Giorgio Morandi: Lines of Poetry
- Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art |
- 16 January – 28 April 2013
- 50% off with National Art Pass.
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Some 80 rarely seen watercolours, drawings and etchings have been gathered together for this overview of Morandi's subtle and elusive art – one of the largest surveys of his graphic art staged outside Italy.
Giorgio Morandi (1890–1964) may be a master of understatement, but he is one of the stars of the Estorick Collection. He is best known for his quietly poetic still lifes, small in scale and unassuming, which represent everyday objects such as jugs, bottles and drinking vessels. There are plenty of them here, as well as landscapes and flowers.
Monochrome prints and drawings are on show with the watercolours, so viewers have a chance to compare the way that Morandi worked in the different media, but simplicity and minimalism always prevail, creating a strange beauty that encourages a fresh look at what is familiar. In the final room is a series of fascinating doctored photographs of Comune di Grizzana Morandi, where the artist lived.
The late watercolours at the end of the show are major attractions. In Still Life (1960) – a late, very minimal still life verging on abstraction – objects are merely hinted at with delicate dabs of watercolour.
What the critics say
His painting is made of subtle shifts and inflections, which melt the outlines of things and make the fall of light and shade seem almost palpable
Why was Morandi so obsessed with everyday bric-a-brac? And how did he manage to make it so magical and mysterious?