Photography
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA
Franco FONTANA

Introduction

Franco Fontana was born in Modena in 1933. Since the 1960s, he has been one of the great masters of colour photography. His early studies on colour, space, form and light were presented in his first solo exhibition in Turin, at the Società Fotografica Subalpina in 1965, and in Modena in 1968.

He began his aesthetic investigation in 1961; in 1963, he exhibited at the Third International Biennal of Colour in Wien. Between the 1960s and the 1970s he published numerous books and had many solo and group exhibitions throughout Italy and Europe.

His most famous series Landscapes appeared for the first time in1970, in the solo exhibition at Palace of the Diamonds of Ferrara, showing a marvellous visual synthesis between chromatic perception and photographic ability to disclose nature's hidden geometry. In his photographs Fontana isolates essential elements of abstraction from a sequence of forms, shapes and colours: for his pictorial sensibility he has been measured up to eminent painters such as Tobey, Rothko, Poliakoff.

In 1979 a trip in the United States forced him to confront with new urban spaces that deeply differed from the environment he had until then experienced. What he found was a surprising landscape, seemingly chaotic and disharmonic yet bursting with visual stimuli from which he could masterly isolate the most significant elements. Chromatic themes and geometrical forms still prevail in this series, titled Urban Landscape, as the works rarely portray a human figure. It's only later on , with the series Presenza Assenza (end of 1979/1980) that human shapes appeared, in the form of ethereal and disquieting shadows, playing with architectural elements and overturning perspectives.


More eloquent then a tangible physical presence, these shadows symbolize the unconscious and thus emphasize the allusion to Italian metaphysical paintings (De Chirico, Savinio). In fact, in his exploration of American cities, Fontana has often portrayed individuals with their own shadows, thus suggesting one again, through different representations, the unfathomable mystery of human nature. At the same time, his work Sorpresi nella luce Americana, 2001 pays homage to the vivid atmosphere of Edward Hoppers's paintings and to the solitude of the alienated and humble protagonists of urban life. In 1981 he held different workshops in Arles and Venice and published a black and white work for the volume Contact, printed by Lustrum Press (New York). In 1985, at the University of Turin, Fontana held a number of workshops that were later on collected in the book La scrittura fotografica by Liborio Termine. In 1986, he started the successful collaboration with Alexander Liberman for Vogue Usa and Vogue France and also signed the promotional campaign for Volkwagen, Volvo, Ferrari, Grundig, Kodak etc. He subsequently signed several artistic calendars and other numerous advertising campaigns, including works for the fashion industry (Satoh, Versace, Hermes, etc.)

In 1989, he began to collaborate with the magazine Il Venerdi, weekly insert of the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, and in the same year, he was awarded the Premio della Cultura Presidenza dei Ministri, in Rome. In 1995, he participated in the Venice Biennale with the exhibit Un secolo di ritratto fotografico in Italia 1895-1995. In 2001, he was listed in the Enciclopedia Britannica and represented Italy, together with De Chirico, Schifano and Ceroli, at the First Biennial at The Museo de Arte de Buenos Aires.


Since 2000, Fontana has been carrying out a study on the microcosm of signs and fragments on urban street paving (Asfalti).



Biography

Solo exhibitions (selected)


 

2018

  • Horizons, Museum of Photography Charles Nègre, Nice, FR


 

2017

 

  • Palazza Madama, Turin, Italy
  • Pop Pop Dada Franco Fontana, Florence, Italy
  • National Museum of Montenegro, Cetinje, Montenegro

 

 

 

2016

 

  • Museo Lapidarium, Cittanova, Italy
  • Museum of the City of Vukovar, Croatia

 

 

 

2015

 

  • Palazzo della civiltà del Lavoro, Rome, Italy
  • Italian landscape Italian Institute of culture, Strasbourg, France
  • Architectural Abstractions, Fondazione Enrico Mattei, Milan, Italy

 

 

 

2014

 

  • Fullcolo, Palazzo Franchetti, Venice, Italy
  • Quelli di Franco Fontana, Palazzo Ducale, Pavullo, Italy
  • MIA con SB Arte Contemporanea, Milano, Italy


 

2013

 

  • Fotografica Bogota, 2013, Bogota, Colombia
  • baudoin lebon, Paris, France
  • Galleria Oradoria, Rome, Italy
  • Red & Stamp Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • Photissima Art Fair - Galleria Raffaghello Contemporary Art

 

 

 

2012

 

  • Gallery Shiop SO-What, Castrocaro Terme, Italy
  • Nettuno Photo Festival, Forte San Gallo, Nettuno, Italy

 

 

2011

 

  • Fondazione Bottari?Lattes, Monforte d?Alba, Cuneo, Italy
  • Museo regionale di Science naturali, Turino, Italy


2010 

  • Museo di Roma in Trastevere, Rome in focus Galerie, Cologne, Germany


2009  

  • Galerie Stephen Hoffman, München, Germany
  • Polaroids, Galleria Cà di Frà, Milano, Italy


2008

  • Presenze assenze, Galleria Melesi, Lecco, Italy


2007

  • Paesaggi urbani e naturali - Leggermente Fuori Fuoco, Salerno Galleria Cà di Frà, Milano, Italy
  • Asfaltieasfalti, Galleria Arte e Arte, Bologna, Italy


2006

  • Museo de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Toronto, Canada
  • Galleria Oredaria Arti Contemporanee, Roma, Italy
  • Franco Fontana. Images, Galleria Boxart, Verona, Italy
  • 20 photographs from the Cotroneo Collection, The European House of Photography, Paris, France


