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In Venice the black and white of Inge Morath

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In Venice the black and white of Inge Morath

Spring air in Venice: the lagoon city is filled with enchantment with the photographic exhibition exhibited at the Palazzo Grimani Museum “Inge Morath. Photographing from Venice onwards”, open until 4 June 2023. An itinerary designed to celebrate the vigilant gaze at the details of Inge Morath (1923-2002), the photographer who did not initially know she wanted to photograph, unless prompted by a suggestion from Magnum manager Robert Capa: “Then I took a trip to Venice […] the light was beautiful, the rain had covered everything like glass. I had just finished pressing the button, when I suddenly realized that for me this was the perfect way to express what was inside. I had to start taking pictures.”

The artist’s bond with the Venetian lagoon

The exhibition – curated by Kurt Kaindle and Brigitte Blüml – celebrates the artist’s bond with the Venetian lagoon and retraces this fortunate accident full of “serendipity” with an exhibition itinerary that develops between the first and second floors of the Palazzo and more of 200 photographs with an unedited focus on Venice. Many of these Venetian shots, about eighty, have never been exhibited before in Italy.

Inge Morath. “Photographing from Venice onwards”

Photogallery21 photos


Henri Cartier-Bresson

And it was in the lagoon city that Inge Morath’s photographic career began: after becoming an associate member of the Magnum agency, in 1953 she made a report dedicated to the city. This first assignment preceded a longer stay in Venice in the autumn of 1955 on behalf of the art magazine “L’Oeil”. Here her attention turned towards the less frequented places and popular neighborhoods, portraying people in their spontaneity. Some surreal settings and strongly graphic compositions are an explicit reference to the photographic work of his first mentor Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Inge Morath’s career is therefore the testimony of the passion and need for photography. A woman who managed, with courage and determination, to establish herself professionally in a sector at that time reserved almost exclusively for men. Accompanying a selection of his main reports on Spain, Iran, France, England, the United States, China and Russia, journeys that the artist has never faced with superficiality but digging into the customs and traditions of the people he met, thanks also to his ability to speak countless languages ​​fluently. The last section is meticulously dedicated to portraits of celebrities from various cultural sectors, from actresses of the caliber of Audrey Hepburn to painters such as Roy Lichtenstein and Alberto Giacometti, but also writers, poets and illustrators such as Pablo Neruda, Philip Roth, Saul Steinberg. The photograph of Marilyn Monroe following dance steps in the shade of a tree is famous, taken on the set of the 1960 film “The Misfits”. On that set Inge Morath met Arthur Miller, who at the time was romantically linked to the actress American. A delicacy of soul and spirit, that of Morath, visible from her shots that are never vulgar or banal, full of excerpts from daily life in all her precarious beauty and intimacy. “I loved the people. They let me photograph them, but they too wanted me to listen to them, to tell me what they knew. So we told their story together.”

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