“Lo sguardo italiano”, a collective exhibition on Italian fashion photography, Maxxi, Rome

Maxxi, Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome

17 March - 8 May 2005

The Pitty Immagine Discovery foundation and The DARC_Directorate General for Architecture and Contemporary Art present the exhibition and book “Lo sguardo italiano" at the Maxxi, national museum of 21st century arts in Rome.

In recent years, fashion photography has become the leading medium of contemporary visual culture: it has evolved from its status as a support of fashion into a producer of icons and ideas. Fashion photography has a decisive influence in all fields of communication and is now considered in its own right an art form. Its power, in defining itself as image and communication, is to record and very often determine the here and now of our time. 

The project Lo Sguardo Italiano aims not only to bring to the fore some of the Italian authors who have made the history of photography, but also to highlight an Italian style that goes beyond fashion, offering us a kind of repertoire of images that reconstruct the changing fashions and evolutions of society from the postwar period to the present day, aiming to reconstruct with photographs, fashion features in Italian and foreign magazines, and advertising campaigns, a significant cross-section of Italian photography and its authors. 

Lo Sguardo Italiano is not a dictionary of Italian fashion photography: the photographers presented in the book and exhibition are an important part, but they are not the only protagonists. Many other authors have produced beautiful and meaningful images. 

This project is meant to be a starting point, a first glimpse and a first attempt at even critical reflection on a declination of photography that in Italy has never left the fashion circuits. The project, which covers a time span from the official birth of Italian fashion (1951) to the present day, does not proceed in a catalogical and chronological manner but divides the images by themes, highlighting a narrative path that is very useful for understanding the Italian genius loci.