24 artists' tales

 curated by Denis Curti



Nino Migliori. The diver, 1951 © Fondazione Nino Migliori


The show aims at presenting a selection of the most significant modern and contemporary Italian photographers who have been able to recount events with a high-quality approach and have given us critical and personal visual versions of events that have occurred in the country.

The strong planning element that characterizes their work shows the will of these photographers not to create individual, beautiful images, but to construct a knowledgeable argument, one with a precise and structured syntax and grammar.

In fact, informed narration through a camera lens began in the 1930s and exploded in the post-war period. In the twenty years from 1930 to 1950 we find the first linguistic experiments that went beyond simple recording, and which were significant because they anticipated a vision that was to take shape in the 1960s and 1970s with a photography divided between civil and political involvement and aesthetic innovation in the fields of fashion and portraiture.

Mario Giacomelli. Io non ho mani che mi accarezzino il volto 1961 63. Archivio Mario Giacomelli Simone Giacomelli

Mario Giacomelli. I do not have hands caressing my face, 1961-63. Archivio Mario Giacomelli © Simone Giacomelli

Riccardo Moncalvo. Piccolo solitario. Monte SantAngelo 1956 Archivio Riccardo Montalvo Torino

Riccardo Moncalvo. Small loner. Monte Sant’Angelo, 1956 © Archivio Riccardo Montalvo - Torino

Fulvio Roiter Senza titolo mestoli Fulvio Roiter

Fulvio Roiter. Untitled (ladles) © Fondazione Fulvio Roiter

But it was in the 1980s that a group of photographers joined together in order to undertake an ambitious scheme: to redraw the Italian landscape, which by then for some decades had been anchored to the old iconography of great monuments and postcard landscapes.

The “Viaggio in Italia” photographers, headed by Luigi Ghirri, searched for a new way of seeing the country, including suburbia. What is more we will also find the northern Italy of Gabiele Basilico who portrayed the new inhabitants of Milan and the great industrial buildings that were redefining the city’s backbone; and then there is the south as seen by Mario Cresci whose Matera is testimony to the persistence of a culture still greatly tied to primitive traditions, and in doing this his photos are reflections on the value of time and memory.

Luigi Ghirri. Scardovari 1988 Eredi di Luigi Ghirri

Luigi Ghirri. Scardovari, 1988 © Eredi di Luigi Ghirri

Gabriele Basilico

from Milano. Portraits of Factories 1978-80 © Gabriele Basilico / Archivio Gabriele Basilico, Milano

Olivo Barbieri. Milano 1989 Olivo Barbieri

Olivo Barbieri. Milan, 1989 © Olivo Barbieri

And lastly there is a section devoted to those photographers who looked towards the new millennium. With the spread of digital means there was a definite end to the debate previously mentioned about the nature of reproduction or representation in photography.


Luca Campigotto. Canal Grande agli Scalzi 1991 Luca Campigotto

Luca Campigotto. Canal Grande agli Scalzi, 1991 © Luca Campigotto

Massimo Vitali. Rosignano Sea 3 1998 Massimo Vitali

Massimo Vitali. Rosignano Sea 3, 1998 © Massimo Vitali

Here is the list of photographers and the projects that construct the exhibition itinerary:

Letizia Battaglia. Mafia in Palermo; Gianni Berengo Gardin. Dying of class. Gabriele Basilico. Milan. Portrait of factories 1978-1980; Luca Campigotto. Venetia Obscura; Lisetta Carmi. The transvestites; Carla Cerati. Dying of class, Mondo Cocktail; Giovanni Chiaramonte. Hidden in perspective. Journey through representation; Mario Cresci. Real portraits, Tricarico 1967-1972; Franco Fontana. Inventing space; Luigi Ghirri. The shape of the clouds; Mario Giacomelli. I don’t have hand caressing my face; Maurizio Galimberti. Journey to Italy; Arturo Ghergo. The stars from the thirties to the fifties; Mimmo Jodice. Views of Naples; Riccardo Moncalvo. Vacations; Ugo Mulas. Bar Jamaica; Fulvio Roiter. Around neorealism; Ferdinando Scianna. Religoius feasts in Sicily; Tazio Secchiaroli. Tazio Secchiaroli and Federico Fellini; Massimo Vitali. Italian beaches and discos; Olivo Barbieri. Artificial Illuminations, Ersatz lights; Francesco Jodice. Postcards from other spaces; Nino Migliori. People of Emilia; Mario de Biasi. The fifties.


The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Marsilio Editori.


Production: Civita Tre Venezie and Polymnia

Curator: Denis Curti

Size of the exhibition: approx. 800/1000 mq based on 250 running meters

Exhibition available from: summer 2019

Content of the exhibition: #230 framed photographs, various dimensions

Days of mounting: 6/7

Days of de-mounting: 4/5



Alberta Crestani

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