Time Travel Tuesday: Giorgio de Chirico

September 27, 2011

I am SO HAPPY that Sara at Brown Paper Bag chose de Chirico as this week’s Time Travel Tuesday feature! Giorgio de Chirico has blown my mind ever since sitting in front of The Philosopher’s Conquest at the Art Institute as a teenager wondering why the hell those artichokes were there. Step into his surreal world with her below, then head over to BPB for my coverage of 1960s-70s Californian artist, Norman Zammitt, and his mesmerizing color bar paintings. Happy Tuesday everyone!

In learning about Postmodern art, Giorgio de Chirico’s name comes up quite often. An Italian pre-surrealist and surrealist painter, he is best known for the work he produced between 1909 and 1919, which is referred to as his metaphysical period.

Works painted during this period had their content that derived from multiple inspirations. This included literature, with emphasis on the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche, Mediterranean cities, and history itself.

What I enjoy most about De Chirico’s paintings during this time was the underlying idea that history is a series of things filed together.

This idea is called Pittura Metafisica, and, can better be described by the Museum of Modern Art:

Their [Giorgio De Chirico and Carlo Carrà] central concern was true reality (where the past recurs), which is hidden behind the reality of appearances and visible only to the ‘clearsighted’ at enigmatic moments. In his paintings de Chirico sought to unmask reality and reveal its mysterious truth. The modification of perspective and depiction of mundane objects provided the appropriate context.

In De Chirico’s work, there is a fictitious space, extreme architecture, and a mash-up of classical sculpture and other non-related objects.

Images and information via the MoMa. If you’re interested in reading more on Pittura Metafisica, click here.

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