Curated by: Monica Poggi
The exhibition dedicated to Lisette Model, curated by Monica Poggi, is the first anthology made in Italy. With a selection of over 130 photographs, the exhibition traces the artist's career underlining the importance he had in the developments of photography in the 1950s and 1960s.
His name is often associated with the period of teaching, during which he had as students various authors who would later become among the most famous photographers of the twentieth century, such as Diane Arbus and Larry Fink. His influence, however, had a much wider range of action, also thanks to a marked ability to grasp the most grotesque aspects of post-war American society with irony and boldness. In the period of greatest growth for the United States, where everything seemed to lean towards the brighter future, it 'dared to see' reality in all its forms, even in the less pleasant ones.
The close-up shots, the recurring use of the flash, the exasperated contrasts are all expedients aimed at accentuating the imperfections of the bodies, the flashy clothes, the coarse gestures. There is no interaction between Model and her subjects, who tend to be suddenly caught eating, singing or gesticulating awkwardly, transformed by her shots into characters to be observed and investigated. The street, the gorges of the Lower East Side and the bars are for her the perfect stages on which unsuspecting actors of an irreverent human comedy act. This personal reinterpretation of the documentary approach makes her, in fact, a precursor of a way of using photography that will later find full realization with the authors of the epochal “New Documents” exhibition at MoMA in 1967.