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

By Edited Feb 7, 2016 0 0

Giorgio Casali Photographer/Domus 1951-1983 Architecture, Design and Art in Italy has been published by Silvana Editoriale to coincide with recent exhibitions at Centro Internazionale Scavi Scaligeri, Verona, and the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, London. Written by Angelo Maggi and Itali Zannier, the publication features English and Italian texts.

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

Giorgio Casali Photographer/Domus 1951-1983 Architecture, Design and Art in Italy
Credit: Silvana Editoriale

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Giorgio Casali, Domus and the Italian Dream

This publication looks at the life and work of Giorgio Casali (1913-1995), one of the most important Italian photographers working during the second half of the 20th century. It features high-quality reproductions of the many covers he created for Domus, Italy's leading architecture and design magazine, between 1951 and 1983.

Through these images we get a profound sense of the so-called Italian dream born during the period of renewal and prosperity in the post-war years. The publication provides an enduring record of items featured in recent exhibitions at Centro Internazionale Scavi Scaligeri, Verona, and the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, London.

Giorgio Casali Photographer - Layout of the Publication

The publication begins with an introductory text by Flavio Tosi, Mayor of Verona. Roberto Zancan and Joseph Grima discuss Giorgio Casali's relationship with Domus, Italy's leading architecture and design magazine.

 The book is divided into five chapters:

  • A Rescued Archive - Italo Zannier - Zannier describes how he became involved in rescuing Casali's archive of thousands of photographs and over one hundred thousand negatives. Following the death of Casali in 1995, and his son Oreste some two months later, the collection was threatened with dispersal. It is now safely in the hands of the Iuav University of Venice's Archivio Progetti.
  • Casali's Domus Covers - Gio Ponti (1891-1979), one of Italy's leading designers and publishers, established Domus in 1928. Ponti credited modern photography, and in particular the photography of Giorgio Casali, for the success of the magazine. Ponti's daughter, Lisa Licitra Ponti (b. 1922) worked at the magazine from 1948. Speaking recently she said: ″The success of Domus in the post-war period, as recognised by my father, was due to the fact that it was a magazine in which the photography was more important than the text: large images and short texts″ (quoted in Giorgio Casali Photographer: Domus 1951-1983, p. 51). Casali's covers for Domus are presented in this section.
  • The Italian Dream: Giorgio Casali, Domus and Design Photography - Angelo Maggi.  For more than thirty years, from 1950 to the early 1980s Casali was the photographer favoured by many of Italy's leading designers and architects. This was a time of optimism and renewal for Italy with new and innovative designs featuring in every edition of Domus.  Casali's covers for Domus not only recorded the designs of the day, but also recorded the 'Italian dream' - a key period in Italy's history - a period of vitality, prosperity and growth. Maggi describes Giorgio Casali as the ″undisputed master of the 'Made in Italy' image″ (ibid. .60).
  • A Visual Inventory. Giorgio Casali's Architectural Photography - Angelo Maggi presents a photographic archive of the many iconic designs that made up the Italian Dream, including Ponti's Superleggera chair, the Libro chair by Gianni Pareschi, vases and lamps by Angelo Mangiarotti, furniture by Charles Rennie, and many more.
  • Architectural Photography as Project. Giorgio Casali, Intepretor of the Twentieth Century - Italo Zannier examines the many architectural projects photographed by Giorgio Casali including the co-cathedral in Taranto designed by Gio Ponti; the Pompidou Center, Paris, and the grand staircase at La Rinascente in Rome, designed by Franco Albini and Franca Heig in 1962, to mention just a few.

Angelo Maggi and Italo Zannier - About the Authors

Angelo Maggi and Italo Zannier are well-known in Italy in the field of photography. They are the authors or co-authors of numerous publications including Veneto Photographs: Mid 19th - Early 20th Century (Maggi/Zannier); Homage to Venice (Zannier); The Pirelli Calendar: The Complete Works 1964-2007 (Zannier) and Rossyln Chapel: An Icon Through the Ages (Maggi).

 

Buy the Book?

This beautifully produced publication will delight anyone interested not just photography, but also in architecture and design. It provides an outstanding history of Italian design and innovation through well-written, interesting texts, accompanied by superb colour and black-and-white images. This 216-page publication can be purchased from the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art and all good book stores: ISBN-13: 978-8836625871.

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Gio Ponti: Interiors, Objects, Drawings 1920-1976
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Bibliography

  1. Angelo Maggi and Itali Zannier Giorgio Casali Photographer: Domus 1951-1983: Architecture, Design and Art in Italy. Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2013.

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