Considered a forerunner to minimalism and inspiration to artists such as Wayne Thiebaud, the subtle, tonal still life paintings of Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964) are revered by many and are some of my personal favorites. Born in Bologna, Italy Morandi spent a quiet life living in a shared apartment with his three sisters and working in a modest studio. Fluctuating between painting and printmaking his subject matter remained simple, consisting of vases, bottles, bowls, flowers, and landscape.
“What interests me most is expressing what’s in nature, in the visible world, that is” -Morandi
Though his works are created from real life observations, his still life paintings border on geometric abstraction because of their simplification of forms. A prolific artist, Morandi, created 1,350 oil paintings and 133 etchings over his lifetime. His works can be found in major museum collections throughout the world and recently in 2009 Barack Obama selected two of Morandi’s paintings for the White House Collection. Here is a roundup of paintings from my favorite era of Morandi’s artistic career from the 1940’s through the 1950’s. The blurry softness of the brush strokes as well as the monochromatic palettes with pops of bright color exude an understated loveliness that I just can’t get over.
Still Life with Flask, 1953, Oil on canvas
Still Life,1957, Oil on canvas
Still Life, 1953, Oil on canvas
Still Life, 1958, Oil on canvas
Still Life (cups and boxes), 1951, Oil on canvas
Still Life, 1954, Oil on canvas
Still Life, 1956, Oil on Canvas
Still Life, 1957, Oil on canvas
Flowers, 1920, Oil on canvas
Still Life, 1952, Oil on canvas
Flowers, 1952, Oil on canvas
Still Life, Oil on canvas
Still Life, 1941, Oil on canvas