Mario Giacomelli: La Matière de l’Homme
Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Paris
19 November 2010 - 5 January 2011
73 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris
+33 1 44 39 49 39

Mario Giacomelli was born in Senigallia in 1925, at the age of 13 he began to work as a typesetter. In 1952 he bought a camera and took his first photograph: “L’approdo”. From that moment on, consciously choosing to be a non-professional photographer, he devoted himself to the creation of his intense series of images: life in a retirement home, landscapes, Scanno, farming life. In 1953 he joined the photographic association Misa and in 1956 La Bussola. From 1955, after the critical acclaim of John Szarkowski, director of photography at the MoMa in New York, he began to receive recognition and to exhibit in Italy and abroad.

Giacomelli printed his own photographs in small, unnumbered editions and made use of darkroom techniques such as ‘burning in’ and ‘blocking out’. Such techniques resulted in high-contrast images with brilliant whites and rich blacks. He has also used slow shutter speeds at the time of taking the photographs, deliberately creating blur and a sense of movement, which is further emphasised by cropping where figures appear at the margins and corners of the images.

Since his death in November 2000, Mario Giacomelli has been acclaimed as one of the most original photographic artists of the twentieth century.