The Modern Art Museum Shanghai is hosting a massive exhibition of modernist pieces from two Italian painters — Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978) and Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964). This exhibition will run till September 10.
For the first time, the exhibition chronicles the life and career of the two artists. On display are de Chirico’s iconic proto-surrealism works “The Song of Love,” “The Disquieting Muses” and “Mystery and Melancholy of a Street,” as well as Morandi’s own prolific career in Natura Morta and landscape pieces.
One of the highlights is de Chirico’s “L’Apocalisse” — 20 etchings in 160 exemplars that illustrate the Apocalypse of St John. Presented with “a feeling of amazed playfulness” according to the accompanying documentation, the series depicts the final judgement with a bright and child-like vision.
Although the exhibition is primarily about oil paintings, there are also some videos as well. One is an archival footage from BBC in the 1970s, featuring an elderly de Chirico painting, one of his most famous works, “Sun on the Easel.”
Before World War I, de Chirico, an artist and writer, founded the Metafisica Art Movement, which profoundly influenced the surrealists. His dreamlike works with sharp contrasts of light and shadow has influenced several filmmakers, particularly in the 1950s-1970s.
Morandi, an painter and printmaker, specialized in still-life. His paintings are noted for their tonal subtlety in depicting apparently simple subjects, which were limited mainly to vases, bottles, bowls, flowers and landscapes.
For fans of surrealism, Italian futurism, mid-20th century existential emptiness and fantastical escapism, this exhibition is really one to make the trip down for.