Lee Jeffries. Portraits. The soul beyond the image Courtesy Carlo Maria Martini Diocesan Museum, Milan
The 2023 exhibition scene promises to be full of events, even for photography enthusiasts. Milan, Venice and Turin are some of the venues to keep an eye on in the first part of the year, when the spotlights will be on the great masters who have written the history of the art of the lens, from reportage to fashion photography. Inge Morath, Werner Bischof, Elliott Erwitt, Helmut Newton are among the protagonists of the upcoming exhibitions, alongside whom we will find leading exponents of international contemporary photography making their debut in Italy.
Here are the details of the events not to be missed.
Vincent Peters, Charlize Theron, New York, 2008 (© Vincent Peters)
• Timeless Time: Vincent Peters in Milan, Palazzo Reale, from 12 January to 26 February, followed by Helmut Newton and Gabriele Basilico
“A camera is not enough to take a photograph. In every shot, put all the images you’ve seen, the books you’ve read, the music you’ve listened to, the people you’ve loved,” says the German photographer Vincent Peters, soon to be the star of an ambitious project at Palazzo Reale. Famous for having portrayed the contemporary Olympus of stars and celebrities, Peters sculpts his subjects with light, placing them at the center of timeless dreamlike stories. In Milan we will see artistic shots, fashion photographs, images taken from campaigns created for magazines from all over the world, on display until the Winter Fashion Week. The photographic journey of Palazzo Reale will continue with Helmut Newton’s legacy, which in the spring will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the artist’s birth (March 24-June 25) and in the autumn with a long-awaited exhibition dedicated to Gabriel Basil on the tenth anniversary of his disappearance.
Inge Morath, Venice, 1955 © Fotohof archive / Inge Morath / Magnum Photos
• Inge Morath: photographing from Venice onwardsfrom 18 January to 4 June at the Palazzo Grimani Museum, Venice
It was love that led Inge Morath and Lionel Burch to Venice, immediately after their marriage in 1951. And it was the bad weather of the Lagoon and Robert Capa that made her the first Magnum photographer. At the time, Morath was working for the famous reporting agency as an editorial assistant, taking care of the captions that accompanied the images of her colleagues. Bewitched by the light of Venice in the rain, she called Capa suggesting that he send a photographer. Capa replied that there was already a photographer in Venice. “It was a revelation,” Inge said later: “To make something in an instant that had stayed inside me for so long, capturing it the moment it took on the shape I felt was right. After that, there was no stopping me.” Morath subsequently returned to Laguna repeatedly, each time with renewed inspiration. We’ll find out at Palazzo Grimani in 200 shots, 80 of which have never been seen in Italy, between iconic places and unknown corners, moments of real life, enchanted atmospheres and images of a Venice that no longer exists.
Lee Jeffries. Portraits. The soul beyond the image I Courtesy Carlo Maria Martini Diocesan Museum, Milan
Lee Jeffries. Portraits. The soul beyond the imagefrom 27 January to 16 April at the Diocesan Museum “Carlo Maria Martini” Milan
Lee Jeffries began his career almost by accident when, on the eve of the 2008 London Marathon, he took a photo of a young homeless woman sitting in the doorway of a shop. Rebuked for doing it without permission, Jeffries stopped to talk to her, establishing a contact that went beyond mere curiosity by delving into the soul of the person he had in front of her. Jeffries became the photographer of the invisible, singer of humanity on the margins that populates the metropolises of the United States and Europe. In Milan we will discover his sensitive and spiritual gaze in about fifty black and white and color shots, traveling through the streets of Los Angeles and the most infamous alleys of French or Italian cities.
Werner Bischof. Unseen Colors I Courtesy MASI, Lugano
• Werner Bischoff. Unseen Colorsfrom 12 February to 2 July at the MASI in Lugano
The MASI – Museo d’Arte della Svizzera italiana will open the 2023 exhibition season with a giant of twentieth-century photography. One hundred unpublished shots taken between 1939 and the 1950s will tell the universe of Werner Bischof as in one of his travels, ranging between the places visited by the reporter and the theaters of his life: often surprising images, made up of comparisons and contrasts, of immediate and acute reflections, capable of communicating the dichotomies of the modern world and the novelties of photography with an extremely original artistic eye, to be discovered by diving into the golden age of reportage.
Richard Avedon, New York, 1966 | Photo: Jacques Henri Lartigue I © Ministère de la Culture (France), MAP-AAJHL
• Jacques Lartigue – The invention of happinessfrom February 17 at the Ferrero Foundation in Alba
Throughout his life, Lartigue presented himself as a painter. But an irrepressible impulse drove him to photograph continuously and to collect his prints in very neat albums. As a lucky man that he was, Lartigue feared that happiness could slip out of hand at any moment. Hence the obsessive desire to capture it through images. Soon on display in Alba, his shots are the brilliant tale of a utopia and at the same time the testimony of a century. “Even when Europe was crossed by the horrors of the two world wars, Lartigue will continue to preserve the purity of his photographic microcosm, continuing to fix on film only what he wants to remember”, writes the curator Denis Curti: “Stop time, save the moment from its inevitable passage. Photography becomes for Lartigue the means to resurrect life, to relive the happy moments, over and over again”. And we with him.
Elliott Erwitt, France, Paris, 1989 © Elliott Erwitt
Elliott Erwitt. Familyfrom 4 March to 25 June in Turin, Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi
Ironic and empathetic, romantic and light-hearted, Elliott Erwitt tells his story in Turin in a selection of shots spanning seven decades of his career. Personally chosen by the ninety-four-year-old photographer and all in rigorous black and white, the images in the exhibition explore the universal theme of the family in a very original way, ranging from the photographer’s personal memories to characters such as the Kennedys, up to life scenes stolen from around the world . In the kitchens of the ancient Palazzina di Stupinigi, we will see again images that have written the history of photography: the child on a bicycle with his grandfather on an endless avenue in Provence and the elegant New York lady in boots with two curiously assorted dogs will flank shots from countries as far away as Mao’s China, witnesses of Erwitt’s reportages in every corner of the globe.