(Italy 20 Jul 1890 – 18 Jun 1964)
35.2 x 44.8 cm sight edge; 61.2 x 70.8 x 4.8 cm frame
‘Still life’ 1947 is the third painting by Giorgio Morandi to enter the Gallery’s collection. Painted earlier than our other two paintings (1949 and 1957), and one year before Morandi won the first prize for painting at the 1948 Venice Biennale, one of the major turning points in his career. Over the ten year span of these three still-lifes, Morandi remained perfectly consistent in his approach to painting. He was able to make an extraordinary virtue of his self-limitation. What some have construed as a poetics of silence and others as a pathology of withdrawal, Morandi’s contemporaries recognised as qualities of his uprightness and decency: he was one of the few Italian artists of his generation who resisted the taint of fascism. In addition, the narrow compass of Morandi’s art proved wonderfully conductive to concentrating the mind and heightening the senses.
‘Still life’ 1947 has all the hallmarks of classic Morandi paintings because of its quite radical and unrelenting opacity, frontality and symmetry. As a consequence of these qualities, viewers are made acutely conscious of the unity of the image, surface, shape and size of the canvas; they are confronted by the fleshiness of Morandi’s paint. Thus attuned, the altered pressure of Morandi’s touch, slight squirms and tremors in the drag of his brush, infinitesimal shifts in tone and colour are registered as events of exquisite artistry.
Crane Kalman Gallery (England), London/England, Purchased by the AGNSW from Crane Kalman Gallery 2007
Rezzonico Collection (Switzerland), Locarno/Switzerland, by 1988, lent to 'Progetto Morandi Europa, antologica' travelling exhibition and Kunstmuseum Winterthur 2000
Galleria Annunciata (Italy, active 1950s-1970s), Milan/Italy, stamp verso, no dates
Galleria d'Art Zanini (Italy, active 1960s-1970s?), Rome/Italy, stamp verso, no dates
Galleria d'Arte R. Rotta (Italy), Genoa/Italy, 1953, exhibited in 'Mostra d'Arte Contemporanea' cat.no.28
Galleria del Secolo (Italy, active 1940s), Rome/Italy, label verso, no dates
Galleria del Milione (Italy, estab. 1932, closed 1986?), Milan/Italy, stamp verso, no dates
Edmund Capon, Look, 'Our first Hockney... and our third Morandi', pg.12-15, Newtown, Dec 2007-Jan 2008, 15 (colour illus.).
Galleria Comunale d'Arte Moderna di Bologna, Progetto Morandi Europa, antologica, 1988, (illus.).
Galleria d'Arte R. Rotta, Mostra d'Arte Contemporanea, Genova, 1953. cat.no.28
Kunsthalle Tübingen, Giorgio Morandi, 1890-1964: Gemälde, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Radierungen, Cologne, 1989, (illus.). cat.no.40
Kunstmuseum Winterthur, Giorgio Morandi: Gemälde, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphik, Winterthur, 2000, (illus.). cat.no.13
Marlborough Monaco, Modern and contemporary Italian art, Monte-Carlo, 2002, 19 (illus.).
Studio d’arte Campaiola, Rome, Giorgio Morandi: nelle raccolte romane, Rome, 2003, 82-3 (illus.).
Lamberto Vitali, Morandi: catalogo generale, Milan, 1983, vol.1, (illus.). cat.no.567
Mostra d'Arte Contemporanea, Galleria d'Arte R. Rotta, Genoa, 01 Jul 1953–20 Jul 1953
Progetto Morandi Europa, antologica:
Giorgio Morandi, Kunstmuseum Winterthur, 01 Apr 2000–02 Jul 2000
Modern and contemporary Italian art, Marlborough Monaco, Monte-Carlo, 03 Oct 2002–30 Nov 2002
Giorgio Morand: nelle raccolte romane, Studio d’arte Campaiola, Rome, Rome, 27 Mar 2003–27 May 2003