Synopses & Reviews
Giorgio Morandi's visual lexicon consisted of the most minimal of props--bottles, vases, pitchers, boxes--but from these humble forms he extrapolated a marvelous and decidedly modern metaphysics of objecthood and space. Morandi reinvented the still life for modern times, without ever having directly incorporated modern content into his pictures: -only we can know that a cup is a cup, that a tree is a tree, - he observed, concisely expressing the continued relevance of the still life in the twentieth century. Nothing could be clearer than a Morandi still life, with its mute tones of beige, grays and off-whites, and its glyphic quality of cluster surrounded by spaciousness, and yet few artists have achieved such a singular atmosphere of absolute enigma. In this respect, Morandi is of the school of Vermeer and Chardin, practicing a devotional art of tranquility and privacy---moods which I have always valued above all else, - as he once told an interviewer--finding whole new worlds in simple permutations of ordinary objects. This handsomely produced volume offers a detailed examination of Morandi's paintings, watercolors, drawings and etchings. Alongside the still lives, it presents his landscapes, floral compositions and his well-known self-portrait, as well as various works by contemporary artists for whom Morandi has been a crucial precursor.