5 Photography Exhibitions in Summer 2020

The best five Photography exhibitions in Italy this Summer 2020: two great photographers of the twentieth century (Helmut Newton and Inge Morath), the surprising Chinese photographer Ren Hang, the great Tuscan Piergiorgio Branzi and finally the first Biennial of Female Photography.

Helmut Newton. Works

mostre fotografichee newton
Helmut Newton
Ralph Fiennes, Vanity Fair Venice 1995
©Helmut Newton Estate

His photos are famous all over the world and many of these have become icons. They are on city walls, book covers and everywhere in advertising. It seems that since his sudden death in 2004, Helmut Newton’s work has never been so alive or present.
The posthumous fortune of the great Australian photographer born in Germany can also be grasped by the proliferation of exhibitions in his name. But this “Helmut Newton. Works”, open at GAM in Turin until September 20, is truly a worthy representation of his entire opus. An overview of 68 photographs that unfolds all of his five decades of activity: beauty, fashion, glamour and voyeurism come to life thanks to Newton’s eye, in the famous faces on the other side of the camera: Andy Warhol, Claudia Schiffer, Catherine Deneuve, Giancarlo Ferrè, Paloma Picasso, Ralph Fiennes, Anita Ekberg, Leni Riefenstahl.

INGE MORATH. Life and photography

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USA. New York. Manhattan. 1957. A Llama in Time Square.

Known for being the first female photographer of the famous Magnum agency, Inge Morath has had a career that any male photographer would envy: she was invited to Magnum by nobody less than Robert Capa, between 1953 and 1954 she becomes Cartier Bresson’s assistant, and since the mid-1950s she has been traveling around the world taking photos for some of the most renowned international magazines: Picture Post, LIFE, Paris Match, Saturday Evening Post and Vogue.
The exhibition “Inge Morath. Life and Photography”, which will be at the Diocesan Museum of Milan until November 1st , 2020, is the first major retrospective in Italy dedicated to the Austrian photographer. The exhibition brings the visitor through the great Morath photographic reportages in 170 shots: the popular neighbourhoods of Venice in 1953; Franco’s Spain which she visited from 1954; in fashion shows, art auctions or in Paris celebrations of the early 1950s; in Russia, visited with her husband Arthur Penn in 1965, between places sculpted by her black and white and faces of artists and intellectuals oppressed by the regime; in pre-revolutionary Iran where she tries to grasp the relationship between old traditions, the female condition and modern industrial society; and finally in the magnificent reportage from New York in 1957.

Biennial of Female Photography

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Digitized at Full Circle Fine Art Services, Inc.
Baltimore, Maryland

In March 2020 the first Biennial of Female Photography was to start in Mantua, but was blocked by the health emergency, the Biennal finally starts again in these days with events, exhibitions, workshops, screenings and talks disseminated in the beautiful Lombard city.
The theme of this first edition is work, while the aim is to convey gender equality also through the work of the photographer. Guests and protagonists of these Mantuan days are several Italian and non-Italian photographers: the German Sandra Hoyn with her harsh photographic documentary on children’s boxing in Thailand; the Italian Claudia Corrent with her portraits of teenage students working and studying in a professional school; the Georgian Daro Sulakauri with her report on the working conditions of the Georgian miners of Chiatura; the British Eliza Bennett with her attention to the -physical- work of women; the American Erika Larsen with the images taken and apparently suspended over time in the distant bay of Kuskokwim in Alaska.

Ren Hang. Nudes

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Ren Hang, Peacock, 2016. Courtesy Stieglitz 19 and Ren Hang Estate

The young Chinese poet and photographer Ren Hang is known for his research on body, sexuality, identity, and man-nature relationship – an explicit and provocative work that often costs him censorship and arrest in his motherland.
The exhibition “Ren Hang. Nudes”, which will be until August 23rd at Pecci Centre in Prato and comes three years after the premature death of Ren Hang, brings for the first time in Italy his 90 photographs: exclusively nudes, captured in various contexts: on skyscrapers, in the middle of a forest, in a bathtub among goldfishes, among swans, peacocks, snakes, cherries, apples, flowers and plants, sharpening the absurd and unnatural poses.
In the words of the director of the Tuscan museum, Cristiana Perrella: “Ren Hang in his very short life […] has changed the canons of nude photography. It is a genre extremely practiced in the West, but not in China, the Country where he comes from, where the nude still has an enormous disruptive and provocative force”.

Piergiorgio Branzi. The tour of the eye. 1950-2010 photographs

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Mykonos, 1957
© Piergiorgio Branzi

Branzi has been an active photographer since the 1950s, when he won numerous Italian photography competitions and – thanks to his motorbike and car trips between Italy and Spain – he reworked the lesson of the master Cartier-Bresson. His career continued in the following decades on the double track of his two lives: photographer and RAI television correspondent. Among the many international awards, his inclusion in the “Italian Metamorphosis” exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
The exhibition “Piergiorgio Branzi. The tour of the eye. 1950 – 2010 photographs”, which will be at Novara Castle until September 6th, includes 60 images covering over 50 years of Branzi’s career. The exhibition is divided by chronological and geographical cycles: from his Tuscany to Southern Italy, from Paris to Moscow, from Spain to Greece.
Photographs that – according to the curator of the volume dedicated to him, Alessandra Mauro – are a “whirlwind of images and memories, impressions and thoughtful choices. Consistent observations in which the gaze is always ready to travel the world, trace and name the vision of the profiles of lands and stones. A series of views and “reviews” that communicate the same existential experience of the author, his breath. The breath of a deeply attentive body, happy to keep living in wonder and observation”.

Cover image:

Cavaliere della Mancia, 1956

@Piergiorgio Branzi

Target Point, Italian Ideas