international collections.
The exhibition focuses on key works from the 1940s through the 1960s, revealing the quintessential Morandi
signature: quiet, subtle and solitary; where a pared down palette and brevity of subject succeed in presenting
to the viewer multiple possible readings. Four works from the early 1940s reveal Morandi’s rather dark frame
of mind during the inter-war years: two works representing sea shells from 1943 are particularly powerful in
creating an especially sombre mood. This reflects the traumatic effects that the Second World War had on
Morandi (he was jailed by the fascists that same year for anti-fascist involvement), who immersed himself in art
almost as if in therapy during that time.
By contrast, post-war we see Morandi brightening the palette. Works from 1947 through 1956 appear almost
joyous in the clarity and warmth of the colours and the more extensive range of subjects represented. An
important 1947/48 work (Vitali 586, above left) features an elaborate composition of seven vessels, whereas in
another 1948 work (Vitali 609) we see a rare and wonderful cake stand. On the other hand, a 1954 Natura
Morta (Vitali 898, above right) depicting eight vessels – bowls, boxes and vases, displays Morandi’s almost
sculptural mastery of the painted composition where the spaces around the objects appear as important as the
relationships between them.
Post 1959, we see Morandi’s gradual simplification of subject-matter, colour and line. In four works on paper
and one painting executed between 1959 and 1963 (a year before the artist’s death) we witness the bare
bones of Morandi’s art stripped to essentials. We see exactly why Giorgio Morandi (1890 – 1964) has become
a unique example of how a figurative painter could be one of the greatest proponents of abstraction, or as
Francesco Poli puts it ‘a forerunner for a minimalist conception of painting’.
For more information and images please contact Mira Dimitrova via [email protected] or 0207 409 1540