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Untitled (Landscape) from the series Paesaggi

© Estate of Mario Giacomelli

Untitled (Landscape) from the series Paesaggi

Artist: Mario Giacomelli (Born in Senigallia, Italy, 1925 – 2000)
Culture: Italian
Date: 1964–1974
Medium: Gelatin silver print
Dimensions:
Frame: 18 x 21 1/2 inches (45.7 x 54.6 cm)
Classification: Photograph
Credit Line: Gift of Ippy and Neil Patterson in honor of Patricia Leighten
Label Text:Mario Giacomelli was a self-taught painter who began working in photography in the 1950s and eventually became one of Italy’s best known photographers. His poetic work pushed photography to an experimental level of distortion and abstraction. Giacomelli deals with old age, decay, and death through images of the land and people in the rural communities of his birthplace. In this aerial view of farmers’ fields and sheep—part of his Paesaggi or Landscapes series—the forms of the human-altered landscape far below arrange themselves into dynamic patterns of beauty and meaning, exaggerated by the extreme contrasts of light and dark produced by Giacomelli in the print. For Giacomelli, a landscape could function in much the same way as a portrait, its surfaces recalling past events and a deeper nature. “…Look at the wrinkles in an old person’s face,” the artist has said, “and you’re looking at the furrows ploughed in the field.” In the photographs from this series, Giacomelli photographed the Marche, a hilly region in central Italy with an ancient terrain that was threatened by intense or improper cultivation. The artist uses the damage caused to the land by either human labor or neglect as a larger metaphor for universal pain and suffering.


Provenance:
Object number: 2013.2.1