Period & Style


Museum Practice

Giorgio Morandi approached painting with the concentration of a Zen master. Working in the small apartment he shared with his mother and three sisters in Bologna, Morandi's carefully chosen collection of bottles, bowls, and jars served as his muse. He altered these objects by painting their exteriors, erasing their labels and reflections to expose their shape and volume, painstingly creating still-life arrangements. Quietly mesmerizing and mysterious, Morandi's paintings hover between physical and spiritual, traditional and modern.

Morandi: Master of Modern Still Life features 60 works of art drawn primarily from collections in Italy, with key additions from collections in the U.S. The exhibition tells the story of an artist finding his voice: from early explorations of cubism, futurism, and metaphysical painting rarely found in American museums, to a stunning representation of mature work. It also includes landscapes, a rare self-portrait, and a selection of etchings on paper that reveal his exceptional mastery of the medium.

The exhibition is the first retrospective of Morandi's work in Washington in half a century, since the Phillips became the first American museum to present his work. Morandi: Master of Modern Still Life is organized by MART, Rovereto, Italy, in collaboration with The Phillips Collection.

Proudly sponsored by Lockheed Martin. The exhibition is generously supported by Fenner and Ina Milton. © The Phillips Collection, 2009


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