An exhibition of the works produced after 1930 by Italian artist Giorgio Morandi is taking place at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris until January 6th 2002.
Apart from a short trip to Switzerland, Morandi never left his Bologna studio and spent a good deal of his career painting pots, boxes and bottles repeatedly.
Organisers of this exhibition have notably given a priority to these still lifes simply because of their main importance in his oeuvre.
At the start of his career Morandi was attracted by Futurism but after suffering a serious mental breakdown at the end of the First World War, he swerved towards a form of metaphysical painting.
He then produced portraits and went on to simplify his palette with these representations of bottles, jugs, pots and boxes. At first glance, these still lifes might seem tiring for the eye but Morandi managed to snatch more than simple forms in painting them.
It is true that the artist, who was almost living in solitary confinement, was a kind of maniac who explored all possible ways in painting in order to create what are now considered as masterpieces.
Despite their simple appearance and via their forms and milky-like colours, all the objects he painted imposed their incredible presence while their depiction miraculously made fantasy merge with reality. Here lies probably the reason for Morandi's tremendous success nowadays.
In fact, Morandi managed to combine two extremes, on the one side the simplicity of an object and on the other the complexity of its true meaning notwithstanding the fact that a bottle might after all house a Jinn able to fulfil anyone's wish. Morandi's was certainly to endow a bottle or a jug with a soul.
Painted at a certain distance his bottles were to him both slaves and rulers at the same time though he seemed at a loss about how to place them as if he had to produce a family portrait.