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Abstraction In 20th Century

Italian Photography

November 2017–January 2018

Elio Luxardo, F.T. Marinetti, ​1930. Abstract portrait featuring a man with a mustache in a tuxedo and a distortion with concentric circles.
Italo Bertoglio, Le case di fronte, c. 1937. Diagonally composed rows of soldiers in helmets photographed from behind.
Luigi Veronesi, Fotogramma, 1936/1977. Abstract composition featuring two overlapping sets of concentric circles and two straight lines.
Luciano d'Alessandro, Mauthausen: Il Dormitorio, ​c. 1960. A dark hall with windows along the left casting light onto the floor on the right.
Alberto Galducci, Untitled, ​1952. Detail of an arched bridge and its reflection on a still body of water.
Aldo Spadoni, La Bianca Parete, ​1954. A young child in profile stands in the lower left of the frame. A man looks over a balcony on the upper left.
Vittorio Ronconi, Camogli - Le sue case, ​c. 1960. Dark scene looking up at columns of windows of an apartment building. A laundry line hangs across the upper right holding white fabric.
Franco Grignani, Ritmi, ​1967. Abstract composition of overlapping sets of concentric white rings on a black background.
Giuseppe Goffis, Messaggio Per Ursula (Bussana Vecchia), ​1961. Detail of an abstractly painted wall with a note tacked in the upper left of the composition that reads "To Ursula J. (If she should come...)"
Ezio Quiresi, Parigi - Canne Fumarie, ​1965. Abstract composition featuring vertical bent black lines and various rectangle shapes.
Vittorio Ronconi, Migrazione, ​c. 1960. Abstract dark composition filled with backlit hooded figures.
Ulisse Bezzi, In Preghiera, ​1970. Dark abstract profile of a hooded figure holding a small book.
Ferruccio Ferroni, Vapori Cromatici, ​1953. Detail of cracked earth.
Tullio Stravisi, Il Temporale, ​1953. Reeds floating on a still body of water reflecting trees.
Mario Giacomelli, On Being Aware of Nature, ​1954–2000. Abstract farmland landscape with linear patterns.
Augusto Cantamessa, Breve Orizzonte, ​c. 1955. Forced perspective with thin upward stalks in the foreground and two cyclists in the distance so that they appear miniature.
Mario Giacomelli, Presa di conscienza sulla natura, 1976/1990. Abstract landscape divided into three sections: a striped triangle in the upper left, a white triangle in the lower left, and a black square section in the lower right.
Emilio Sommariva, Untitled, ​n.d. Dark seascape with a cloudy sky. Sea is lower third of the frame, sky is upper two thirds.
Carlo Mantovani, Tricromia dalla Cavana, ​n.d. Abstract composition divided horizontally into thirds: Black, white, and gray sections with jagged edges.
Stanislao Farri, Estate, ​1959. A woman smiles with eyes closed and one hand above her as water pours down onto her head.
Stanislao Farri, Reggio Emilia, ​1959. Abstract silhouette of a humanoid figure blurred with motion against a white background.
Nino Migliori, Untitled, ​1954. A figure is reflected in the lower right on a frosty pane of glass.
Vittorio Ronconi, Il Lancio, ​c. 1959. A group of figures on a beach, blurred with motion as they toss one figure into the air.
Pietro Donzelli, Flood in Polesine, ​1960. Three figures on a seaside road ride bicycles from right to left across the horizontal frame.
Mario Cresci, Untitled, ​1979. A figure's head, blurred with motion, and shoulders are in the center foreground of a small bedroom with a bed against the right wall and chairs along the left and rear walls.
Pino Dal Gal, Capo Testa (Sardinia), ​1977. Abstracted nude torso photographed from behind against a stone landscape.
Mario Finazzi, Studio No. 21, ​1950. Abstract solarized nude female torso extending from the right of the frame.
Mario Perotti, Untitled, ​c. 1935. Right side of a seated nude female torso.
Luigi Ghirri, Untitled, ​1976. Color photograph of a blue wall with two concentric squares in the center. The innermost shows the left arm, upper back, and head of a nude figure facing away, reaching upward to their hair.
Giuseppe Goffis, Mexican Fiesta, ​c. 1960. Color photograph of a female torso in traditional dress with skirt splayed out, blurred with motion from dancing.
Riccardo Moncalvo, Alla Mostra, ​1954. Color photograph. Two figures in white heels and tea-length skirts can be seen in the lower half of the frame, their upper bodies obscured by a wall with two photographs on it.
Franco Fontana, Untitled, ​1975. Abstracted color scene divided into three rectangles: the largest, a grayish purple, fills the majority of the frame, while the lower third is divided into two color fields of deep purple and yellow.
Enrico Cattaneo, Paesaggio, ​2000. Abstract color composition composed of soft blue-green horizontal strokes.
Alberto Galducci, Architettura, c. 1952. Detail of a building with a barred window in the lower left of the frame. Diagonal, geometric composition with dramatic light and shadow.
Alberto Galducci, Untitled, ​n.d. Rooftop with tall, thin smokestack protruding upward to divide the frame vertically.

Press Release

Keith de Lellis Gallery presents a group exhibition of Italian photographers that experimented with abstraction in the twentieth century. Featuring works by Mario Giacomelli, Luigi Veronesi, Pino Dal Gal, Augusto Cantamessa, and more, this exhibition explores the various ways these artists approached the creation of abstract imagery using the photographic medium.


From curving natural forms to rigid architecture, bodies in motion to static objects, the subjects of these photographs can be found in all aspects of life, whether arranged by the artist or captured as found.


These images have been manipulated to the point of abstraction physically, as with Giacomelli’s landscapes, in the darkroom, as with Veronesi’s photograms, or simply through careful composition, lighting, and timing of the exposure. In some cases, the photographic material is itself the subject, with no camera involved at all. Enrico Cattaneo created artificial landscapes on light-sensitive paper using only chemistry and light.

Featured artists: Elio Luxardo, Pino Dal Gal, Mario Cresci, Giuseppe Goffis, Mario Giacomelli, Pietro Donzelli, Vittorio Ronconi, Franco Grignani, Franco Fontana, Mario Perotti, Alberto Galducci, Carlo Mantovani, Riccardo Moncalvo, Luigi Ghirri, Nino Migliori, Luigi Veronesi, Carlo Monari, Italo Bertoglio, Emilio Sommariva, Ferruccio Ferroni, Augusto Cantamessa, Tullio Stravisi, Ulisse Bezzi, Enrico Cattaneo, Mario Finazzi, Stanislao Farri, and Aldo Spadoni.


This exhibition will be on view at the Keith de Lellis Gallery through January 13, 2018.