Still Life
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Giorgio Morandi
Xavier de Maistre

How to Cite

Coldwell, P. (2024). Still Life: Paul Coldwell in Dialogue with Giorgio Morandi. IMPACT Printmaking Journal, 3, 11.


The pandemic and the subsequent lockdown caused me to reflect on my practice and some key influences on my work. I have long been associated with the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, particularly with their collection of works by Giorgio Morandi, a key influence on my work for over four decades. I curated the exhibition ‘Morandi’s Legacy: Influences on British Art’ for them in 2006, and over the years, I have contributed to several catalogue essays and gallery talks. As part of their plans to reopen in September 2021 after being closed due to COVID,

I was invited to rehang their Morandi collection alongside the work that I had done in lockdown. I wholeheartedly embraced the opportunity to present my work alongside Morandi’s. Centred on the idea of still life, I wanted to explore similarities and differences between our works, most prominently to contrast the enforced restrictions imposed by lockdown with the self-imposed restrictions that Morandi had worked under. It also caused me to reflect on the nature of the studio as a place of self-reflection and play.

The work I presented consisted of small plaster sculptures, woodcuts, and a series of four photo-etchings, all engaged with the idea of still life. The objects I featured included picture frames, bottles, miniature furniture, and asthma inhalers, a veiled reference to the fact that COVID attacks the lungs. Furthermore, and a radical departure for me, I included several poems I had written during lockdown. My illustrated talk will explore the ideas that underpinned the exhibition.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2024 Paul Coldwell


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