Giorgio Morandi and Richard Diebenkorn

The following two excerpts have been re-posted from the A Husk of Meaning  art blog addressing Art and Aesthetics. David Leeds touched on qualities found in the paintings of Morandi and Diebenkorn that I am trying to achieve in my recent work. Through intense focus on form and subtle value changes Morandi conveys a sense of peace and tranquility in his sublime still-lifes.  Leeds pinpoints my long-time attraction to Diebenkorn’s work – his concentrated exploration of place and focus on the physical world around him.  Whether painting abstractly or  representationally  Diebonkorn’s paintings are filled with light and space. There is a sense of familiarity these are places he knows and has spent time in.

The Single-Minded Focus of Giorgio Morandi

“Still lifes are invariably about architecture, relationships and intimacy. Morandi has squeezed out the background to focus intensely on the formal relationships of the objects, and the light that models them. He has abstracted these common house-hold objects by taking away their labels, and washing away their reflections. These are quite the opposite of ‘Impressionistic” renderings of one exact moment. The forms emerge from an unspecific source of light. Like Cezanne, they are highly ‘Post Impressionist”, in that they attempt to find and portray the underlining, basic, and universal structure of the world. Morandi, like Cezanne, ” gave up the sweetness of the flesh for the cold force that binds the universe.” Morandi’s visual process is a slowing down of perception, and he forces the same patient, intense focus upon us, as observers. Morandi also said, ” I am essentially a painter of the kind of still life that communicates a sense of tranquility and privacy, moods which I have always valued above all else.”’

Richard Diebenkorn and the Magic of California Abstraction.

“There have certainly been painters, and I think first, of Cezanne and Monet, whose work so intensely and specifically explores and expresses a particular place in all its physical attributes. But I have rarely seen an artist whose work so consistently and dramatically takes on and inhabits the terroir where he works as Richard Diebenkorn. That he does this while most often working abstractly, is even more amazing. He imbued every canvas he ever did with the light, space, the wind, and the very air of the local atmosphere. I think he was hard wired to be unable to reflect anything but the physical world in front of him. He was a slave to the physical gestalt of his objective perceptions. Nor can I think of any oeuvre where abstraction was so rooted in objective reality.”   


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