A RETROSPECTIVE IN ROME CELEBRATES THE LIFE AND WORK OF AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHER MILTON GENDEL IN TWO EXHIBITIONS

Milton Gendel, Leo Castelli, New York, 1982

Milton Gendel, Leo Castelli, New York, 1982

http://www.miltongendel.it/

MILTON GENDEL: A SURREAL LIFE
Museo Carlo Bilotti – Aranciera di Villa Borghese, Rome 5 October 2011 – 8 January 2012

MILTON GENDEL: PORTRAITS
American Academy in Rome 19 October – 30 November 2011

Rome – The first complete retrospective dedicated to the career of American photographer and art critic Milton Gendel (b. 1918) will take place in Rome at the Museo Carlo Bilotti from 5 October 2011 to 8 January 2012 and at the American Academy in Rome from 19 October – 30 November 2011. Both exhibitions are curated by Peter Benson Miller, Barbara Drudi and Alberta Campitelli.
The primary focus of the retrospective is Gendel’s sophisticated artistic sensibility as it has developed in the medium of photography over the last half century. Milton Gendel: A Surreal Life comprises a display of eighty-five autograph photographs and will be complemented by several of his drawings and prints from his time in the Surrealist orbit. Also included are works by artists in Gendel’s circle, including Alberto Burri, Toti Scialoja, Tancredi, Afro, Ettore Colla, Mimmo Rotella, Jean Hélion, Robert Motherwell, Alexander Calder, Willem de Kooning, John Rudge and Stanley William Hayter.

The works will be exhibited together with documents and objects from Gendel’s archive, which underline his friendships and close collaborations with these artists.
The retrospective traces Gendel’s work from his affiliation with the Surrealist exiles in New York in the 1940s though his long-time connection to Italy, where he has lived and worked for over sixty years. There, he has remained an important catalyst for the exchanges between American and Italian art as the Rome correspondent for ART News, among other publications. Gendel helped found The Rome –New York Art Foundation – located on the Tiber Island in the gallery space beneath Gendel’s own apartment – a cornerstone of the fertile art scene in the Italian capital between 1958 and 1962. In fact, the Rome New York Art Foundation and Gendel himself were so closely associated with the international avant-garde in Rome in the late 1950s that director Michelangelo Antonioni filmed the opening scenes of his groundbreaking L’Avventura (1960) in Gendel’s apartment.
Reasserting Rome as an important cultural laboratory during the postwar period, Gendel’s photographs are also profoundly marked by Gendel’s origins as a Surrealist. Witty photographs depict the inhabitants, fountains, markets, architecture, and environs of Rome, as well as other areas of Italy. Imbued with the seductive flavor of the dolce vita, they often capture chance encounters and odd juxtapositions, removing objects and people from their familiar surroundings.
The exhibition also presents two important, but less well-known episodes in Gendel’s career. While serving in China and on the island of Formosa (present day Taiwan) in 1945-46 in the immediate aftermath of World War II, Gendel photographed traditional customs and daily routines in the midst of social and political turmoil; he also documented the mass repatriation of Japanese soldiers and civilians. Indebted to Gendel’s confident eye, these photographs comprise a rare photographic essay by a foreigner in China during the period; they make their first appearance in this exhibition and catalogue. In 1950, Gendel traveled to Sicily with Marjory Collins, who was commissioned by the U.S. State Department to photograph the infrastructure constructed under the Marshall Plan. Inflected by documentary photography as well as masterpieces of neo-realist Italian cinema, Gendel’s images of agricultural workers and market scenes in Sicily record customs that disappeared shortly thereafter.

