Morandi & the Ethics of Abstraction

Giorgio Morandi, Landscape 1962 (Museo Morandi – Comune di Bologna, Bologna)
Giorgio Morandi, Landscape 1962 (Museo Morandi – Comune di Bologna, Bologna)

Reflecting on Barry Schwabsky's recent article of Giorgio Morandi (October 2013 ARTFORUM), Robert Linsley muses on Morandi and "abstraction as an 'ethics of the real.'"

He writes: "The ethics of art, abstraction above all, are found in the right attention to the work, and Morandi could certainly manage that. That human realities (meaning politics) are strongly present at the moment of most perfect attention to the work is a matter of faith, but usually hard to see. Schwabsky makes a convincing case that Morandi’s pictures are a demonstration of this exact truth. He suggests that the anxiety producing aspect of the work, in other words the pleasure it gives, is that it seems to exist at the point of greatest….tension? stress? conflict? communication? difference? transformation?…between individual subjectivity and collective life."