2005

  • baudoin lebon, Paris, France
  • Artef Galerie, Zurich, Germany
  • Magazzini del Sale, Venice, Italy


2004

  • Palazzo Reale, Milano, Italy
  • Focus Gallery, London, UK


2003

  • Route 66, Fondazione Italiana per la Fotografia, Turin, Italy
  • Edward Steichen Space, Luxembourg, Luxembourg


2002

  • Route 66, Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia, Italy
  • Galleria Sozzani, Milano, Italy
  • Clairefontaine Gallery, Luxembourg, Luxembourg
  • Biennale Fotografia Internazionale, Brescia, Italy


2001

  • Focus Gallery, London, UK
  • Illa Remmert / Modern Art Gallery of Turin, Italy
  • Castello Aragonese, Ischia, Italy


2000

  • Centro Internazionale Scavi Scaligeri, Verona, Italy


1999

  • Photo&Contemporary, Turin, Italy
  • Istituto di Cultura Italiana, San Franciscon, U.S.A.


1998

  • Past Rays Gallery, Yokohama, Japan


1997

  • Polaroids, baudoin lebon, Paris, France
  • Galerie zur Stockeregg, Zurich, Germany


1995

  • Palazzo Ducale, Mantova, Italy
  • Photology Gallery, Milano, Italy
  • American House, Frankfurt, Germany


1994

  • Castello Visconteo, Pavia, Italy
  • Eslite Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan


1993 

  • Galeria Railowsky, Valencia, Spain
  • Tour des Lépreux, Aosta, Italy


1991

  • Photographical Space, Paris, France
  • Gallery Diaframma, Milano, Italy


1990

  • Photography Museum, Helsinki, Finland
  • Low Block City Hall, Hong Kong
  • Italy's Cultural Center, Stockholm, Stockholm, Sueden
  • Kodak Photo Salon, Tokyo, Japan


 


Group exhibitions (selected)



2013

  • Horizon(s), baudoin lebon, Paris, France


2011

  • Polaroid [Im]Possible, WestLicht. Schauplatz für Fotografie,  Vienna, Austria


2010

  • Arte Svelata, Palazzo Magnani, Reggio Emilia, Italy
  • Fernweh ..., Clairefontaine Gallery, Luxembourg


2009

  • Highlights, Clairefontaine Gallery, Luxembourg
  • Fotografia Astratta, Museum of Contemporary Photograph, Cinisello Balsamo, Milano, Italy
  • Les nuages ? là-bas? les merveilleux nuages, Malraux Museum, Le Havre, France


2008

  • The polaroid, Galleria Cà di Frà, Milano, Italy


2007

  • La calle en fotografias : La vida misma, National Musem of Fine Art, Buenos Aires, Argentina


2006

  • Colleziona - Forma, International Center of Photography, Milano, Italy
  • A Private History, the European House of Photography, Paris, France
  • My Collection, Ken Damy Museum, Brescia, Italy


2002

  • Camera con Vista, Experimental Centaer for Contemporary Art, Caraglio, Italy
  • International Biennial of photography, Brescia, Italy


2001

  • Nel segno del paesaggio, Melesi Gallery, Lecco, Italy
  • fotos, Bilder und Objekte, Doris Wullkopf Gallery, Lindau, Germany


2000

  • Ken Damy Museum, Brescia, Italy
  • PASSAGGI, FIGURE E PAESAGGI - Forma - International Center of Photography, Milano, Italy

 

1996

  • L´erba del Vicino, Melesi Gallery, Lecco, Italy


1995

  • 46th International Art Exhibition Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy


1993

  • Dipinto di Blu, Melesi Gallery, Lecco, Italy


 

 

Bibliography  (selected)


 

1978

  • Skyline - Ed. Contrejour, Paris


1983

  • Fullcolor - Ed. Contrejour, Paris


1984

  • Franco Fontana- Ed. Nippon Geijutsu, Tokyo


1987

  • Fotografie 1965-1987 - Ed. Allemandi, Torino


1990

  • Kaleidoscope - Ed.Art&, Udine


1994

  • Landscape moments - Ed. Rebecchi, Modena


2001

  • Fotografie 1960-2000 - Ed. GAM,Torino


2001

  • Sorpresi nella luce americana - Ed. Federico Motta, Milano


2003

  • Paesaggi : Franco Fontana / Mario Giacomelli - Ed. Gribaudo, Savigliano


2003

  • Franco Fontana - Ed. Federico Motta, Milano


2005

  • Retrospecttiva - Ed. Logos, Modena 2005
  • 6 X Torino - Ed. GAM , Torino 2005

 

 

public collections

(selected)


  • International Museum of Photography, Rochester, USA
  • Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
  • Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA
  • Art Institute, Chicago, USA
  • Museum of Fine Art, Houston, USA
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, USA
  • Ludwig Museum, Colonia, Germany
  • Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia
  • Australian National Gallery, Melbourne, Australia
  • Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Metropolitan Museum, Tokyo, Japan
  • Israel Museum, Gerusalemmme, Israel
  • Museum of Modern Art, Paris
  • FNAC (the national fund of contemporary art), Paris, France
  • Kunsthaus Museum, Zurich, Germany
  • Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
  • UBS collection, Zurich, Germany
  • Deutsche Bank collection, London, UK
  • Unicredit Bank, Milano, Italy

Exhibitions