Painting is a magical art, it is the fire set alight by the final rays in the windows of a rich dwelling as in those of a humble hovel, it is the long mark, the humid [damp] mark, the fluent and still mark etched on the hot sand by a dying wave…
Giorgio de Chirico, ‘Painting’, 1938
Following the success of Reading de Chirico at Tornabuoni Art London – the first exhibition ever to present the artist’s paintings alongside his writings – Tornabuoni brings this unprecedented show their Paris gallery for one month only.
The paintings of Giorgio de Chirico are among the most iconic and influential of Italian 20th-century art. He was a forerunner of the Surrealist movement and the Scuola Metafisica. However, few know about the artist’s prolific literary legacy. This exhibition — nine years after de Chirico’s last retrospective in France at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris — shows over 25 works spanning the artist’s entire career, alongside original manuscripts that offer unique insight into the pictorial world of Giorgio de Chirico.
This exhibition includes de Chirico’s art criticism, poems, prose and love letters, enabling visitors to find a new reading of de Chirico’s famous works through his own words. The show also sheds light on the artist’s unusual artistic career, which began with the more radical and much admired metaphysical period and evolved into a more “baroque”, painterly style.
Following the Reading de Chirico exhibition at Tornabuoni Art London, which was curated by Katherine Robinson, member of the scientific committee of the Giorgio and Isa de Chirico Foundation in Rome, the Paris show also represents the different themes explored by the artist throughout his career: Italian Piazzas, Horses and Horsemen, Portraits, Still Lifes, Mythologies and Mannequins.
Highlights of the exhibition include the early metaphysical painting La grande tour (The great tower) from 1915 and a Nude from 1930, which Tornabuoni is proud to announce has recently been identified as a portrait of de Chirico’s lover Cornelia. These key works will be exhibited alongside writings in de Chirico’s own hand, including excerpts from Hebdomeros, a novel written by the artist in 1929 that reveals much of his creative universe.
Reading de Chirico at Tornabuoni Art Paris is accompanied by an original scholarly catalogue, edited by Katherine Robinson with texts by Dr. Gavin Parkinson, Senior Lecturer in 20th-century European Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, London, and an expert in Surrealism. This publication includes a selection of the artist’s writings (1919- 1945).