Curated by Marcella Beccaria
In 2014, the Museum is organising a special edition of the Fellowship for Young Italian Artists under the title Portrait of the Artist as a Young (Wo)man. The resulting exhibition for the first time will present a selection of the best candidates that have participated since the first edition in 2001. In reflecting on the history of the fellowship in this way, the exhibition thus also proposes a wide-ranging overview of the development of Italian art in the past ten years. Since its creation, the Fellowship has provided support for artists in a variety of ways, including the production of special projects, residences abroad, personal and group shows at the Castello. Thanks to the generosity of Supporter Friends, the Fellowship has evolved as a flexible platform, able to adapt to the needs and productivity of the artists, stimulating them to see the Museum as a dynamic centre for the arts with which to construct an active dialogue. And as a result of its constant capacity for renewal, the Fellowship today continues successfully to be an important source of help for artists who have participated in the programme, contributing to the development of their research and to their visibitility nationally and internationally.
Giorgio Andreotta Calò | Francesco Arena | Rossella Biscotti | Gianni Caravaggio | Alice Cattaneo | Roberto Cuoghi | Patrizio Di Massimo | Lara Favaretto | Flavio Favelli | Eva Frapiccini | Christian Frosi | Goldschmied & Chiari | Massimo Grimaldi | Alice Guareschi | Francesco Jodice | Marcello Maloberti | Margherita Manzelli | Marzia Migliora | Diego Perrone | Seb Patane | Marinella Senatore | Francesco Simeti | Alessandra Tesi | Grazia Toderi | Luca Trevisani
The photographs currently on show in the Manica Lunga are a broad selection of works acquired over the last two years by the GAM of Turin, which has gradually been building up and adding to its collection of post-war Italian photography to feature in the growing number of photographic exhibitions it organises.
The new batch of works on show today has been added thanks to purchases made, since 1999, by the Fondazione CRT for the Castello di Rivoli and the GAM Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Arts of Turin. The Fondazione CRT has this made a substantial addition to the collections of the two museums, while creating the conditions for fruitful cooperation between them. Having made a number of well-chosen purchases in keeping with the two museums’ special interests, the Fondazione CRT has now turned its attention to photography. This exhibition pays tribute to the Foundation’s far-sightedness and generosity, while enabling the general public to enjoy a wide-ranging and high-quality sample of the results.
Though necessarily lacking an overall critical design, the exhibition enables us to become familiar with the work of eight major Italian photographers active from the early 1950s to quite recent times. Mario Giacomelli, Ugo Mulas, Gianni Berengo Gardin, Aurelio Amendola, Sandro Becchetti, Luigi Ghirri, Claudio Abate and Francesco Jodice, listed here by date of birth. Each in his own way exemplifies the wealth of changing styles and techniques that have characterised the history of Italian photography over the last half century. In the case of Mario Giacomelli (Senigallia, Ancona, 1925 – Ancona, 2000), whose photographs are strikingly personal and independent in style, every image is full of life, thanks to the emotional charge it carries, which he skilfully enhances in his printing. The use of different techniques and procedures, such as the sharp contrast between deep blacks and an almost blinding white, make his images powerfully expressive. Ugo Mulas (Pozzolengo, Brescia, 1928 – Milan, 1973) was deeply aware of the role of the photographer in giving a subjective account of reality. In his first images, shot in the streets of Milan or inside the Bar Giamaica, he seems to avoid any type of interpretation, preferring to tell the story of the city by portraying people engaged in mundane, everyday actions. This was to be his approach for almost twenty years, spent assiduously scrutinising the world of contemporary art on a daily basis. Gianni Berengo Gardin (Santa Margherita Ligure, Genoa, 1930) came to photography in the early 1950s, first engaging in reportage and documentary-type investigation. He then became more interested in landscape, understood as a felicitous dialogue between nature and human intervention. Later, he gave increasingly free rein to his narrative bent, portraying with an acute eye the infinite expressions of life and human nature.
Concentrating on photographing works of art and making portraits of artists, Aurelio Amendola (who was born and still lives in Pistoia) has achieved some outstanding results. His sensitivity in understanding and photographing sculpture, particularly in his series devoted to Canova and Michelangelo, is also evident in his more “landscape-oriented” shots, which feature historic buildings or great monuments. He explores their three-dimensional character using light and cropped framing techniques, as if they were sculptural objects. Cinema has always been the great passion of Sandro Becchetti (Rome, 1935). In the late Sixties and early Seventies, he produced a series of portraits of well-known celebrities, at a time when Rome was becoming an important cultural crossroads that also attracted female American screen stars.
His early frequentation of conceptual artists based in Modena, such as Claudio Parmiggiani and Franco Vaccari, and his on-going friendships with major contemporary architects and writers provided Luigi Ghirri (Scandiano, Reggio Emilia, 1943 – Roncocesi, Reggio Emilia, 1992) with the means of drawing on his deepest reserves of sensitivity and creating a vast pattern book of timeless images of life and inanimate objects.Claudio Abate (Rome, 1943) has also maintained an enduring relationship with the contemporary art world, resulting not only in an extraordinary series of portraits of well-known artists, but above all in a whole catalogue of images of their works. His 1969 shot of Jannis Kounellis’s installation featuring horses at the l’Attico gallery in Rome is one of the most significant and celebrated examples.
One of the most firmly established of the younger generation of Italian photographers, Francesco Jodice (Naples, 1967) investigates the world and contemporary society by focusing on sudden transformations in the landscape resulting from human intervention. He has always been interested in town-planning and social issues due to his research with the Multiplicity collective, to which he belongs, and uses his photographs to compose his own “map” of society in all its complexity.
GAM Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Torino
The exhibition has been made possible with the support of Fondazione CRT Progetto Arte Moderna e Contemporanea