In Spring 2015, the photographer Joel Meyerowitz sat at the work table in Giorgio Morandi’s Bologna home, in the exact spot where the painter had sat for over 40 years making his quiet, sublime still lifes. Here Meyerowitz looked at, touched, studied and connected with the more than 250 objects that Morandi painted. Using only the warm natural light in the room, he photographed Morandi’s objects: vases, shells, pigment-filled bottles, silk flowers, tins, funnels, watering cans. In the photographs, each object sits on Morandi’s table, which still bears the marks the painter drew to set the positions of his subjects. In the background is the same paper that Morandi left on the wall, now brittle and yellow with age. Meyerowitz’s portraits of these dusty, aged objects are not only works of art themselves, but they offer insight into the humble subjects that Morandi transformed into his subtle and luminous paintings.
Joel Meyerowitz (born 1938) is a street photographer and portrait and landscape photographer. The New York native began photographing in color in 1962 and was an early advocate of the use of color at a time when there was significant resistance to the idea of color photography as serious art. Many of his photographs are icons of modern photography, and he is considered one of the most influential modern photographers and representatives of the New Color Photography of the 1960s and ’70s. His work has appeared in over 350 exhibitions around the world and is in the collections of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Art Institute of Chicago, The Museum of Modern Art, New York and many other museums worldwide.