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Presa di coscienza sulla natura


Signed Titled



30 x 40 x 0.1 cm
11.81 x 16 x 0.04 in







View in a Room

Gelatin silver print. Photography part of series " Presa di coscienza sulla natura 1976/’80 ". Copyright stamp of the photographer and stamp of the Mario Giacomelli heirs signed by Simone Giacomelli on the back. passepartout. -- These are the aerial landscape photographs taken from a Piper. In the high contrast of the photos of this period, and in the focal importance of signs, abstraction and essentialisation of forms, it is always important for the artist (as he points out in his notes for the print on the test specimens) to keep it teeming with matter. "Landscape as an act of total expression where I feel nature leavening, the traumatic flow of time. It is the dimension of space reduced to a single emotion. An extension of my existence where the everyday, the repetitive, is as if filtered by the flowing of the imaginary. I do not portray the landscape but the signs, the memories of the existence of 'my' landscape. I do not want it to be immediately identified, I prefer it to be thought of as certain signs, the folds-wrinkles that man has in his hands. At one time, this thinking of the peasant fascinated me, because I felt the landscape as a great reportage, pure, strong, all yet to be discovered, to be experienced. I then realised that I was instead photographing my interiority, through the landscape I was finding my soul. [...] The earth has signs, folds, that were asking to be photographed, it seemed to me. The signs were arranged in a way that the soul could enjoy, interior signs reflected as creative action, stun and at the same time knowledge, destruction that builds. Earth as a path of cravings, of sensitivity, of penetrations, of orgasms, so that visible things are not repeated. Perhaps I have never photographed the landscape: I have only loved it.". (Mario Giacomelli, handwritten notes 1990s, Courtesy Archivi Mario Giacomelli)

1925 Senigallia, Italy

Mario Giacomelli (1 August 1925 – 25 November 2000) was an Italian photographer and photojournalist in the genre of humanism.

Giacomelli was born in the sea-port town of Senigallia in the Marche region of Italy into a family of modest means. Only nine when his father died, at 13, the boy left high school to work as a typesetter and spent his weekends painting and writing poetry. After the horrors of World War II, from 1953 he turned to the more immediate medium of photography and joined the Misa Group, formed that year. After pre-war years dominated by a Pictorialist aesthetic promoted by the Fascist government, these artists enjoyed experimenting with form. 

He wandered the streets and fields of post-war Italy, inspired by the gritty Neo-Realist films of Vittorio De Sica and Roberto Rossellini, and influenced by the renowned Italian photographer Giuseppe Cavalli, founder of Misa, and developing a style characterized by radical compositions, bold cropping and stark contrasts. In 1955 he was discovered in Italy by Paolo Monti, and beginning in 1963, became known in the outside Italy through John Szarkowski of the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Giacomelli's technique is distinctive. After beginning with the popular and robust Comet 127 film-format viewfinder camera, made in Italy by CMF Bencini from 1948 into the 1950s, in 1954 he bought a second-hand Kobell, a larger coupled rangefinder camera for 6x9 plates and film, one of only about 400 made by Boniforti and Ballerio in Milan from about 1952, and modified it himself. He was unafraid of exploiting the double-exposure capability of its Compur shutter, as well as soft focus, camera movement and slow shutter speeds.

His images are high-contrast, quite unlike the modulated full tonal range of his mentor Cavalli, and are the result of using electronic flash, from overdevelopment of his film and compensatory heavy printing so that nearly-black forms 'float' against a white ground. In accounting for these choices he referred to his printing-industry and graphic arts training; "For me the photographic film is like a printing plate, a lithograph, where images and emotions become stratified." After 1986, especially in his 1992-3 series Il pittore Bastari ('The painter Bastari') he artificially included consciously symbolic cardboard masks and toy dogs.

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