Simple like my whole life

“My childhood was simple, like my whole life – distinguished by a profound desire to be alone and not bothered by anybody…”
Giorgio Morandi


 At Centro Internazionale d’Arte e di Cultura di Palazzo Te in Mantua between 12 March and 4 June works by the great 20th century European artist Giorgio Morandi dialogue with those of leading contemporary artist of world fame, Tacita Dean.

The exhibition Giorgio Morandi e Tacita Dean. “Semplice come tutta la mia vita” compares two films, Day for Night and Still life, made in 2009 by Tacita Dean in the Bolognese artist’s studio. Opening the exhibition at Palazzo Te is a lifesize recreation of the studio, plus some 50 works by  Giorgio Morandi, including paintings, drawings, watercolours, and prints loaned by major museums and private collections. The works illustrate the still life studies he carried out between 1915 and 1963.

The exhibition offers a reflection on the deep bond between the two artists; a bond that narrates the vivacity driving the work of Tacita Dean, while demonstrating the contemporariness of Giorgio Morandi’s output– developed with patient study, attention and sensitivity throughout his life.

Tacita Dean focuses on the objects of Morandi’s poetic universe and on the traces left on a surface by the bases of the objects themselves; traces made up of the artist’s pencil as it calculated, centered, positioned, moved, relocated, aggregated and insisted, with mathematical yet experimental attention. Nothing was left to chance  but carefully related to the hours of the day, the lights, and the colours of the air.

“When doing this”, writes Stefano Baia Curioni, President of Centro di Palazzo Te, “Tacita Dean enacts a mild form of robbery that, by appropriating the working conditions of another artist, makes a revelation: Morandi is not the past, but is alive in the work of the present. An intimate work that the exhibition offers each of its visitors”.

The meeting point between the two artists is the creative process triggered by observation and meditation, as we are shown through the objects so dear to Morandi – bottles, lamps, coffee pots, cups, porcelain and glass. Tacita Dean’s films express her intuition for the need to take note of objects and of the involuntary traces of the painting process. Hers is not a documentary nor an anthology. She does not analyze Morandi’s context or time, but examines him with simplicity and allows the onlooker to appreciate how his work still lives on in the present.

Curated by Massimo Mininni and Augusto Morari with the assistance of Cristiana Collu, the exhibition is sponsored by the City of Mantua, Centro Internazionale d’Arte e di Cultura di Palazzo Te and the Museo Civico di Palazzo Te, in collaboration with the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Roma, Istituzione Bologna Musei | Museo Morandi and Amici di Palazzo Te e dei Musei Mantovani.


Palazzo Te, 12.3 – 4.6.2017


Monday 13.00 – 19.30
Tuesday-Friday 9.00 – 19.30
(last entrance 18.30)


Tel +39 0376 323266

    Stefano Baia Curioni
    Massimo Mininni
    Augusto Morari
    Daniela Sogliani
    Massimo Maiorino
    Stefano Baia Curioni