The New York tribute to Italian neorealism in 200 shots – Mondo
There is a glimpse of Italian history made of courage and beauty, told by the power of photography at the Gray Art Gallery in New York from 6 September to 8 December. The Museum of Fine Arts of New York University draws Italy before, during and after the Second World War from the dark years of fascism to post-war poverty, without neglecting the hope of a people that does not want to surrender to misery.
For the first time, as also explained by the curator Enrica Viganò, "the exhibition NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy, 1932-1960 will bring together in a single context different objects and materials, related to the years running since 1932 to 1960, exploring the way in which Italian photographers communicated daily the political reality of that era ".
The photographic journey in the historical context of post-war Italy begins with the section dedicated to realism in the fascist era, when photography shows itself as an instrument of propaganda and mass communication. The destruction of a country exhausted by the conflict is accompanied by the euphoria of rebirth, a feeling of moral redemption at the base of the immortalized "Italian miracle" – along with scenes of everyday life, difficult, yet vibrant with hopeful vitality – by the lens of photographers as Tullio Farabola and Stefano Robino
When, with the fall of fascism, neorealism translates into the dominant form of expression, artistic freedom and the need to reconstruct a new Italian identity at national level feeds the fervor for documentation, for the testimony of the newspaper. In this way photography plays an essential role in the attempt to establish a collective identity in post-war Italy. In the aftermath of the conflict it is up to Mario Cattaneo, Franco Pinna and Arturo Zavattini to photograph the many faces of the country.
The golden age of social photojournalism is told in the exhibition by reportages made in different areas of Italy, which document the life and habits of the country, with an eye to changing the role of the photographer, who has become a leading figure in the major publishing groups. Names like Carlo Cisventi, Tino Petrelli, Marisa Rastellini go down in history for their refusal of the artificial and a strong interest in reality.
The final section of the exhibition, entitled From Art to Document presents the shots of photographers like Pietro Donzelli and Giuseppe Bruno, engaged in heated discussions about the legacy of neorealism.
And again the exhibition itinerary reviews the photo clubs – which, between 1943 and 1960, formed meeting places in which the artists were confronted on the creative value of photography and its future – but also squares, like Piazza Grande in Burano immortalized by Piergiorgio Branzi, or situations, like the woman portrayed by Mario De Biasi while riding a bicycle on a Milanese Sunday in August.
From the Gray Art Gallery, in the "Big Apple", a series of exhibitions will start, from the Italian House of the NYU to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to spotlight the multiple forms of Italian Neorealism.
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