Giorgio Morandi: Lines of Poetry – Estorick Collection

Giorgio Morandi: Lines of Poetry at the Estorick Collection (April 2013)

Where to start?

Over the last few days, I made a list of everything I wanted to share with you all. Everything. And it’s overwhelming (in a good way).

But yes, where to start… I could go for the oldest and work my way to the present. Or I could start with the newest stories and work my way back. I could try to do it by theme. Or I could just… oh I don’t know.

What I do know is that suddenly, in the middle of my inner debates, my visit to the Estorick Collection back in March popped up. I don’t know why… but I am grateful for this because it gives me a starting point.

I remember the day being cold but sunny. I think we’d left it late but we were determined to go and see Giorgio Morandi: Lines of Poetry. There is an excellent review of the exhibition here but to be honest, we would have gone without the good reviews. We’re Morandi fans.

The works on display were mostly landscapes but there were a fair few still life paintings as well, pieces I tend to associate with Morandi and these are the ones that tend to hold my attention. It’s the shapes, the colours. Well, generally the colours.

I found it fascinating that someone can devote their life to getting one thing right. Morandi specialised in still life, with familiar objects. It’s often the same objects but a slightly different composition. He also painted landscapes of Bologna. He kept himself to himself. I imagine him to be a shy old thing with an eye for beauty. His colour palette is stunning. Muted pastels. An interior designer’s dream. My dream.

In Lines of Poetry, most of the works were black and white. Like Still Life with Five Objects (1956) or Large Still Life with Eleven Objects in a Tondo (1942). And they captivated me.

There was one piece from Mario Sironi, Urban Landscape (c. 1924), that I really liked. It’s an urban scene hinting at industrialisation. I can’t quite put it into words but there is so much being said in that painting, and yet, there’s little to it – a few buildings, a locomotive. I can’t exactly remember why it was there. Looking at it now, it seems that Sironi uses a similar colour palette to Morandi. Don’t know.

Anyway, it just goes to show that it’s not always the big blockbusters that are worth visiting.

 

 

 

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I'm an inquisitive being. Everything is an adventure: art, architecture, colours, food, patterns, people... and travel! And I love elephants. That's what I mostly write about.
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