Art: Marisa Rastellini’s “gracious eye” at MIA Fair
In the prestigious photography show in Milan, Mondadori Portfolio celebrates its tenth anniversary with an exhibition of the work of a refined photographer who immortalised great actors and key figures on the Italian literary and cultural scene
The extraordinary shots of Marisa Rastellini, a refined photographer who worked for Grazia and Epoca magazines from the ’sixties until the end of the ’eighties, will be exhibited to the general public for the first time by Mondadori Portfolio, the Mondadori Group’s photo agency.
During MIA Fair – Milan Image Art Fair, Italy’s most important photography show, scheduled for 28 April through 1 May at SUPERSTUDIO MAXI in Milan, Mondadori Portfolio will celebrate its tenth anniversary with the presentation of an exhibition of the Roman photographer’s work entitled “Uno sguardo gentile, fotografie di Marisa Rastellini”: “A gracious eye: the photographs of Marisa Rastellini”.
Following lengthy, meticulous research in the Mondadori archives, the photographer’s works will finally be on public view in an exhibition ideally documenting the spirit of her times, perfectly represented in her portraits of actors and key figures in Italy’s literary and cultural scene, as well as her numerous fashion shoots.
Curated by Maria Vittoria Baravelli in collaboration with Mondadori Portfolio, the exhibition reconstructs the world of Marisa Rastellini, portraying a shy, delicate artist whose lens immortalised great Italian intellectuals such as Pier Paolo Pasolini, Elsa Morante, Virna Lisi, and Monica Vitti, as well as Marcello Mastroianni, Federico Fellini, Valentino Garavani.
“In this exhibition and event,” points out Mondadori Portfolio Executive Manager Elisabetta De Simone, “we celebrate our first ten years, an important decade during which, through reclamation of prints, original negatives, colour photos and slides kept in the publisher’s vast historic archives, we have brought back to light such famous names as Mario De Biasi, Giorgio Lotti, Angelo Cozzi, Sergio De Grande and many more photographers who have told the history of Italy in their photographs over the past 60 years”.
“The archives are like maps to sail by, lands to be explored,” comments exhibition curator Maria Vittoria Baravelli. “At a time when the digital is taking over in all kinds of contexts, the archives are still set in solid reality, in the form of envelopes, contact sheets, drawers and negatives. This is why it is so important to rediscover Marisa Rastellini: a photographer in the Rome of the ‘60s that we know very little about. All we know is that she was very discrete and gracious, incredibly shy and yet so profound in recording the faces and lifestyles of late twentieth-century Italy in her work. More than 50 years later, Marisa Rastellini’s photographs come out of their envelopes and into the light again. We look at them, and in return they tell us who we were and who we still are today, with certain differences”.
Established in 2012 to draw on the iconographic heritage of Mondadori magazines, the agency has been expanded over time with the addition of prestigious collections, a team of contemporary photographers, and a range of services appropriate for today’s trendiest forms of communication.
In a tribute to this decade of work, Mondadori Portfolio goes back to its archives, where it all began, for the exhibition “Uno sguardo gentile, fotografie di Marisa Rastellini”, renewing its commitment to rediscovery and promotion of a photographic heritage unknown to the general public.
The exhibition “Uno sguardo gentile, fotografie di Marisa Rastellini” (“A gracious eye: the photographs of Marisa Rastellini”) is produced with the support of Cassina and Flos, representatives of the excellence of Italian design all over the world, who enrich the exhibition with a number of iconic items of design.