Official website of the Foundation Juan March
Exposición Madrid

Giorgio Morandi: Three watercolors and twelve etchings

June 1 – July 18, 2010

Tres acuarelas y doce aguafuertes

Over the last year, the Fundación’s exhibition galleries have been remodeled and upgraded. A new independent room is now intended to accommodate select shows of small format works. A display of three watercolors and twelve etchings by Giorgio Morandi (Bologna, 1890-1964) has been chosen to open the new gallery space. The works consist of still lifes dating from 1927 to 1962.

Giorgio Morandi (Bologna, 1890-1964) began his studies in art at the Accademia di Belle Arti de Bolonia at the age of seventeen. In 1910, he travelled to Venice, Florence and Arezzo, where he saw firsthand the masterpieces of several Italian Renaissance artists, such as Giotto, Masaccio, Paolo Uccello, and Piero della Francesca. Oddly enough, he never visited France—the center of art at the time. Due to Morandi’s reserved and pensive character, neither his lifestyle nor his art adopted the trends prevalent in the twentieth century.

Although Morandi did not gain popularity during his lifetime, several artists have referred to him a source of inspiration. He thought highly of craftwork and favored discipline and humility over the work itself. His paintings and graphic work focus on three subjects: landscape, still lifes, and portraits. Morandi’s output does not fall into one category. From 1918 onwards, his work followed the lines of De Chirico, Carrá, and the magazine Valori Plastici and can thereby be described as metaphysical. In 1920, he diverged from metaphysical art and pursued landscape and still life painting, in which the influence of Cézanne is clearly felt. During this period, Morandi immersed himself in the study of engraving, a technique he would come to master.

Giorgio Morandi: Three Watercolors and Twelve Etchings showcases a small yet representative selection of Morandi’s work on paper: twelve etchings and three delicate watercolors, dating from 1927 to 1962. As noted by Julián Gállego in his day, these still lifes are "like small villages inviting us to come in."

The twelve etchings have been hung in what is referred to as the "Gluck frame," designed by Hannah Gluckstein (London, 1895 - Steyning, 1978)