Keith de Lellis Gallery presents a group exhibition of vintage Italian photographs to begin the fall season. These photographs from the years following World War II document a period of dramatic change in everyday Italian life. With the fall of Fascism and its image-heavy propaganda came a renewed pursuit of truth in photography. Neorealism expanded rapidly as photographers sought to document every facet of the Italian identity.
The spread of visual communication in the form of illustrated newspapers and magazines resulted in increased social awareness among the general population. Photographers conducted their own ethnographic studies of both thriving and disappearing cultures, from busy cities to small villages. These series include Nino Migliori’s “Gente dell’Emilia,” Mario Finocchiaro’s “Gente de Milano,” and Giacomelli’s studies of remote pastoral regions with “Scanno”.
Both the photographers and their growing audience were interested in discovering Italy as it was experienced by all of its people. Neorealism sought to use the camera as an unbiased, mechanical tool with which to preserve and share these experiences.
While they gravitated towards a journalistic approach in their subject matter, these artists maintained their eye for dramatic, even cinematic, compositions. Full of life, motion, and sentiment, the images pull the viewer in to the moment captured. The beauty of their photographs only served to further their humanist pursuits. Featuring celebrations, prayers, labor, farewells, and more, this exhibition gives the viewer a brief survey of the postwar Italian landscape as some of its native photographers experienced it.
Neorealismo will be on view at the Keith de Lellis Gallery through November 3, 2018.