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Estorick Collection - Photographs by Giorgio Casali

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 0 1

Giorgio Casali: Photographer - Domus 1951-1983 Architecture, Design and Art in Italy

This exhibition features photographs spanning some forty years of the work of Giorgio Casali (1913-1995) together with key items including the Superleggera chair (1951) by Gio Ponti and the Libro chair designed by Gianni Pareschi and Umberto Orsini in 1970.

 

The exhibition has recently enjoyed a successful showing at Centro Internazionale di Fotografia Scavi Scaligeri, Verona. It is a joint collaboration between that organisation, Domus, and the Archivio Progetti, IUAV University, Venice, whose collection of Casali's images has provided the photographs on show in this display. The exhibition is curated by Angelo Maggi and Italo Zannier.

Giorgio Casali: Photographer - Layout of the Exhibition

The display is arranged in four sections:

The first features thirty of the cover images created by this artist for the Italian style magazine Domus. Sections two and three look at how he treated key design objects and buildings. What techniques did he adopt when photographing structures such as the Villa Brody (Greve in Chianti) designed by Roberto Monsani, or Ponti's Torre Pirelli in Milan? Many of the objects, such as the Superleggera and Libro chairs are so popular they are still in production.

 

The final part of the show features a group of vintage prints that are not linked in any way with architecture or design. Wedding photographs, intimate portraits of friends and family, as well as travel photographs show a different side to this extraordinary artist.

 

 

Villa Brody, Greve in Chianti, architect Roberto Monsani, 1973

Digital print on aluminium, Università IUAV di Venezia - Archivio Progetti, Fondo Giorgio Casali

Villa Brody, Greve in Chianti, architect Roberto Monsani, 1973, Digital print on aluminium
Credit: Università IUAV di Venezia - Archivio Progetti, Fondo Giorgio Casali

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Giorgio Casali - the Photographer

Born in Lodi, northern Italy, this artist (1913-1995) established his reputation as one of the most important Italian photographers active during the second half of the 20th century.

He set up his own studio in 1938, but his career really took off when he photographed Gio Ponti's Superleggera (super light-weight) chair capturing the chair's extreme lightness as it was held aloft by a single finger. These images led to a thirty-year association with the Italian magazine, Domus, established by Gio Ponti in 1928.

Gio Ponti - Domus Magazine

Giovanni Ponti (1891-1979, known as Gio) was one of Italy's most important designers and publishers, establishing the popular Italian style magazine, Domus, in 1928. The magazine, still published today, owes much of its international renown to this photographer's outstanding imagery. His photographs appeared on the magazine's cover more than thirty times as he photographed countless architectural and industrial designs.

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Highlights of the Exhibition

Superleggera - Super Light-weight Chair by Gio Ponti

Several Superleggeri are suspended from the ceiling of the main exhibition gallery. The superleggera was inspired by a series of simply-designed traditional nineteenth century chairs produced near Chiavari in north-west Italy. Ponti's chair, which first appeared in 1951, was subsequently refined to reflect post-war frugality. Weighing just 1.66 kilograms, with its triangular tapered legs with a maximum diameter of eighteen millimetres, the chair went into production in 1957 and is still manufactured today.

Superleggera chair, Designer Gio Ponti, 1952. Manufactured by Cassina, Digital Print on Aluminium,

Università IUAV di Venezia - Archivio Progetti, Fondo Giorgio Casali

Superleggera chair, Designer Gio Ponti, 1952. Manufactured by Cassina Digital print on aluminium
Credit: Università IUAV di Venezia - Archivio Progetti, Fondo Giorgio Casali

The Libro Chair by Gianni Pareschi and Umberto Orsini

The Libro lounge chair, designed by Gianni Pareschi and Umberto Orsini in 1970, resembles an open book with ten hinged 'pages'. Each 'page' can be flipped over to change the height of the chair so that sitters can find their own comfort level.

The Libro Chair by Gianni Pareschi and Umberto Orsini

Villa Brody, Greve in Chianti, architect Roberto Monsani, 1973 Digital print on aluminium
Credit: Università IUAV di Venezia - Archivio Progetti, Fondo Giorgio Casali

Everything Made Bronze

Accompanying the display will be a newly commissioned film by artists Graham Ellard and Stephen Johnstone. Filmed with a spring-wound camera, the film features two different, but related, buildings: Carlo Scarpa's Gipsoteca plaster-cast gallery in the Museo Canova, Possagno, northern Italy, and the plaster workshops of Eugenio de Luigi, in Venice. The film, which will be shown from 26th June to 4th August 2013, shows how Canova's plaster-casts can be viewed in varying lighting conditions as the light in the Gipsoteca changes constantly throughout the day.

Publication

The exhibition is supported by a fully illustrated catalogue. Published in Italian and English by Silvana editoriale the catalogue features insightful essays on the life and work of this important photographer. Priced at £19.95, (ISBN 978 8836 625 87 1), the book can be purchased from the Estorick Collection and from all good book stores.

Giorgio Casali: Visit the Exhibition

Giorgio Casali: Photographer/Domus 1951-1983 Architecture, Design and Art in Italy will be on show until 8th September 2013. Tickets and further information can be obtained from The Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art.

Getting there - 39a Canonbury Square, London, N1 2AN

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39A Canonbury Square, London, Greater London N1 2AN, UK
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Comments

May 23, 2013 11:50pm
Fran5050
This is a very interesting exhibition that I intend to visit again next week.
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Bibliography

  1. Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art "Giorgio Casali." Estorick Collection. 22/May/2013 <Web >

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