The warm colors and familiar icons in the paintings of Giorgio de Chirico are deceptively soothing. The varying lines of perspective, blurring of indoor and outdoor space, and the coupling of ancient images with turn-of-the-century industry are both vaguely familiar and certainly disconcerting, evocative of being lost in a city or wandering through a stranger's home. Vacant plazas, shadowy arcades, and lonely statues are the eerie edges of dreams that are lost in the morning. Even de Chirico's most standard still lifes are ambient and consuming.
De Chirico's complete early work, that of his "metaphysical period," is gathered in this generously sized volume from Bulfinch Press. The work from museums and private collections from around the world illustrates critical exposition as well as exhaustive documentation (three pages of notes for a 20-page chapter) of de Chirico's training and production. The catalog overflows with color entries and black-and-white supplementary illustrations of family, friends, places, influential works, and drawing studies that contributed to the evolution of the painter and his masterpieces. The book's author, Paolo Baldacci, writes in his introduction that "practically all of the paintings executed from 1908-09 to the summer of 1914 are fundamental for understanding the various phases of de Chirico's aesthetic development. The works of these crucial years, rich in symbolism and dense with thought, cast in pictorial form a vast conception of the world, of life, and of art drawn from de Chirico's intensive reading of Nietzsche, Leopardi, Schopenhauer, and Heraclitus." --Manine Golden
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Italian