“I sat at Giorgio Morandi’s table in the exact same place where he sat for more than 40 years. On his table the same slant of light glowed for me as it had for him. I watched it slowly bloom across his now empty, but tracery filled work surface for two days in the spring of 2015.
One by one, more than 260 objects that he had collected came into my hands. Dust covered and ordinary, they presented themselves as part of the mystery that Morandi left behind for us to try and understand. Many objects returned again and again to perform for him and take a fresh position within the chorus of voices arranged on his table. How is it that these everyday objects contained enough power to keep Morandi under their spell throughout his life?”
Joel Meyerowitz’s interest for Giorgio Morandi was born more than sixteen years ago and it was consolidated over time pushing the great American photographer to Bologna, to wrok within the home and studio that once was of the artist and has now become a museum. It is from this interest and the desire to bring the essence of Morandi’s objects that this exhibition is born. More than 700 shots to tell an original Giorgio Morandi through an in-depth and intimate look at its objects, real protagonists in his still lifes. About 270 objects including vases, shells, bottles of all sizes, painted over, filled with raw pigments, colored bottles or plain ones, silk flowers, jugs, boxes, tin cans, funnels, and more that parade individually in the shots of Meyerowitz. Photographs that reveal the expressive power of the individual objects Morandi portrayed, so that the individual object in space reveals all its corporeality. As the essayist Maggie Barrett affirms, “entering the studio of such an important artist means exploring his soul in depth; a place inviting the visitor to translate these objects into a meaningful portrait of the artist”. This is what pushed Meyerowitz towards placing objects on the table that was the painter’s, using natural light and a backdrop that is a piece of paper on which Morandi had drawn colored sketches.
Joel Meyerowitz, born in New York in 1938, is today one of the most important representatives of New Color Photography of the 60s and 70s like William Eggleston and Stephen Shore. Starting in the 60s he began to collaborate with several leading photographers like Garry Winogrand, Tony Ray-Jones, Lee Friedlander, Tod Papageorge and Diane Arbus. Meyerowitz is also known as a street photographer, famous are his photos of New York for a story in images made of small random events, fine details, and detectors, faces and cityscapes. Through the collaboration with William Eggleston and Stephen Shore, he approached the large format that took him to the work carried out since 9/11. Meyerowitz was the only photographer who was allowed unrestricted access to Ground Zero immediately after the attack. This resulted in his book Aftermath: World Trade Center Archive. A career in constant evolution, for Meyerowitz, which ultimately led him to a confrontation with great painters such as Morandi and Paul Cézanne, another protagonist of a similar work based on the implementation of a series of photographs of the French artist’s objects.
During the exhibition Damiani has published the book Morandi’s Objects containing a wide selection of photographs taken in the study of Morandi with a text and an introduction by artist Maggie Barrett, also produced as a special edition, made of only 25 copies, which include a signed and numbered photo by Joel Meyerowitz.
Morandi’s Objects by Joel Meyerowitz
23 October 2015 – 1 February 2016
Spazio Damiani, Via dello Scalo 3/2 abc, 40131, Bologna