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Paolo Manaresi

Museo Morandi
4 November 2008 - 11 January 2009

or: how to walk beside Morandi without stumbling or falling into a trap

Manaresi was a highly versatile artist who moved with great technical and formal mastery from painting to sculpture. Not until his maturity did he take up engraving (his first plate was done in 1949). He was introduced to this medium through to the friendship and admiration of Morandi, who was never his teacher, though on numerous occasions Manaresi paid him explicit homage. Maneresi was an excellent interpreter of both the still-life and the landscape. In contrast to Morandi he represented a variety of subjects, ranging from the portrait to the nude, from compositional studies to sacred subjects, always showing that he looked up to Morandi as a model but at the same time had assimilated his teaching and could transform it into something of his own, something personal and unique. And thanks to this, in 1954, only five years after his first etching, he won the First Prize for Engraving at the XXVII Venice Biennale, followed by the full recognition of both critics and the general public.

This show presents sixty-four etchings dating from 1949 to1986. They come from the collection of Manaresi’s inheritors and from the donation that Mariano Mazzocco made to the Istituzione Galleria d’Arte Moderna di Bologna in1978; the cataloguing was carried out between 1998 and1999, thanks to the support of the IBC (Istituto per i beni artistici, culturali e naturali della Regione Emilia-Romagna).

The selection made by the curator from the over four hundred plates engraved by Manaresi in the course of his life reflects this artist’s closeness to Morandi, but above all evidences the features that distinguish the two artists from one another.