At the MAC in Lissone, Maurizio Galimberti's exhibition rereads recent history with his mosaics

From Feb. 11 to April 30, Lissone's MAC opens "Instants of History," a solo exhibition by Maurizio Galimberti with which the well-known Lombard photographer rereads the last 100 years of history with his mosaics.

From February 11 to April 30, the MAC Museum of Contemporary Art in Lissone opens Istanti di Storia, a solo exhibition by Maurizio Galimberti (Como, 1956) curated by Francesca Guerisoli and Denis Curti. The exhibition presents the cycle inspired by the history of the twentieth century and its protagonists: sixty large-format works consisting of photographic snapshots that repropose some of the most “iconic” images of recent decades, through which the artist rereads collective memory.

Galimberti chooses some photographs by other authors - among the most representative of the events that have characterized our most recent past -, photographs them several times from different perspectives, breaks them down and recomposes them “mosaically,” thus reiterating their symbolic value, as if to emphasize the strength of these same images, whose evocative power “is worth a thousand words.”

“These mosaics do not ’explain’ facts, nor do they intend to give precise answers about the course of history, but rather, when seen in their totality, they appear as a sampler of memorable events that through artistic intervention are freed from historicized documentation to take on the ethereal semblance of contemporary relics,” comments Denis Curti.

“Each of Galimberti’s works becomes a device for a twofold action. On the one hand, for the artist it is a mechanism of reworking, which in reiterating the gesture of selection, decomposition, enlargement, reassembly confronts major historical events and collective traumas. On the other hand, in re-presenting images-icons renewed by its artistic gesture-it reaffirms the capacity of a photograph to become a monumental image,” Francesca Guerisoli points out.

The exhibition traces an itinerary by presenting reworkings of iconic images taken from current events, cinematography and entertainment (the iconic image from the film Easy Rider, Anna Magnani in Roma città aperta, Sofia Loren’s weeping in La Ciociara, Jimi Hendrix with his guitar, the tragedy of the Grande Torino); delves into the darkness of history (the Battle of Iwo Jima, the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, the Red Army’s entry into Berlin in 1945, the assassination of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the Middle East crisis and terrorism of the 1970s, Clean Hands, the attack on the Twin Towers); traces the painful traumas of childhood (the Warsaw Ghetto child, Mengele’s children, the famous photo of the Vietnamese girl burned by Napalm); dwells before the greatest personalities of the twentieth century (Che Guevara with his famous cigar, Martin Luther King, Pope John Paul II, Aldo Moro, Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino, Michail Gorbačëv and Boris Yeltsin, Nelson Mandela) until the Covid-19 pandemic. The exhibition itinerary closes with a touching reinterpretation of the Marcinelle tragedy, when on the hot summer day of August 8, 1956, just outside the Belgian town one of the most serious mining accidents in history took place: 262 people died, including 136 Italian immigrants. Maurizio Galimberti’s cycle on the story was produced based on an idea by Paolo Ludovici and the works are part of the LUCHI Collection.

The exhibition, with free admission, opens on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to noon and 3 to 7 p.m. For information:

The artist

Maurizio Galimberti was born in Como in 1956, lives and works in Monza. He approaches the world of analog photography with the use of a Wideluxm rotating lens camera and then focuses his efforts, in 1983, on Polaroid. In 1991, he began his collaboration with Polaroid Italia, of which he became the official testimonial by producing the Polaroid Pro Art volume (1995), which has become a cult object for fans of integral-type Polaroid film. He is named “Instant Artist” and is the creator of the “Italian Polaroid Collection.” In 1992 he was awarded the prestigious “Gran Prix Kodak Pubblicità Italia.” In 2000, he creates a traveling exhibition of the series I Maestri for Kodak Italia. He continued his research with Polaroid and reinvented the “Photographic Mosaic” technique, which he initially adapted to portraits. The first experiment was in 1989, when he portrayed his son Giorgio. This was followed by portraits of Michele Trussardi, Carla Fracci and Mimmo Rotella, from which the reference to the photodynamism of the Bragaglias and the search for rhythm and movement is evident.

He executed numerous portraits of the world of cinema, art and culture, and the popularity they gained led him to participate as an official portraitist at the Venice Film Festival. “Mosaic” soon becomes the technique for portraying not only faces, but also landscapes, architecture and cities. Between 1997 and 1999 he produced two important works for the cities of Paris and Lisbon, from which he began his reflection on the importance of being able to tell the story, music, and experience of a place through images. In 2003 he made the volume Viaggio in Italia, edited by Denis Curti, an account of some places in our country through individual polaroids.

In 2006, during his first trip to New York, he begins his research on light, on the energy inspired by the city that becomes the ideal representation of the contemporary world. He will dedicate a further work in 2010 to New York, making a body of Single Polaroids and Mosaics, alternating stories of details, images of human intimacy with shots that lend themselves to the study, executed with mathematical rigor, of different compositional harmonies. This was followed by monographic works on other cities such as Berlin, Venice and Naples. New artistic and creative projects also arise in collaboration with large Italian companies. In 2013 he presented in Venice the project Paesaggio Italia / Italyscapes, curated by Benedetta Donato, the first anthological exhibition dedicated to the author’s research on landscape from which the publication of the same name published by Marsilio Editori was taken.

On the occasion of EXPO 2015, he presented the publication Milano by Maurizio Galimberti (MBP Gruppo Editoriale) and the exhibition Metamorphosis. The Rising City. In 2017 he participated in the Venice Pavilion, curated by Stefano Zecchi, at the 57th Venice Art Biennale, while between 2019 and 2020 his images on Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper were exhibited at the Gallerie D’Italia di Intesa San Paolo in Milan. In 2021 he exhibited the Forest Frame project at the Muse / Palazzo delle Albere in Trento. His works are part of prestigious photography collections.

Image: Maurizio Galimberti, Disinfestation in Wuhan, (2020-2021; Fujifilm Instax mosaic, 91 x 147 cm; LUCHI Collection)

At the MAC in Lissone, Maurizio Galimberti's exhibition rereads recent history with his mosaics
At the MAC in Lissone, Maurizio Galimberti's exhibition rereads recent history with his mosaics

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