NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy, 1932 - 1960
NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy, 1932–1960 explores Italian Neorealism in photography, as it documented Italy’s economic and social conditions in the mid-20th century and its rise as a democratic nation. Originally used for Fascist propaganda, the camera in Italy became a tool for artists to reveal the poverty and oppression of their country and a way to instigate positive social development and create a national identity. The NeoRealismo style became a call for economic justice as well as an artistic movement that influenced the modern world.The achievements of that movement are celebrated in this exhibit of more than 100 photographs—primarily vintage prints—by over 50 Italian artists, paired with the original publications in which they circulated— illustrated magazines, photo books, and exhibition catalogues. Together these images portray the seismic changes that took place throughout Italy during and after the war.
The migration from south to north, the rural and urban poverty, and the desire to establish a national identity are all given expression through the photographers’ lenses. Didactic panels discuss the technological changes that transformed the country, trace the evolution of Neorealist cinema, and explore how writers became part of this revolution. Beautiful, raw, and free of pretense, these images and the people who created them ushered a unique and fascinating moment in modern art history.The exhibit also includes film excerpts by such notable directors as Vittorio De Sica, Roberto Rossellini, and Luchino Visconti. As director Martin Scorsese observes, neorealism is a “collective human response to the devastation and tragedy of war, a response that came in the form of art. It is an impulse … a moment.”
NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy, 1932–1960 is a traveling exhibit organized by Admira, Milan, and curated by Enrica Viganò. It toured Europe to great acclaim and recently made its U.S. debut at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery.