Victor Hazan on Morandi

This post was written by Victor Hazan and originally published on Facebook.

I have just spent an afternoon with Giorgio Morandi in Rome. He was given an exhibition in rooms of that colossal, colonnaded white monument overlooking the ruins of ancient Roman markets that Romans derisively call “The typewriter.” Whenever I am within negotiable distance of a Morandi exhibition it becomes my top priority. Morandi was, yes, the most profound master of the still life in modern times, yes, the greatest since Chardin, yes, the greatest Italian painter since Caravaggio, but he was more than all of those things. He was a painter saint who lived his entire life in a small room of his sisters’ apartment in Bologna studying l’essenza delle cose. That was his objective, to strip away all that was unnecessary to the understanding of the essence of things. Marcella and I did not live a monastic life like Morandi, we certainly were not saints, but the essence of things was central to our purposes. It was central to our approach to food. It was Marcella who said,”in cooking, it is just as important what you leave out as what you put in.” I remind myself of that always when I read the descriptions of dishes that appear here, in the media, on the air as in print. I’ll try to keep posting on this page, although it has been exceeding my grasp of the technology, but I’ll be back at my desk before the end of the month. Victor.

June 10, 2015 Rome, Italy
Photo chosen by Gustiamo

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