Hailey Coral


Minimalism inspired by Italian artist : Giorgio Morandi

Giorgio Morandi, Still Life, 1931, Oil on Canvas, 54x64 cm @2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome. Reproduction, including downloading of Giorgio Morandi works, is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Although Giorgio Mordani himself may have not been involved in the Minimalist movement of the 1960s and 70s, he most definitely inspired it. Post World War II, the Abstract Expressionist artists took over America with their unconstrained, involuntary works representing the individual artists' physical expression. The reaction to this movement which then took over the minds and forms of American artists in mostly the sixties and seventies, was a movement called Minimalism. This movement was much more about the physical space, breaking things down into their most simplistic nature, and giving the audience or viewers credit in experiencing the work, instead of the artist. Though Giorgio Mordani, a famous artist in the Italian art world was known for mostly his work which fell into the futurism, cubism, and then metaphysical painting movements, he was also most famous for his still life paintings. The vases and bowls which he painted most often slowly changed into looking less and less like objects on a table and eventually represented the overall shape which presented a space and possible mood, but not much more in its content, deeper meaning, or expression. Minimalism, which focused on the materials of the works and was constantly trying to move away from using metaphors in the pieces what so ever, was influenced by Mordani's use of shape and powerful form instead of the unorganized and expressive abstract expressionism at the time. Mordani striped away the inessential, leaving a different and less complicated aspect to everyday life. Though his still life objects were real objects we may see on a table at our home (a vase, bowl, glass, etc.) they are so simple and minimal that they leave room for the viewer to see what they want in the negative space, in the form, and in the overall essence, instead of blinding and overwhelming us with feeling and splatters. The most famous minimalist artists in America, such as Tony Smith, Donald Judd, and even Sol LeWitt, definitely approached their minimalist work in a completely different manner than the Italian Giorgio Mordani set the tone for. However, their sculptures and use of space and material exhibit many of the same key ideas that Mordani featured in his still life paintings, and were no doubt influenced by his minimalist conception. The most obvious impact that Mordani had on minimalist artists was his desire to breakdown the traditional meaning behind sculpture and paintings and instead to erase that distinction. Though the still life works created by Mordani, were paintings and not sculptures, they exhibited the same amount of indistinction between the two as some of the most famous works of minimalist sculpture in america did. This sense of time and space is exhibited in the most simple and raw-like form, line, and color (or lack thereof). Giorgio Mordani not only set up minimalist artists for an entire movement based on simplicity and the ability to let the viewer notice physical space, but he created beautiful forms in painting that created a bridge between two mediums and cultures.