Eleanor Ray examines the "temporary equilibrium" achieved in great painting. In particular Ray discusses this quality in the work of Philip Guston, Stanley Lewis, and Giorgio Morandi.
Morandi, she writes, "brings painting to the edge of representation, painting objects so simple that they are nearly reduced to shapes and lines, but never are. He locates the power of a line in the tension between its simplicity as a mark and its existence as something else — the space between two boxes or fingers. We can’t see a line or a shape in his still life as merely what it is because we can’t separate it from its participation in the painting’s representation. The language of painted notation disappears when you try to isolate it."
Lewis achieves an equilibrium, she notes, "between matter and imaginative experience, between a teeming surface and a spatial world. We can’t fix what we see into paint or image alone, or force it into schematic generality; it remains hidden in its particularity."
Reflecting on Barry Schwabsky's recent article of Giorgio Morandi (October 2013 ARTFORUM), Robert Linsley muses on Morandi and "abstraction as an 'ethics of the real.'"
He writes: "The ethics of art, abstraction above all, are found in the right attention to the work, and Morandi could certainly manage that. That human realities (meaning politics) are strongly present at the moment of most perfect attention to the work is a matter of faith, but usually hard to see. Schwabsky makes a convincing case that Morandi’s pictures are a demonstration of this exact truth. He suggests that the anxiety producing aspect of the work, in other words the pleasure it gives, is that it seems to exist at the point of greatest….tension? stress? conflict? communication? difference? transformation?…between individual subjectivity and collective life."
Laura Cumming previews the exhibition Morandi: Works on Paper at the Estorick Collection, London, on view from January 16 - April 7, 2013.
Cumming writes that Morandi "is not known for his lines. Rather the opposite: in the hazy world of his painted still lifes, everything appears muzzy and soft. The famous objects appearing on the miniature stage of his table – the bottles, bowls, decanters and jugs – do so in something as hazy as limelight. You would not expect to look deep into these masterpieces of 20th-century art and see a sharp edge, an outline or anything as concise as a dot... The lines build up in meshes and weaves, steady, patient and strikingly judicious. It's as if he daren't rush it – this is an etching after all, where one false mark can lead to endless problems. But going through the show, you see that Morandi's graphic gifts are so subtle he is able to get over the finest variations of atmosphere, tone and light just through infinitely small variations in the direction of the crosshatchings. It's like a slight change of breeze, shifting the mood and the weather."
Larry Groff posts trailers for a new film about Giorgio Morandi. La polvere di Morandi is directed by Mario Chemello, produced by Imago Orbis in association with the Museum of Modern Art of Bologna.
Morandi's Dust, which takes it's name from the artist's insistence that the bottles and jars he painted never be dusted, "focuses on the three most crucial locations of his art, to show us the secret places of his secluded life: his home-studio in via Fondazza (Bologna), recently restored and brought back to its original essence and finally open to the public; his monastic summer retreat on the hills of Grizzana (near Bologna) and ‘Museum‘ as an abstract space where his life becomes art."
Dobrzynski writes: "while strongly influence by Morandi, Hollan remains original. Hollan's colors are every bit as subtle, but somehow are also richer. Many of the works are still lifes that overflow the boundaries of the paper, edging into the abstract."
Larry Groff blogs images from a "a rare show in Alba, Italy of Giorgio Morandi's Landscapes where some 70 landscape paintings were shown." In addition to the landscape paintings, Groff also includes an interesting image of Morandi's view finder.
Larry Groff posts a video of Wayne Thiebaud discussing his work and the work of Morandi.
In addition to revealing the direct influence of a Morandi painting on an early painting of sandwiches, Thiebaud discusses a variety of topics including caricature: "If you take something like caricature for instance, which is very much a central aspect of all painting, then caricature represents a way in which, probably, stylistic variants can be determined. If you use caricature in terms of someone like Bonnard - or Morandi - they're caricaturizing their forms, and that makes them unique, gives them a new identity."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.