Bertozzi & Casoni and Giorgio Morandi: Less is more

12 February - 30 April 2022

With the postponement of the opening to February 12, 2022, we intend to open a new year of art through a widespread exhibition in the venues of Bologna and Milan - by appointment via info@maggioregam.com - and in conjunction with the exhibition in the room dedicated to the "Morandian Library" inside ACP - Palazzo Franchetti in Venice (more info: www.acp-palazzofranchetti.com)

 

After their debut at the Galleria d'Arte Maggiore g.a.m. at the beginning of the 1980s, Bertozzi & Casoni, now internationally renowned, return to exhibit within the gallery walls. The main theme of the exhibition is the homage to Giorgio Morandi, presented both with a selection of "Flowers" and "Landscapes" by the Master, and with real "d'aprés Morandi" that the duo Bertozzi & Casoni have created, interpreting and filtering Morandi's lesson through ceramics, their favorite medium. In these works by Bertozzi & Casoni, created for an exhibition at the Museo Morandi in 2019, not only the palette turn from bright to pastel, but their investigation into vanitas, memento mori and transience, which 

has always been conducted through snapshots of flora and fauna and of the leftovers of consumer civilization, also involves Morandi's flowers, with unexpected results.

What Giorgio Morandi pursued throughout his life was a pictorial investigation conducted on a very limited series of subjects: still lives of bottles, vases of flowers and the landscape of Grizzana, a town in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines where the artist spent the summer months. These are images of everyday life known to all, which for Morandi constituted a mere formal pretext. It is precisely the ordinariness of these subjects that allowed the Master to focus his attention on the core of his research: the composition of space as an environmental unity of all the elements that constitute it. A space felt as an interior place, which sign after sign took shape on the engraved plate or on the canvas. This is why, when Morandi painted landscapes, he never returned on the same view of nature and why the flowers he preferred to depict were not fresh ones, destined to change day after day, creating variations beyond his control, but dried or silk flowers, which, like the other objects that are the protagonists of his still lifes, would have maintained their state unaltered, creating a multiplicity of tonal effects thanks to the dust deposited on them little by little. The suspension of time is present in every one of his works and it is precisely this placing of himself at the margins of the flow of time that makes the great master's lesson relevant today.

On this occasion, Maggiore g.a.m. intends to give space to the interpretation that the contemporary artist duo Bertozzi & Casoni makes on Giorgio Morandi's iconic flower pots; a dialogue to which the Museo Morandi gave visibility in 2019 with the exhibition "Bertozzi & Casoni. Eulogy to Fake Flowers." 

The predilection for flora and fauna present in all of Bertozzi & Casoni's works, along with the focus on the iconographic themes of vanitas andmemento mori that characterizes their research, made the Morandi's theme of flowers an ideal subject to be interpreted through a multitude of evocations. If Morandi observed reality in order to capture its abstract essence, recording it in timeless images, Bertozzi & Casoni transfigure it three-dimensionally thanks to ceramics: "matter" par excellence, which once manipulated becomes the presential sign of a snapshot captured in hyper-realistic forms, reconstructed in the smallest detail.

But just as the antipodes at the end of the tour end up meeting and then blurring, it is possible to trace some elements of continuity that run between Morandi and Bertozzi & Casoni: the ambiguity played out between life and absence of life and between instantaneousness and suspension, together with the centrality of one's own inner world to interpret reality. In fact, if Morandi's works focus on a few subjects to suggest a mental image preserved and reactivated by memory, Bertozzi & Casoni also choose certain sets of objects through a careful look for a link between the aesthetic form observed and the state of mind that moved the research. Less is more becomes then a maxim able to tell us the poetics of these artists so apparently distant: the concentration of the Master on those few, repeated subjects marks the greatness of his research, while the works of Bertozzi & Casoni allow us to probe with adequate attention the richness of tactile and visual information that make them the ironic and disillusioned singers of the society of accumulation and hyper productivity.