The two paintings by Giorgio Morandi shown here interest me because of what Steve called their ‘dissolving boundaries’. The first one was done in 1960:
Here is an excerpt showing the boundary between the left aspect of the vessel and its background:
Looking at this excerpt here on the web shows a clear boundary between the vessel and the background. However, in the museum, standing back from this painting and viewing it from some distance made the boundary disappear. The left aspect of the vessel melted into the background. It was a fun experiment going close to the painting and then moving away while observing the boundary disappear, giving the impression that the top of the vessel was vertically cut in half.
GM finished this second painting before his death in 1964:
Here is its excerpt showing the left aspect of the vessel against the background:
This excerpt of the 1964 painting indicates the similarity in color between the vessel and the background. Here the boundary can be sensed from different directions of the paint strokes. A fascinating method.
A comment on the color in Morandi’s paintings: The pictures shown here were scanned from the book currently sold at the Met ‘Giorgio Morandi 1890 – 1964’. After I bought the book, I compared the colors of its reproduction with the actual colors of the paintings while standing right in front of the paintings and I took notes. Regrettably, the colors in all the reproductions are consistently warmer than the beautifully cool colors in the paintings. GM painted cool yellows, reds, greys and not in the warmer, ‘candified’ hues shown in the reproductions. What a disservice to the GM’s legacy to falsify the colors in what may be become an important resource book. I attempted to reduce some of false warmth by desaturating yellow in my scanned photos.
What do I like in the two paintings shown here besides their ‘dissolving boundaries’? In the 1960 painting, the cool red is fascinating. There is a ‘vibration’ between the white vessel in front, the oval of the top of the red vessel and the cooler greyish vessel in the back. In GM’s last 1964 painting, the cool, feeble looking yellow of the vessel contrasts with the clear turquoise (clearer than apparent on the web pic) of the round shape in front. I had not seen this turquoise hue in any of his other paintings. – At death’s door, GM expressed something like ‘how very much he still wanted to realize his new ideas with painting’ – a touching thought.
In summary, during my first visit of the Morandi exhibition, I embraced two of his 1914 Natura Morta because of their clear lines. In contrast, during my second visit, I learned to very much appreciate the two Natura Morta shown here, painted about 50 years later.