To mark its 25th anniversary, the Estorick Collection is proud to present a major exhibition of works by Giorgio Morandi. For the first time, the entire collection of 50 paintings and works on paper by the artist belonging to Italy’s Magnani-Rocca Foundation will be on show in the UK.
Best known for his enigmatic still lifes, Morandi is today widely recognised as one of the most significant figures of modern Italian art – and certainly one of the most beloved. Often considered to have been something of a recluse, he was in fact at the centre of contemporary artistic debate and actively engaged with many of the most important national trends and movements of his day, from Futurism to Metaphysical Art. His distinctive mature style is renowned for its masterful treatment of light, exquisite tonal subtleties and exploration of the boundary between abstract and figurative imagery.
Luigi Magnani (1906-1984) was one of Morandi’s most prominent patrons and a close personal friend. Having first seen his work in 1939, he was introduced to the artist the following year by the critic Cesare Brandi. The first pieces acquired by Magnani were three etchings given to him by the artist shortly after their first meeting. Over the following 20 years he went on to acquire works spanning Morandi’s entire career.
This unique and highly personal collection features a number of extremely rare works, including a self portrait, a Metaphysical composition and the only painting Morandi was ever commissioned to create. Several drawings and watercolours – masterpieces of concision – will also be on display, in addition to a large number of the artist’s etchings.