Charles Ritchie

Journal: An Online Notebook Updated By The Artist

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2009-04-08 02:58:07 | Cadence

(above) Charles Ritchie, sketch after an oil painting by Giorgio Morandi, watercolor and pen and ink on Fabriano paper, one panel from an uncatalogued accordion fold drawing dated 8 August 1987, panel size 4 x 6.” Cadence I admire artists like Giorgio Morandi, who draw energy from diligent, sustained questioning. Morandi found a lifetime’s worth of investigation in a select group of motifs. His invention within the genres of still life and landscape relied on his ability to reduce subjects to an essence; engaging often incremental shifts in subject, lighting, palette, size, and format. The completion of each painting seemed to only rekindle a quest to find new ways to cultivate subtle variation and inflection. I am reminded of poet E.E. Cummings’ quote “Always the beautiful answer that asks the more beautiful question.” For me, it’s easy to see how Morandi could find his limitations freeing; he woke each morning prepared to paint the what, allowing him to jump ahead to the challenges of how. Morandi’s oeuvre is filled with a cadence; a visual repetition of subjects in variation as well as the implied cadence of his own engagements. One of the most exciting images I have seen in years is from a recently published book of photographs by Gianni Berengo Gardin called Giorgio Morandi’s Studio. The book lovingly visits Morandi’s studio/quarters in exquisite black and white images. One shot features the tabletop on which Morandi arranged his still life subjects lifted to reveal the web of traced arcs and contours representing footprints of the many subjects that the artist arranged and rearranged on that table. The artist’s hand-drawn record of locations, beyond being a beautiful abstract image on its own, conveys echoes of Morandi’s cadence. I’m ...Read More