Giorgio Morandi in the 1930s

Giorgio Morandi, Still Life, 1931 (Private collection © 2015 Artists Rights Soci
Giorgio Morandi, Still Life, 1931 (Private collection © 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SIAE, Rome)

Xico Greenwald considers the political history of Morandi's paintings from the 1930s on view at The Center for Italian Modern Art (CIMA), New York, through June 25, 2016.

Greenwald writes that "the myth of Morandi is that the artist kept a low profile as Fascism raged around him. Legend has it, the unassuming artist developed a unique artistic vision, bravely resisting modernism, closing himself in his studio, doggedly investigating compositional possibilities by adjusting tabletop arrangements... CIMA’s exhibit of artworks made during the rule of Mussolini’s National Fascist Party (1922 - 1943) indicates Morandi’s stylistic development was, in fact, deeply rooted in fascist ideology. Morandi turned away from the arty pretentions of the Metaphysical School to embrace the values of the Strapaese (super country) movement, a nationalist group that glorified Italy’s agrarian identity. Strapaese extolled modesty and simplicity in art and ridiculed effete Parisian modernism."