»Deep in Colors«
Kuratiert von Sabrina Raffaghello
Diese Ausstellung, die zur Berlin Art Week 2018 läuft, markiert die Forschung in den Werken Franco Fontanas. Franco Fontana geht von einer Auffassung der Fotografie als einer schöpferischen Tätigkeit aus, in der die Beziehung zur Natur oder Realität von einer intensiven poetischen Projektion begleitet wird. Fotografie sollte das Sichtbare nicht reproduzieren; sie sollte das Unsichtbare sichtbar machen.
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This exhibition, running for the Berlin Art Week 2018, sets out to mark the research in the Franco Fontana’s works.
Franco Fontana sets out from a conception of photography as a creative activity in which the relationship with nature or reality is accompanied by an intense poetic projection.
He made this clear in an interview some years ago: “I think photography is not a study of positive reality but a search for an ideal truth full of suggestion, mystery and fantasy. To take a photograph is to possess, it is an act in which knowledge and profound possession are acquired. Photography should not reproduce the visible; it should make the invisible visible.”
These are the principles that he has followed in producing the very varied work that we now see in this exhibition at the SR Contemporary art in Berlin. It ranges from the studies of historical and architectural subjects that he made in the 1960s and ’70s, including the famous photo of Prague and pictures of Modena and Venice, to his explorations of rural landscape, interpreted with a new eye, which were very soon recognised as fundamental works of the photography of the time. His series on Basilicata, Apulia and the desert of Erfoud are possibly the most significant examples. Then there is a long sequence of city scenes in which he concentrates on recording signs and traces of humanity. Streets, shadows and road surfaces form a sequence in which Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York are settings that Fontana explores with a new kind of attention. One might say there is an American light that illuminates all these records of the 1980s and ’90s. People and places with a strongly cinematic imprint come to life and go about their business in an interplay of light and shade. The Swimming Pool series of vintage print showed in the exhibiton in the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum.
Colour plays a fundamental part in his startling Polaroid pictures, in his sequences of rural landscapes, in his photographs featuring the sea and the most recent pictures.
Fontana gives his work a poetic intensity that brings out the emotion and magic in every situation, transforming what he does into a search for the invisible, the unrepeatable moment that exists in every work of art. Franco Fontana is an Italian Master Photographer who succeed in making visible the invisible.
Franco Fontana was born in Modena in 1933. He began photographing in ‘61 and his first solo shows were in Turin in ‘65 and in Modena in ’68. This last exhibition marks a turning point in his research: in the practice of photography he began inventing his own language, closely balancing abstraction and the everyday pragmatism which is typical of his native land. He attempts to reconcile macrocosm and microcosm as his contemplative subjects. «Fontana has been able to generate “the photographic colour” without transferring its sign as idea» (A.C. Quintavalle). He has published over 40 books in Italian, Japanese, French, German, Swiss, American and Spanish editions, and has exhibited in over 400 solo and group exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world. His works are present in 50 international public collections including MoMA (New York), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), Musée d’Art Moderne (Paris), Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (Torino). He has received numerous awards including the Cologne Photokina (1974), the appointment of Master Photographer from the Italian FIAF (1995) and the honorary degree in ecofriendly Product Design (2006, Faculty of Architecture, Polytechnic of Turin). He signed many advertising campaigns (Canon, Railways, Fiat, Robe di Kappa, Snam, Sony, Volkswagen and Volvo, Versace, Kodak). He held conferences and workshops abroad (Guggenheim Museum in New York, Tokyo Institute of Technology Academy of Brussels, University of Toronto) and in several Italian cities. He has collaborated with magazines and newspapers such as Time-Life, Vogue USA and Vogue France, Venerdì (La Repubblica), Sette (Corriere della Sera), Panorama, Frankfurter Allgemeine, Epoca, Class, New York Times. He is Artistic Director of the Toscana Foto Festival, and he collaborated with the Centre Pompidou and the Ministries of Culture of France and Japan. In 2011 he is invited in the Biennale of Alessandria with a solo project “Vita Nova” and in the Biennale of Venice in Italian Pavilion by the curator Vittorio Sgarbi. In 2014 the city of Venice has dedicated to Fontana an important retrospective Full Colors as well The city of Rome. Last publication Full Color edited by Marsilio for the exhibition in Venice and Rome.
SR CONTEMPORARY ART was founded by Sabrina Raffaghello in 2001. While the concept of the Gallery was originally to focus on Italian Photography, representing artist with both historical value and contemporary significance, SR has now opened up the scope to international artists working in photography, multimedia and visual arts. Yet, the Gallery’sstrong commitment to its artists is everlasting and has focused on building collaborations with other galleries and institutions around the world to establish artists’ careers. Most of SR CONTEMPORARY ART artists have had extensive museum activity, monographs, critical acclaim and important recognition from the international collectors community.
The Gallery works on different worktops, such as assisting private collectors in buying, supporting the creation of both corporate and public collections, collaborating on the production of exhibitions and organizing arts and cultural events. Through the years the Gallery has become an important reference, a point of contact, for acquisitions for both public and private collections. Furthermore, the Gallery assists both beginning and veteran collectors in locating, buying and selling works spanning all the 20th century to established and emerging photographers. Additionally, Sabrina Raffaghello became a conceptual brand for emerging designers. The Gallery has developed, in collaboration with industrial groups and architecture firms, many important projects of contamination between art and services, giving birth to important collections and to relevant urban art projects. Since 2006, the SR Contemporary Art is also committed to expand its networks, and since then it has worked on producing original and significant on-site projects in partnerships/collaboration with interior design firms, real estate developers and accommodation establishments.
In 2007, Sabrina invented the Alexandria Biennale of contemporary video photography, working closely with the administration of the city of Alexandria and the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage. The format of this unique Biennale has been considered truly innovative by many as it compares the different languages that comprise contemporary videography whilst comparing artists from the Italian art scenery. At the same time, in many ways, it also compares nations, as the hosting country changes at every Biennial.
Since 2006, Sabrina has a strong affiliation with China’s museum sector, initiating in 2010 collaboration with NAMOC (National Art Museum of China, Beijing) and with GUMOA (Guandong Museum of Art of Guangzhou). Sabrina has therefore organized and curated several exhibitions in both China and Italy. The Gallery’s representative office in China has the scope to maintain these collaborations and generate new opportunities between Europe and China. Shanghai’s office, united with Berlin’s venue and Milano’s strong connections, permits the Gallery’s constant engagement in the international market, with a distinguishable specialization in Italian and Chinese photography and video.
In 2017, the gallery moved its headquarters from Milan to Berlin. The German capital is in fact a privileged place for international intersections of the art market. Historically, Berlin is also recognized as a crossroads of cultural flows between East and West – to which the gallery is traditionally associated. Furthermore, being active in Berlin also means having a constant eye on key artistic trends, as the City is a true router for the elaboration and production of contemporary languages.
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