Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milano
On the occasion of its twenty-fifth anniversary, the Carla Sozzani Gallery presents “Fotografia Futurista” curated by Giovanni Lista. The exhibition explores, through the arc of half a century, the way in which the futurists took possession of the photographic language as a medium to capture the pulse of life in this new century, and to transmute “natural” reality into a process of active creation and evolution.
Over one hundred original photographs from both private collections and National Trusts: Archivio Francesco Trombadori, Rome; Collezione Giorgio Grillo, Florence; Fondazione 3M, Milan; Fondazione Torino Musei, Turin; Fondo Francesco Negri, Casale Monferrato; Fondo Italo Bertoglio, Turin; Foto Studio Pedrotti, Bolzano; Gabinetto Fotografico Nazionale, Rome (ICCD-MiBACT); Galleria Civica di Modena, MART – Museo di Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto; Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino; Raccolte Museali Fratelli Alinari (RMFA), Florence; Touring Club Italiano, Milan.
Divided into four sections, from the destruction of the mimicry of nature, to the innovative research of the Twenties and Thirties, the exhibition “Futurist Photography” includes the formalized photodynamism of the Bragaglia’ brothers, many portraits of Depero, photomontages by Tato, and even photo-performance.
In tune with the best European avant-garde revolutions, futurist works explored liberal and eccentric tastes, the hyperbole of grand visions and ideas well outside of the canons of bourgeois society.
The first section documents the early years. The Twentieth century exposed the illusion of the “natural” images, presenting them as the artifical creations they were. Images no longer reflected nature, but were built in the studio: even the so-called “spiritualist photos” were very often deliberately ironic and openly displayed for amusement. Futurists doubled or split images to capture a sequence, to freeze movement. This formal scanning highlighted the functional reality and placed the focus on the abstract rhythm of light or lines. Multiple portraits were done within a mirrored room or as photomontage with a fantastical or humorous view; a view that Umberto Boccioni immediately saw as an image of the ontological multiplicity of the being which will be reflected in Luigi Pirandello’ s complex novels some time later.
The second section is devoted to the most significant contribution of futurism to the history of photography: the invention of the “Fotodinamismo”, or the photograph of movement as energy in place. The brothers Anton Giulio and Arturo Bragaglia explored the capacity to fix a sudden gesture in terms of pure energy that transcended the body. The Bragaglia brothers sensed the opportunity to capture the light trail drawn by a moving body as a deep verification of a spiritual reality and as the manifestation of the life force that inhabits matter.
The photographic portrait is represented in the third section as a vehicle for futurist communication but also as a chance to re-invent the emblematic image of themselves as avant-garde artists. Compensating for the passive recording of reality by the mechanical process of the camera, some futurists invented the photo-performance in which they delivered histrionic or clownlike self-mocking images of themselves.
The fourth section is devoted to the research of the Twenties and Thirties. At this time the Futurists completely agreed with the best European avant-garde ideas and acted as a visual and intellectual irritant to the growing “fascist culture”. The photomontage, the photo-collage, the composition of objects, the play of light and the use of mirrors, the theater of shadows, the esoteric symbologies, all the mysterious and allusive images and paradoxical ideas were clearly outside of the Fascist regime’s iconography.
On show the selected photos from thirty-one authors from the early Twentieth century until the end of the Forties: Vittorio Alinari (Florence, 1859/Livorno, 1932); Mario Bellusi (Ferrara, 1893/Rome,1955); Francesco Benvenuti (Florence, 1863/Viareggio, 1919); Italo Bertoglio (Turin, 1871/1963), Piero Luigi Boccardi (Intra, 1890/Turin, 1971); Umberto Boccioni (Reggio di Calabria,1882/Verona, 1916); Gustavo Ettore Bonaventura (Verona, 1882/Rome, 1966); Anton Giulio Bragaglia (Frosinone, 1890/Rome, 1962) e Arturo Bragaglia (Frosinone, 1893/Rome, 1962); Mario Castagneri (Alexandria, 1892/ Milan, 1940); Gianni Croce (Lodi, 1896/Piacenza, 1981); Tito D’Alessandri (Rome, 1864/1942); Ferruccio Antonio Demanins (Trieste, 1903/1944); Fortunato Depero (Fondo, 1892/Rovereto, 1960); Mario Gabinio (Turin, 1871/1938); Maggiorino Gramaglia (Turin, 1895/1971); Giovanni Giuseppe Guarnieri (Locorotondo, 1892/Mendoza, 1976); Emanuele Lomiry (Ancona, 1902/Rome, 1988); Elio Luxardo (Sorocaba, 1908/Milan,1969); Carlo Maiorana; Filippo Masoero (Milan, 1894/Rome, 1969); Bruno Munari (Badia, 1907/ Milan, 1998); Francesco Negri (Tromello in Lomellina, 1841/Casale Monferrato, 1924); Mario Nunes Vais (Florence 1856/1932); Ivo Pacetti (Figline 1901/Albissola, 1970); Giulio Parisio (Naples, 1891/1967); Enrico Pedrotti (Trento, 1905/Bolzano, 1965); Guido Pellegrini (Milan, 1886/1955); Tato alias Guglielmo Sansoni (Bologna, 1896/Rome, 1974); Thayaht alias Ernesto Michahelles (Florence, 1893/Marina di Pietrasanta, 1959; Enrico Unterveger (Trento, 1876/1959); Wanda Wulz (Trieste, 1903/1984).
The exhibition catalogue, “Fotografia Futurista” curated by Giovanni Lista and published by Carla Sozzani Editore, will brought together the photographic research and the new visual codes enabling to better understand the Futurists and their enduring influence.
Galleria Carla Sozzani
corso Como 10 – 20154 Milano, Italia
June 11 – November 01, 2015