I found this painting, Antonio Calderara's La finestra e il libro, in the Morandi Museum in Bologna, while there at the weekend with Lucy. I like the formalism and artifice of the proportions and the composition, and it reminded by of After Raphael by Tom Phillips, one of my favourite artists.
Calderara's work ranges from figurative — Milano, il Naviglio (1928) — to abstract variations on Mondrian and Rothko — Tensione verticale al margine (1969). In this sense too it shadows Phillips' work, although Calderara prefigues Phillips: La finestra e il libro was painted in 1935, two years before Phillips was born.
The stuff I like most is the middle, transition period between these extremes, where Calderara's paintings use muted, crepuscular colours and blur the line between geometrical forms and representation. The best place to see the work on the web is the Fondazione Calderara site. Unfortunately the pop-up, Flash-driven navigation is beastly for searching, bookmarking etc, so here are direct links to my favourites: Crepuscolo (Lago d'Orta) (1927), La luna nel lago (1933-4), L'isola di San Giulio (1954), Lago d'Orta (1956). Here's the full set. (Of course, the paintings look very different in real life, where their light is reflected rather than projected as it is on screen.)Posted by David Jennings in section(s) Cultural Calendar, Reviews on 2 February 02004 | TrackBack