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Tacita Dean

MAMbo Permanent Collection
29 November 2013 - 9 February 2014

The Studio of Giorgio Morandi

Both works were commissioned and produced by the Fondazione Nicola Trussardi in 2009, with shots taken by Tacita Dean in the flat in Bologna in which Morandi lived and worked for much of his life, now the Casa Morandi, and in particular in the spaces of his studio, reconstructed in their original location.

In Still Life, shot in black and white, appear lines that cross-cross the worksheets of the artist, who used to trace on them the exact positions of the objects he was going to paint. Morandi studied possible variations of composition meticulously, noting them down with marks and letters on the large sheets of paper that covered his worktable: the outlines overlap and intersect, creating an overall pattern that is as extraordinary as it is inadvertent. Through these neglected and forgotten traces, Tacita Dean recounts Morandi’s work, reconstructing the tenacity and the rigour of its preparatory stages.

In Day for Night (2009), the objects accumulated and conserved in the studio become the protagonists: boxes, pots, containers of different shapes, artificial flowers, tins, pans, bottles. Tacita Dean decided to film them as Morandi would never have painted them: not being able to change their position, she placed them at the centre of the frame as if in a picture, relying almost on chance to create arbitrary and not studied compositions.

In Tacita Dean’s images we find some of the qualities of the objects that characterize Morandi’s paintings, for example their opacity, or the visibility of their coating of dust. But we also discover how the artist altered things to make them fit in with what he wanted to see and, consequently, paint.

Like the other films made by Tacita Dean, the two that will be shown at the MAMbo have been shot and reproduced exclusively on film stock.

They are characterized by a meticulous attention to detail, a special quality of light and a slow pace, made up of long pauses, which reveal an essence of each object, of each line, that neither painting nor photography would be able to capture in the same way.

The British artist takes us into universes dense in time and space that hold the truth of the moment, in a manner similar to the still life, but in movement.


Tacita Dean was born in Canterbury (UK) in 1965. She lives and works in Berlin.

She has held solo exhibitions at a number of major international museums and institutions, including the Turbine Hall, Tate Modern and Tate Britain (London), New Museum (New York), Schaulager (Basel), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), Fundação de Serralves (Porto), MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (Barcelona), Fondazione Nicola Trussardi (Milan), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (Turin) and Witte de With (Rotterdam).

In 1998 she was nominated for the Turner Prize, in 2006 she was awarded the Hugo Boss Prize of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York and in 2009 she won the Kurt Schwitters-Preis.

She has taken part in prestigious international art events like the Venice Biennale (2003, 2005 and 2013), dOCUMENTA (13) in Kassel (2012) and the São Paulo Art Biennial (2006 and 2010).

Tacita Dean’s works can be found in the collections of some of the most important international museums, from the MoMA in New York to the Centre Pompidou in Paris and from the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid to Tate, London.


Press release

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