Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Have seen the Georgio Morandi exhibition at the BOZAR in Brussels twice in the last few weeks and continue to be fascinated with his muted chromatic greys made from complementary colours, carefully calibrated and nuanced tonalities and subtle warm and cool modulations in a very understated palette. The quietness of these paintings draws you into them in a meditative, contemplative way.

The paintings are remarkable not only for the unassuming, ordinary, modest subjects but for how much is actually excluded from the frame and edited out. The bottles and vases are both familiar recurring motifs and mysterious ciphers. He explores and articulates a series of relationships between them and gently plays with the formal elements of the still-life tradition, light and colour, form and space, positive and negative shapes in both a rigourous yet nonchalant way, comfortable within the confines of the genre like a classical architect innovating with but never abandoning The Orders. This highly conservative artist made still-lives that are more explicitly 'modern' in the series of paintings of 'geometrically'  composed boxes and bottles that are both flat and spatial at the same time and have rhythms and repetitions that are almost musical.

Giorgio Morandi, “Still Life of Vases on a Table,” 1931, etching 

Looking forward to the exhibitions of  Zurbaran and Micheal Borremans coming to the BOZAR in January and February 2014. Both of these artists use a range of warm and cool greys, browns and creams that resonate strongly for me.

The film below with English subtitles gives a great insight into Borremans' work

Michaël Borremans: A Knife in the Eye [english subs]


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