Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Morandi Marleau-Ponty

image: Phillips Collection

Despite certain honest criticisms I thought the Morandi show at the Phillips was generally focused on the Morandi we all know and love. There were etchings which are always engrossing. Even more magical, though, are the watercolors, which weren't represented this time. But primarily Morandi styled Morandi paintings abound. I always find surprises in Morandi, so I am not dissuaded by the similitude that seems to bother about half of the art viewing population. I think he is one of those barometric painters that tells you something elemental about a viewer based on their reaction. Patient viewers like his work. Smash and grab viewers tend not to. 

All said there are quite a few prevalent (at the time) philosophical arguments being made in his paint layers. When you see them, ask yourself about why the surfaces of the paintings and edges of the forms are so aflutter. Are you looking at a bottle, or looking at Looking at a bottle?

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