The exhibition Milton Gendel: Portraits, which runs from 19 October until 30 November at the American Academy in Rome, will present a selection of iconic portraits, further evidence of Gendel’s lasting friendships with artists, writers, and notable collectors. These include such figures as architect Philip Johnson, artists Alighiero Boetti, Enzo Cucchi, Willem de Kooning and his wife Elaine, Piero Dorazio, Salvador Dalì, Fabio Mauri, and Maurizio Mocchetti; collectors Peggy Guggenheim, Giuseppe Panza di Biumo, and John Paul Getty; critics and historians Harold Acton, André Chastel, John Pope Hennessy, Tom Hess, Mario Praz, and Sacheverell Sitwell; art dealer Leo Castell; writers Patrick Leigh Fermor, Georgina Masson, Iris Origo, Eugenio Scalfari, and Evelyn Waugh; as well as royals, aristocrats and socialites Anna Laetitia Pecci Blunt, Lady Diana Cooper, Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret, Lord Snowdon and André Leon Talley.

Both exhibitions will be accompanied by a handsomely illustrated catalogue, in separate English and Italian editions, edited by Peter Benson Miller and Barbara Drudi, designed by Buro Sieveking, and published by Hatje Cantz Verlag in Ostfildern, Germany. Featuring texts by Peter Benson Miller, Barbara Drudi, Alberta Campitelli, Lindsay Harris, and Marella Caracciolo Chia, the catalogue will explore the diverse aspects of Gendel’s fascinating career and his enduring relationship to the Eternal City.

The exhibition is organized by Zètema Progetto Cultura with the patronage of the United States Embassy in Italy, the Embassy of Italy to the United States, and the American Academy in Rome, and is promoted by Roma Capitale, Assessorato alle Politiche Culturali e Centro Storico – Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali.

INFORMATION
Exhibition: Milton Gendel: A Surreal Life
Venue: Museo Carlo Bilotti-Aranciera di Villa Borghese Rome, Viale Fiorello La Guardia
Dates: 5 October 2011 – 8 January 2012
Opening: hoursTuesday through Sunday 9am – 7pm; ticket office closes at 6:30pm; Closed Mondays
Information: +39 060608 (Every day from 9am to 9pm) www.museocarlobilotti.it
Press: Zètema Progetto Cultura, Fabiana Magri +39 06 82077386 +390340 4206813; f.magri@zetema.it

Exhibition: Milton Gendel: Portraits American Academy in Rome
Venue: Via Angelo Masina, 5
Dates: 19 October – 30 November 2011
Opening hours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from 5pm to 8pm
Information: +39 06 584 6431; www.aarome.org
Press: Milena Sales +1 212 751 7200 x345; m.sales@aarome.org

Sec.4c_Self Portrait,Via Appia

Sec.4c_Self Portrait,Via Appia

MILTON GENDEL

a Roma due mostre del fotografo e critico d’arte americano

Una vita surreale
Opere e fotografie tra Roma, New York e Shanghai
Museo Carlo Bilotti – Aranciera di Villa Borghese, Roma
dal 5 ottobre 2011 all’8 gennaio 2012

Ritratti
American Academy in Rome
dal 19 ottobre al 30 novembre 2011

Due mostre che insieme costituiscono la prima retrospettiva completa dedicata al lavoro del fotografo e critico d’arte americano Milton Gendel – nato a New York nel 1918 ma “romano” d’adozione fin dal 1949 – saranno allestite a Roma. Dal 5 ottobre 2011 all’8 gennaio 2012 al Museo Carlo Bilotti Aranciera di Villa Borghese (viale Fiorello La Guardia), dal 19 ottobre al 30 novembre 2011 all’American Academy in Rome (Via Angelo Masina 5, Gianicolo). Entrambe sono curate da Peter Benson Miller, Barbara Drudi e Alberta Campitelli e sono inserite nell’ambito di “FOTOGRAFIA. Festival Internazionale di Roma”.

Per questa occasione infatti, il giorno giovedi 20 ottobre 2011 alle ore 16.30 ci sarà una conferenza con visita guidata alla mostra al Museo Carlo Bilotti con il Direttore di “FOTOGRAFIA. Festival Internazionale di Roma” Marco Delogu e i curatori della mostra Peter Benson Miller, Barbara Drudi e Alberta Campitelli.

