A browse through the recent acquisitions by the Farnesina Collection reveals “Polesine, Veneto” (1971) and “Taranto” (1993) by Gianni Berengo Gardin (Santa Margherita Ligure, 1930)
The first photograph is from a series on the Po Delta. It recounts an ancient landscape characterised by the “persistence of agricultural work in all its antiquity”, untouched by modern industrialisation processes. The second is part of a reportage on “Aspetti della religiosità in Italia” (Aspects of piety in Italy) produced by the artist between 1990 and 1993.
Berengo Gardin has been documenting – strictly in black and white – the beauty, the changes and the contradictions of Italy since the 1950s. He turns his watchful gaze to the country’s different realities and different environments, from architecture to landscape, from life in the provinces to social questions. On this last point, his 1970s reportage on the conditions of mentally ill people in Italian psychiatric hospitals and, more recently, the series on huge cruise ships in Venice, are worthy of note.
Photos courtesy of the artist and the Forma Foundation