Laura Mattioli, the founder and president of CIMA, fascinated audience members with her memories about the artist and some personal anecdotes about the friendship between Morandi and her father, Gianni Mattioli, an important collector of modern art. She spoke in conversation with Vivien Greene, Senior Curator of 19th- and early 20th-Century Art at The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and a member of CIMA’s advisory committee.
Laura Mattioli knew Giorgio Morandi personally, through regular visits she made with her father to Morandi’s home and studio at Via Fondazza 36 in Bologna. Having grown up in an elegant bourgeois home in Milan, Laura recalled the wonder and shock of entering a small space so messy and filled with dust-laden objects and bottles. The relationship between Laura Mattioli and Morandi was solidified during her first pregnancy. She explained how she was confined to bedrest for many months and spent her time staring at one of Morandi’s paintings, an early Still Life from 1916 (now on view at CIMA). “Each time I looked – she explained – I saw something different, it seemed to reveal something new”. She never tired of looking at the painting; it was always teaching her something. This idea of living with great works of art, of seeing a work day in and day out and learning new things from it all of the time, lies at the heart of CIMA’s Fellowship Program, which offers young art historians the opportunity to spend six months working on the artist that is the focus of CIMA’s season.
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