Posts Tagged ‘Metropolitan Museum of Art’

Giorgio Morandi at the Met

December 7, 2008

You have to love a painter who loves both Masaccio and Cezanne—the first introduced perspective to help launch the Italian Renaissance, and the second began the flattening that became a hallmark of Modernism. Morandi himself (in a major retrospective at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art through December 14th) may be a forerunner of Minimalism, but I prefer to think of him in the same serene eternity of clear, even light as his artistic forebears.

Everyone knows that Morandi painted small objects—bottles, boxes, bowls, pitchers, butter molds—endlessly rearranging and repainting them, often in series.  I loved his work early on, then thought I was bored by its sameness. In this show, I fell in love with his work all over again, happy to be seduced by its amazing variety and extraordinary subtlety. No one has better evoked the essential, mysterious thingness of things, even as his work became so abstract that his late watercolors were miniature color fields, compared by the Met’s wall text to Rothko. But then, Morandi himself pointed out that “Nothing is more abstract than reality.” Read on