An exhibition of etchings by one of the most influential contributors to minimalism Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964) opens on Wednesday, October 1, at New York Universitys Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimó, 24 W. 12th Street. Giorgio Morandi: Etchings 1912-1956 runs through Wednesday, October 31. Gallery hours are weekdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For further information, call 212.998.3851. The exhibition is held in conjunction with a major retrospective of Morandis work, on view through December 14, 2008, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and an exhibition entitled Giorgio Morandi: Watercolors and Drawing 1920-1963 at the Italian Cultural Institute in New York.
Morandi has, throughout work in various media, drawn a paradox between simple form and non-specific abstraction. By turning his attention to apparently neutral, repeated themes - still lifes of familiar domestic objects, views from his apartment on Bolognas Via Fondazza, scenes of the Emilia-Romagna countryside - Morandi freed himself of having to conceive of each picture as a new, unprecedented, narrative event. Instead, he could consider the essential, abstract issues of picturemaking itself. The eloquence he could extract from nuance, the variety he could extract from alterations in scale, and the poetry he could find in minute changes are most apparent when we can compare groups of his works.
In this exhibit, the breadth of Morandis inventiveness becomes salient through the space between the objects, and through cool geometry and grey tonalities. His landscapes are intensely evocative of place, season, and even time of day. The austere gives way to the seductive.
Giorgio Morandi: Etchings 1912-1956 is supported by Isabella Del Frate Rayburn. A catalogue, Giorgio Morandi (Charta, 2008), will be available at the exhibition, or upon request by the press.