La mostra “Milton Gendel: una vita surreale. Opere e fotografie tra Roma, New York e Shanghai” (dal 5 ottobre 2011 all’8 gennaio 2012 al Museo Carlo Bilotti) offre l’opportunità di ammirare 85 fotografie autoriali di Milton Gendel, accompagnate da un’ampia scelta di disegni, stampe e dipinti dei suoi amici artisti (Burri, Toti Scialoja, Tancredi, Afro, Ettore Colla, Mimmo Rotella, Jean Hélion, Robert Motherwell, Alexander Calder, Willem De Kooning, John Rudge e Stanley William Hayter), insieme con documenti, disegni e oggetti provenienti dall’archivio Gendel.

Promossa da Roma Capitale, Assessorato alle Politiche Culturali e Centro Storico – Sovraintendenza ai Beni Culturali, in collaborazione con l’American Academy in Rome, la mostra gode del patrocinio dell’Ambasciata degli Stati Uniti in Italia ed è organizzata da Zètema Progetto Cultura.

“Milton Gendel: una vita surreale” ripercorre la carriera di Gendel a partire dall’esordio artistico avvenuto tra le fila dei surrealisti francesi a New York negli anni ’40 e attraversa i lunghi anni del suo lavoro di fotografo e critico d’arte a Roma – corrispondente per ART News e Art in America. Fotografie, dipinti e documenti mettono a fuoco il ruolo di Gendel come tramite tra l’arte italiana e quella americana e restituiscono una figura di intellettuale e di artista a tutto tondo: un sofisticato “occhio” fotografico ed una arguta “penna” di critico d’arte.

Tra le fotografie spiccano due sezioni fondamentali – e quasi completamente inedite – del lavoro creativo di Gendel, dedicate una alla Cina e l’altra alla Sicilia.

Le fotografie scattate in Cina, a Shanghai e Formosa tra il 1945 e il 1946 durante il servizio prestato nell’esercito americano, sono immagini vive e toccanti e al tempo stesso rarissimi documenti della Cina post-belllica: dalle scene di vita quotidiana ai grandi rimpatri di massa di soldati e civili giapponesi dopo la conclusione della Seconda Guerra Mondiale.

Le immagini scattate in Sicilia nel 1950, con la fotografa e documentarista Marjorie Collins, sono testimonianze visive di un’Italia che sarebbe di lì a poco scomparsa.

Un’importante selezione di ritratti degli amici di Gendel saranno esposti per la mostra “Milton Gendel: Ritratti” (dal 19 ottobre al 30 novembre 2011 all’American Academy in Rome). Tra artisti, scrittori e collezionisti ci saranno l’architetto Philip Johnson, gli artisti Alighiero Boetti, Enzo Cucchi, Willem De Kooning e sua moglie Elaine, Piero Dorazio, Salvador Dalì, Fabio Mauri, Maurizio Mocchetti, i collezionisti Peggy Guggenheim, Giuseppe Panza di Biumo, John Paul Getty, i critici e storici d’arte Harold Acton, André Chastel, John Pope Hennessy, Tom Hess, Mario Praz, Sacheverell Sitwell, il gallerista Leo Castelli, gli scrittori Patrick Leigh Fermor, Georgina Masson, Iris Origo, Eugenio Scalfari, Evelyn Waugh, i reali e gli aristocratici Anna Laetitia Pecci Blunt, Lady Diana Cooper, Queen Elizabeth II, Lord Snowdon e la Principessa Margaret.

Il catalogo di entrambe le mostre, in italiano e inglese, è a cura di Peter Benson Miller e Barbara Drudi, la grafica è realizzata da Buro Sieveking ed è pubblicato da Hatje Cantz Verlag. I testi critici di Peter Benson Miller, Barbara Drudi, Alberta Campitelli, Lindsay Harris e Marella Caracciolo Chia analizzano i vari aspetti dell’affascinante carriera artistica di Gendel e il suo rapporto con la Città Eterna.