Library Friday – Morandi 1890-1964

Recently, Steve has been following many of the fashion shows for the upcoming 2015 spring season. Not only do these shows showcase works of art in the form of fashion, we also look to them for color forecasting… Many of the color trends seen in these shows helps us to determine what colors may be emerging in the home decor market in the near future.

One show stood out to us most of all, and that was Valentino’s Spring 2015 ready to wear collection. The soft tones and muted colors brought to mind a favorite book that recently made the move to our new design studio space, located in the rear of the new steve mckenzie’s showroom.

Design Studio
The NEW McKenzie Design Studio

The book these spring fashion shows conjured memories of is Morandi 1890-1964. 


It is a monograph of Morandi’s entire body of work. Morandi lived his life in Bologna, Italy. He spent his entire life creating a body of work that studied still lifes that he would create in his studio of collected bottles, etc. and he painted them in these same dreamy palettes. He would paint the same still life many times with different palettes and lighting just as he saw it.


Steve’s tenure at Larson-Juhl would take him annually to Bologna for a trade show. Over the years, he traveled to Bologna approximately 20 times. Steve was incapable of making the trip without visiting a gem of a little museum based solely on Morandi.


At first, Steve went to the museum to try and understand how someone could paint their entire lives and only do small still life pieces. As the years progressed, something kept pulling him back. It was the nuance of his use of color and how he saw objects change over time. Steve learned to look at objects differently, thanks to Morandi’s works.


As Steve saw this new color trend coming through, thanks to those spring 2015 fashion shows, Morandi’s book was immediately pulled off the shelf and Steve has poured through it over and over studying his paintings all over again. To him, they’re like old friends and – sneak peak – Steve is definitely collaborating with Morandi on his next collection of fabrics!

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