This morning I was thinking about the recent Giorgio Morandi show at the Met, mainly about how lame it is, especially as a painter, that I couldn’t get my ass above 57th Street to get up to the Met. As Peter Schjeldahl tells us in his review of the show in the New Yorker,
He is a painter’s painter, because to look at his work is to re-create it, feeling in your wrist and fingers the sequence of strokes, each a stab of decision which discovers a new problem.
Oh well…Anyway, there are a couple of things I think about when I think of Morandi. First, and I don’t know how to say this other than when I think Morandi I feel New York. Maybe it’s the greys? Maybe it’s the way all the objects in his paintings are jostling each other and competing for space on the surface? Maybe it was something a drawing teacher in NY said to me once? I don’t know, but his work feels like New York to me, some kind of deep psychological association I guess.
Next I find that whenever I think about Morandi, I almost immediately think about Milton Glaser, who studied with Morandi back in the 1950′s, and whose work had a profound influence on the late 20th century visual culture of my youth.
Of course thinking about Milton Glaser includes thinking about Seymour Chwast and Edward Sorel, who together with Milton Glaser formed the Push Pin Studio and published the Push Pin Graphic. While too young to enjoy the graphic, I did grow up oogling over their illustrations in the New Yorker and various childrens books.
Going further, because of stylistic affinities, thinking about Seymour Chwast always leads me to think about the Yellow Submarine.
I sort of lost where I was going with this and I’ll leave it here. But, looking over the examples I have pulled together here, I see a visual connection, and I think the influence of Morandi runs deep in both mine and the collective psyche.Tags: push pin, illustration, Milton Glaser, New York, drawing, push pin studio
December 16, 2008 No Comments