Alberto Giacometti, Mostra de Venise, 1962
See the birth of some of modern art’s greatest works through the lens of Italian documentary photographer Ugo Malas.
This collection of portraits by Italian photographer Ugo Malas comes across a bit like a pictorial ‘who’s who’ of early-to-mid 20th century art: Lichtenstein, Calder, Duchamp, Giacometti, Warhol, the list of his illustrious subjects goes on. More than simple portraits of famous faces, however, Malas’s images aimed to capture the astonishing creativity of these artists as it blossomed through their works. His was a whole new type of documentary photography that sought to record the whole manufacturing process of modern masterpieces – conception, construction, completion – and at the same time convey a sense of the inspiring chaos of the artists’ ateliers. The photo series displayed here make clear the Italian’s compulsion to document nearly everything he saw (some of the photos must be taken just a couple of seconds apart), suggesting his utter delight at witnessing the birth of a work of art.
TRANSLATION: HUW OLIVER