The Aosta Valley sculpted and photographed. The works of Stefano Venturini and Ladislao Mastella on display.

From December 1, 2018 to March 24, 2019, the Church of San Lorenzo in Aosta is hosting the exhibition La montagna fotografata, la montagna scolpita. Stefano Venturini and Ladislao Mastella.

From December 1, 2018 to March 24, 2019, the Church of San Lorenzo in Aosta will host the exhibition La montagna fotografata, la montagna scolpita, a double solo show by photographer Stefano Venturini (Ivrea, 1975) and sculptor Ladislao Mastella (San Bonifacio, 1947). The show is the fourth in a series of exhibitions that have been well received by the public and juxtapose the works of a photographer and a local sculptor. The exhibition, curated by Daria Jorioz, consists of a selection of small, medium and large photographs by Stefano Venturini, in color and black and white, and twenty wood sculptures by Ladislao Mastella.

Stefano Venturini offers visually striking images that illustrate the size of the mountain in the various seasons of the year and are offered in the exhibition on different media, from canvas to brushed aluminum, and with different printing techniques. Venturini is a photographer from Valle d ’Aosta with a tireless desire to explore places and expressive possibilities: a passion for the landscapes of the Aosta Valley and an innate vocation for the world of light and color lead him to work in advertising and landscape photography, industrial services and art catalogs. A Tau Visual member for 20 years, he inaugurated his photography studio SteVephoto in 2001 in Aosta, starting collaborations with advertising and graphic agencies. He publishes his images in national and foreign magazines such as AD, DOVE, Bell’Italia. For the past few years his photographs have also been reproduced, in limited and certified runs, with Digigraphie® digital technology. He has made several exhibitions in the Aosta Valley and participated in group exhibitions including Art without Borders, Central Gallery of the Union of Artists in St. Petersburg (2014-2015); Expo in Valle d’Aosta. The excellences of the territory told with the languages of modernity, Regional Archaeological Museum of Aosta (2015).

“Stefano Venturini,” wrote curator Daria Jorioz, “explores the relationships between atmospheric light, nature and mountains by making photographs of great aesthetic quality. The solid technical and professional approach puts him in a position to focus on atmospheric effects to compose images of absolute clarity, capture chromaticisms of sober elegance, with a mature and balanced authorial gaze. In photography, light is everything, it caresses, reveals, emphasizes, subtracts where necessary, allows you to describe strongly or smooth out roughness. But one must be able to grasp it, understand it, dose it.”

“A landscape photographer of undoubted expressive power, Stefano Venturini,” adds Jorioz, “ventures into the narrative of a mountain whose pristine nature of extraordinary beauty, the majesty of the peaks and the roughness of the rocks he emphasizes, mindful of the lesson of Ansel Adams. In the manner of the great American photographer, he looks for glimpses devoid of anthropization to allow us to see the splendor of the natural environment, waits for the best atmospheric conditions, silently pursues changing skies in which moving clouds concur to create images that look like the painted canvas of an ancient painter. In the black-and-white shots, the modulation of grays and the perfect calibration between light and shadow denote a classical vision of photography that gathers and enlivens with new life the legacy of the great landscape photographers who have made history. His affinity with Ansel Adams is more than a suggestion, for Stefano Venturini’s gaze is supported by an impeccable technique, solidly acquired over the years, that few landscape photographers can boast. This professional solidity allows him to indulge naturally in an emotional approach, composing images that crystallize an unexpected moment, illustrate an unseen glimpse, narrate a moment of poignant poetry. The mountain is loved and experienced, its paths traveled in the course of solitary walks, its peaks observed from the heights of a paraglider, its forests explored at dawn or in the iridescent light of sunset.”

Ladislao Mastella’s sculptures trace the themes of the folk traditions of the Aosta Valley, including some amusing large polychrome roosters and a Nativity scene (2008) of remarkable plastic strength.

Mastella’s works are made of different types of wood, such as birch, cypress, Swiss stone pine, walnut, maple, box, apple, ash, larch and fir.

Ladislao Mastella, the last of three brothers who were cabinetmakers, attended the Salesian school in San Benigno Canavese. In 1959 and for the next three years he worked at the workshop of the South Tyrolean sculptor Mario Stuffer, combining sculpture with an intense drawing activity refined by participation in courses organized by the Regional School of Art and taught by Rolando Robino. In 1961 Mastella exhibited for the first time at the Sant’Orso Fair. From 1963 to the present, he has been present in all editions of the event. Very active, Mastella has exhibited in the Aosta Valley, Italy and abroad, obtaining awards and mentions. He has participated in group exhibitions in Lombardy, Tuscany, Emilia Romagna, Veneto, Switzerland, Finland and Great Britain. In 2018 he was awarded the honor of Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.

The exhibition La montagna fotografata, la montagna scolpita. Stefano Venturini and Ladislao Mastella, is accompanied by a bilingual Italian-French catalog published by Tipografia Valdostana, edited by Daria Jorioz, on sale for 10 euros. The exhibition, with free admission, will remain open until March 24, 2019, with the following hours: Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., closed Mondays. For information you can contact 0165 275937 or 0165 238127, send an email to, or visit the Aosta Valley Region website.

Pictured: Stefano Venturini, Colle Luna

The Aosta Valley sculpted and photographed. The works of Stefano Venturini and Ladislao Mastella on display.
The Aosta Valley sculpted and photographed. The works of Stefano Venturini and Ladislao Mastella on display.

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