Modena pays tribute to photographer Franco Fontana with exhibition Synthesis

In Modena, 'Synthesis' exhibition celebrates photographer Franco Fontana. March 22 through Aug. 25, 2019 at three venues.

Modena pays tribute to photographer Franco Fontana (Modena, 1933), one of its most important and internationally renowned artists. From March 22 to August 25, 2019, FONDAZIONE MODENA ARTI VISIVE, in the three venues of the Palazzina dei Giardini, MATA - Ex Manifattura Tabacchi and Sala Grande of Palazzo Santa Margherita, is hosting the exhibition, titled Sintesi, which traces more than sixty years of the Modenese artist’s career and traces his relationships with some of the most influential authors of twentieth-century photography. The exhibition is divided into two sections: the first, curated by Diana Baldon, director of FONDAZIONE MODENA ARTI VISIVE, set upin the Sala Grande of Palazzo Santa Margherita and in the Palazzina dei Giardini, represents the true synthesis-as the title states-of Franco Fontana’s artistic journey, through thirty works, most of them unpublished, created between 1961 and 2017, selected from the artist’s vast photographic archive.

This nucleus focuses on those works that constitute Fontana’s true expressive signature. They are urban and natural landscapes, which take the visitor on an ideal journey that links Modena to Cuba, China, the United States and Kuwait. Since his early days, Fontana has dedicated himself to researching the creative photographic image through bold geometric compositions characterized by abstract perspectives and surfaces signifying and witnessing their form. These capture varied subjects, ranging from mass culture to leisure, from travel to speed, as an allegory of the freedom of the individual, in which the human figure is almost always absent or seen from a distance.

His photographs have often been associated with modernist abstract painting, for which color is a central element, while the geometric lines of shapes disguise the representation of reality. This innovative approach of his has emerged since the 1960s as an innovative charge in the field of creative color photography.

The second section, curated by Franco Fontana himself and hosted by MATA - Ex Manifattura Tabacchi,offers a selection of about one hundred photographs that Franco Fontana donated in 1991 to the Municipality of Modena and Galleria Civica, which constitutes an important rib of the collection now managed by Fondazione Modena Arti Visive. This collection outlines the relationships woven by the artist with the great protagonists of international photography. Indeed, in the mid-1970s, Fontana began exchanging prints with other international photographers, collecting over the years more than 1,600 works by many of the most significant names in Italian and international photography, from Mario Giacomelli to Luigi Ghirri and Gianni Berengo Gardin, from Richard Avedon to Annie Leibovitz, from Arnold Newman to Josef Koudelka and Sebastião Salgado. Through the artist’s firsthand recollections, this section testifies to the breadth and genuineness of Fontana’s relationships with colleagues around the world, in many cases becoming bonds of deep friendship, and to the esteem in which he is surrounded, attested by the affectionate dedications often found on the photographs.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog available at the show. Franco Fontana. Synthesis is produced in collaboration with the Fotografia Europea festival in Reggio Emilia, which in its 2019 edition will be dedicated to the theme “LEGAMI. Intimacies, relationships, new worlds.” Ticket price: full 6 €, reduced 4 €.

Pictured: Franco Fontana, Havana (2017)

Source: press release

Modena pays tribute to photographer Franco Fontana with exhibition Synthesis
Modena pays tribute to photographer Franco Fontana with exhibition Synthesis

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