Orderly Art

Giorgio Morandi in Berlin is the Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik

The Daily Pic: The Italian was such a glutton for order, he could have been the first conceptualist.

I caught this "Morandi" in the home of an artist in Berlin – and I put the Italian's authorship in scare quotes because though the piece is certainly by old Giorgio, it's not really his art. It's a piece of craft paper the Italian used to cover the table where he set up his bottles and vases, before painting them. It seems he would record their exact locations (hence the circles on this template) so that he could put a still life of bottles back exactly as it was, and paint it over several different sittings when the daylight was just so. Weirdly, that practice, and this template, seem to connect Morandi to the instruction-set Conceptualists of the later 1960s. The conservative Morandi (as I've billed him before) and radical Sol LeWitt make an odd couple, by any lights.

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