Mike Bidlo

Wessel O'Connor Gallery

Mike Bidlo’s decision to duplicate the paintings of Giorgio Morandi (1890–1964)—a sacred presence in 20th-century Italian art—for his first one-man show in Italy seems to have been an inspired one. The show contained 17 small still lifes on the exact scale of the original paintings by Morandi, the representational artist whose work—tireless reproposals of the same subject, with slight variations—comes closest to the serial repetitions intrinsic to Conceptual art. Bidlo, then, was superimposing the post-Conceptual artistic gesture upon a pre-Conceptual one. His work made a strange impression on a viewer who had first seen the exhibition “Morandi e it suo tempo” (Morandi and his time), in Bologna, which examined Morandi’s relationship to the contemporaneous international painting scene. Bidlo’s projection of Morandi’s paintings into the present, 21 years after the artist’s death, would have

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