Monthly Archives: June 2016

Gianni Berengo Gardin

The Telegraph calls him “Italy’s Greatest Photographer.”  Who knew?  Certainly not me, before I entered the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome.  I chose  to visit the exhibit because the advertising was appealing (!) and the venue was close by.  It’s amusing to admit that no previous knowledge nor research went into my decision.

I was immediately in thrall to the images presented.  Berengo Gardin’s work is gorgeous:  beautifully structured, full of surprises, layered with meaning.  His photographs are compassionate, but not  maudlin.  Honest and beautiful are apt descriptors.

Gianni Berengo Gardin has lived most of his life in Milan, but considered Venice his hometown.  He is self-taught, and began taking photographs in the 1950’s.  The exhibition, Vera Fotografia, (True Photography)  is a chronological retrospective of his work. It begins with his evocative shots of Venice, and highlights the major projects in his career, as he documented industries in Italy (Olivetti, Fiat, Alfa Romeo), worked with the architect and engineer Renzo Piano, and chronicled the lives of ordinary and sometimes marginalized people. The exhibition ends with his unsettling images of contemporary Venice.


Gianni Berengo Gardin

Click here to see the image Berengo Gardin feels is his “best shot.” ( Keep in mind that he has published 250 books during his lifetime, and has worked continuously since the middle of the last century!)

The images I am ‘grabbing’ from the internet do not do justice to the works.  (I wasnt allowed to ‘grab’ images in the exhibition.)  Click on these articles from The Daily Mail and The Independent and the interview in The Telegraph for some decent reproductions.

In addition to the stark beauty of the black and white images, several other artists, photographers, architects, etc. were asked to choose a favourite Berengo Gardin image, and comment on it…..fortunately, the commentaries were translated to English. The choices, as well as  the comments were interesting;  the salon-like effect of ‘discussing’ an artist and his work was engaging, and added to my appreciation of the photographs.

All of Berengo Gardin’s certified photographs have Vera Fotografia (True Photograph) printed on the backs. I can’t think of a better phrase to summarize his work.




Postcards from Venice

Ahhhh…..Venice.  Sigh.

Click on an image to start the slideshow…..




Postcards from Rome

In the “picture is worth a thousands words” department:



Art and baseball (Really!)

Next time you’re in Winnipeg, make sure to take a walk along Waterfront Drive, which is an easy stroll north from the Forks National Historic Site and the new Canadian Museum of Human Rights .

photo by T. Vatrt

Canadian Museum of Human Rights, Winnipeg

Note that I encourage you to walk alongside Waterfront Drive. The pedestrian walkway curves alongside the Red River, in the historic Exchange District. You have to get out of your car, and walk, to discover the art installations along the way.  All of the works reference the city,  and its history.  They are very site specific.

The largest, and perhaps most eye-catching, is High Five, an installation by Jennifer Stillwell.

Apparently the view from the baseball park on Waterfront Drive is a good one, too.  Click here for a brief article from CBC News about High Five and the ballpark.

High Five

When I was looking at the installation,  I neglected to think about its relationship to the baseball field across the street.  I had a totally different interpretation of the work from the ideas discussed in the article!  Good art will evoke multiple interpretations.

Doesn’t it sound like the ingredients for a perfect summer evening?  A ballgame, and art viewing, all in one location.