Giorgio Morandi: Biography

Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964) was born in 1890 in Bologna, Italy, where he lived until his death in 1964. From 1907-13, he was enrolled at the Bologna Accademia di Belle Arti, where he later served as the professor of engraving and etching from 1930-56. In 1913-1914, he established connections and exhibited with Italian Futurist artists such as Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla, and Fortunato Depero, and in 1918-1919, he worked briefly as part of the Scuola Metafisica with Giorgio de Chirico and Carlo Carrà. By 1920, Morandi established the small-scale depictions of still lifes and landscapes that he would pursue throughout his oeuvre, and that were associated with no other school or style but his own.

His work has been the subject of major retrospectives and traveling solo exhibitions at institutions including the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, The Hague, which traveled to the New Burlington Galleries, London (1954); Kunsthalle Bern, Switzerland (1964); Royal Academy of the Arts, London, which traveled to the Musée National d’art Moderne, Paris, and the Rotonda della Besana, Milan (1970); Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, which traveled to the Kharkiv Art Museum, Kharkiv, Ukraine (1973); San Francisco Museum of Art, which traveled to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, and the Des Moines Art Center, Iowa (1981); Museum of Modern Art, Kamakura, which traveled to the Fukuyama Museum of Art, and the National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto, all in Japan (1989); Musée Maillol, Paris, which traveled to Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Brazil (1997); Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, which traveled to IVAM - Institut Valencià d'Art Modern, Valencia (1999); Tate Modern, London, which traveled to the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2001-02); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, which traveled to the Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Italy (2008); Museo d’Arte Città di Lugano, Switzerland (2012); and the BOZAR - Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels (2013).

A Backward Glance: Giorgio Morandi and the Old Masters, a major exhibition examining the formation of Morandi’s practice, was presented in 2019 at the Guggenheim Bilbao, Spain. In 2020, a solo presentation of the artist’s work, Giorgio Morandi: Major Works from the Cerruti Collection, was featured at the Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Turin, Italy.

Morandi has been included in important international group exhibitions, such as the Quadriennale di Roma, Italy; the Bienal de São Paulo, Brazil, where he was awarded first prize for etching in 1953 and first prize for painting in 1957; Documenta, Kassel, Germany; and the Venice Biennale, Italy, where he received the City of Venice prize in 1948. In the United States, he participated multiple times in the Carnegie International, Pittsburgh.

He was a member of the prestigious Accademia delle Arti del Disegno, Florence; the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca, Rome; and the Swedish Academy. In 1993, the Museo Morandi was established in Bologna, Italy, and is currently located in the Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna.

The artist's works can be found in public and private collections including the Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Musée d’Orsay, Paris; Museo del Novecento, Milan; Museo d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Trento, Italy; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Tate, London.

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