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Between and Mortarboard


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Still Life

Accession Number
2000/2.196

Title
Still Life

Artist(s)
Giorgio Morandi

Object Creation Date
1958

Medium & Support
graphite on wove paper

Dimensions
6 9/16 in. x 9 7/16 in. ( 16.6 cm x 23.9 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Herbert Barrows

Label copy
Unlike many other European artists, Giorgio Morandi did not travel to Paris until 1956 at 66 years of age. Instead, he was educated and worked fairly exclusively in his home town of Bologna, Italy. By 1920, at the age of 30, Morandi had determined the themes that would occupy the remainder of his career: still lifes and landscapes. He deliberately limited his investigative territory and began an almost obsessive exploration of perception, realizing that there was no single way of making a picture and testing the limits of representation. Called by artist Giorgio de Chirico "a metaphysical painter of the common object," Morandi would arrange and rearrange familiar domestic objects such as jugs, vases, bowls, and bottles. Like artist Jean Baptiste Chardin, he celebrated the ordinary and humble forms, without sentimentality but with an intense attention to their individual formal characteristics. Morandi was especially fascinated with the character of modeling, which he did in broad, uninflected passages. This often served to flatten the depicted three-dimensional objects into two-dimensional patterns.
Sean M. Ulmer, University Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, for "A Matter of Degree: Abstraction in Twentieth-Century Art," November 10, 2001 - January 27, 2002

Primary Object Classification
Drawing

Rights
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Keywords
abstraction
sketches
still lifes

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