BWGallerist

Preview: The New Beginning for Italian Photography: 1945-1965, Howard Greenberg Gallery, NYC

In Gallery on August 20, 2018 at 10:30 am
Stefano Rogino

Stefano Rogino, image via Howard Greenberg Gallery

The long standing adage is that a picture is worth a thousand words. It’s also a capsule in time, be it for a generation, a culture, or both. Howard Greenberg’s latest gallery enlightens visitors to both, examining the neorealism photographs capturing post World War II Italy.

Associated with cinematic and literary depictions of postwar conditions, photography’s embrace of neorealism illuminated the here and now of a country emerging from ruins, alive with vitality and hope. With print media outlets on the rise, photographers and their reportage played an integral role in picturing the postwar period when 1945, later termed “year zero,” was time for a new beginning. In graphic compositions that master line and shape, the images on view capture fleeting moments that become the seeds of longer imagined narratives. Humanist in nature, the beautifully printed images in the exhibition convey a concern with finding unusual stories in quotidian scenes.

Among the photographers in the exhibition are Carlo Bavagnoli, who photographed in working-class neighborhoods in Rome, and later contributed toLife magazine; Mario de Biasi, who began taking pictures in 1944 with a camera found in the rubble of Nuremberg; Sante Vittorio Malli, who dedicated himself to portraits and landscapes, and established the photo group, Il Naviglio, in 1956; Franco Pinna, who took his first photographs in Rome in 1944, during the  arrival of the Allied troops; and Stefano Robino, an artist and designer known for his cultured and elegant style.

Independent curator and journalist Enrica Viganò has spent over a decade researching the phenomenon of Italian neorealism in photography and identifying important works and artists of the period. As she writes in an essay in the new book NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy 1932-1960, “This period of the country’s rebirth was characterized by an attempt at collective identification, a venture in which photography could play an essential role. The vision of the photographers dealt with genuine people, real landscapes, collective stories that vibrated with skin and soul.”

The exhibit will open September 12th and conclude November 10th, 2018.

For More Information: Howard Greenberg Gallery

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