Sunday, January 3, 2010
MONOCHROME MONDAY - THINKING ABOUT A PAINTER, GEORGIO MORANDI
These collected apothecary jars remind me of the work of Georgio Morandi (1890-1964), the Italian minimalist, whose paintings were seen last year, in October, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Morandi concentrated on Still Lifes and Landscapes, though the exhibit was heavily weighted towards his depiction, over and over again, of a banal collection of bottles and vases. Chosen for their simplicity of form, he increasingly focused on subtle graduations of hue and tone, repositioning the same group. He did this for most of his reclusive life. Often it was difficult to tell the shape of the bottle as it became a part of the background, or a part of its neighbor.
Although my studio set-ups are inspired by Morandi's set-ups, I could not follow his ruthless preference for stripping the jars to a state of flatness and dullness, destroying reflections and attractive characteristics that, as far as he was concerned, interrupted his quest for minimal abstraction!
Thus, I began minimally, using the digital tools at hand, manipulating the shapes of a few photographed jars. Gradually, I found the desire to add, not reduce, the character of shadow and light. Yes, I too could spend a life-time organizing and reorganizing the jars to reveal new and subtle variations!
Probably, by the end of my life, I could LET GO of the razzle-dazzle that crept back into my Still Lifes and declare myself ready to go the way of Morandi, whose style was said to have been established by the time he was thirty! LOL! (And Hiroshige, I believe, in his 90s, declared he had just begun to know how to draw)
P.S. Two kindly followers have commented in their posts today that may be of interest to the curious.
1) The first is from my long time friend, Rinklyrimes, in her pithy post entitled: One Thing Leads to Another, and
2) Geraldgee, who has posted a delightful slide show - an overview of Morandi's work, just 2.39 minutes long.
Many thanks to you both for opening up the discussion in such an interesting way!
For more MONOCHROME WEEKLY do visit Aileni's theme HERE
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