brussels

View of “Giorgio Morandi: Retrospective,” 2013, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels. From left: Fiori (Flowers), 1957; Fiori (Flowers), 1947; Fiori (Flowers), 1947; Fiori (Flowers), 1950. Photo: Philippe De Gobert.

Giorgio Morandi

BOZAR - Centre for Fine Arts

View of “Giorgio Morandi: Retrospective,” 2013, Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels. From left: Fiori (Flowers), 1957; Fiori (Flowers), 1947; Fiori (Flowers), 1947; Fiori (Flowers), 1950. Photo: Philippe De Gobert.

GIORGIO MORANDI was a legendary homebody, sticking close to his studio in Bologna most of the time and summering less than an hour’s drive away in the rustic village of Grizzana (renamed Grizzana Morandi some twenty years after his death in 1964). But somehow it was a surprise to learn that, even late in life when he’d become internationally renowned, exhibiting in New York and São Paulo as well as across Europe, Morandi only once set foot outside Italy’s borders, going just as far as Switzerland. I couldn’t help but reflect on what this might imply about his centrality in last year’s Documenta 13, one of those giant exhibitions that seem to be in part a great excuse for some extreme junketing: Kabul, here we come!

We undoubtedly live in an era in which just staying still has become harder than ever, and harder to justify, too. It may or may not be true that the flap of a butterfly’s

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