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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Mario Giacomelli

Dates:  1925, 1 August - 2000, 25 November
Born:  Italy, Ancona, Senigallia
Active:  Italy
 
  
Italian painter, poet and photographer. Wonderful motion shots of Italian priests and stark black and white landscapes. He also was noted for his documentary photographs of Italian life and his abstract black and white landscapes.

Preparing biographies


Biography provided by Focal Press 
  
Giacomelli spent decades photographing the same piece of earth in his Italian village, from the same vantage point, throughout the year, usually altering the perspective by excluding the horizon line to deprive onlookers of any visual anchor. He foreshortened space by stacking up forms as if they were on a vertical plane. By 1960, Giacomelliís response to his sense that humans had overrun nature was to cut patterns into the landscape with a tractor. In 1970, he was photographing the plowed fields from the air, concentrating on details of texture and pattern. The sensation of violent upheaval can be seen in Giacomelliís audacious framing and image cropping along with his unconventional darkroom methods featuring grainy, high-contrast prints, which often had only three tones. In 1956, Giacomelli began a long-term project about old age that has been called bleak and pessimistic, but it accurately conveys the passionate sense of enclosing darkness that his elderly subjects were experiencing. This was followed by other series on butchered animals, gypsies, and war victims at Lourdes. 
  
(Author: Robert Hirsch - Independent scholar and writer) 
  
Michael Peres (Editor-in-Chief), 2007, Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, 4th edition, (Focal Press) [ISBN-10: 0240807405, ISBN-13: 978-0240807409] 
(Used with permission) 
  

Further research

 
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Thumbnail
Arthur Ollman
Mario Giacomelli in his studio 
1998 (ca)
 
  
Family history 
  
If you are related to this photographer and interested in tracking down your extended family we can place a note here for you to help. It is free and you would be amazed who gets in touch. 
  
alan@luminous-lint.com
 
  
 
  

Visual indexes

 
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Internet biographies

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Wikipedia has a biography of this photographer.Show on this siteGo to website
Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website
Grove Art Online (www.groveart.com) has a biography of this artist. 
[NOTE: This is a subscription service and you will need to pay an annual fee to access the content.]
Show on this siteGo to website
 

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

 
• Auer, Michele & Michel 1985 Encyclopedie Internationale Des Photographes de 1839 a Nos Jours / Photographers Encylopaedia International 1839 to the present (Hermance, Editions Camera Obscura) 2 volumes [A classic reference work for biographical information on photographers.] 
  
• Beaton, Cecil & Buckland, Gail 1975 The Magic Eye: The Genius of Photography from 1839 to the Present Day (Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown & Company) p.264 [Useful short biographies with personal asides and one or more example images.] 
  
• Capa, Cornell (ed.) 1984 The International Center of Photography: Encyclopedia of Photography (New York, Crown Publishers, Inc. - A Pound Press Book) p.226 
  
• Evans, Martin Marix (Executive ed.) 1995 Contemporary Photographers [Third Edition] (St. James Press - An International Thomson Publishing Company) [Expensive reference work but highly informative.] 
  
• Lenman, Robin (ed.) 2005 The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (Oxford: Oxford University Press)  [Includes a short biography on Mario Giacomelli.] 
  
 

Useful printed stuff

If there is an analysis of a single photograph or a useful self portrait I will highlight it here.

 
• Gruber, Renate and L. Fritz Gruber 1982 The Imaginary Photo Museum (New York: Harmony Books) p.248 
  
• Szarkowski, John 1973 Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art (New York: The Museum of Modern Art) p.184 [Analyzes a single photograph by Mario Giacomelli.] 
  
 
  
 
  
 
  
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