The Estorick Collection inaugurated its fifteenth-anniversary year with an exhibition of some 80 etchings and watercolours by the master of poetic understatement, Giorgio Morandi.
Drawing on a number of private collections, and organised in collaboration with Galleria d’Arte Maggiore – Bologna (Italy), Lines of Poetry focused on works on paper and included a large number of the artist’s astonishing etchings. Although he was entirely self-taught as a printmaker, Morandi quickly mastered the technique. Restricted only in subject matter, these still lifes, landscapes and flower studies reveal his stylistic versatility and passion for experimentation.
Also included were a number of Morandi’s watercolours – works that are rarely seen in the United Kingdom. Perhaps more than any others, these paintings exemplify the artist’s ability to distil the essence of a complex scene or composition into an arrangement of near-abstract forms. Captivating in their restraint and extraordinary economy of means, these images are intensely evocative of time and place.
This career-spanning selection was complemented by the Estorick’s own collection of Morandi’s works on paper, making it one of the most comprehensive overviews of his graphic art ever mounted outside Italy.