November 6, 2018 - MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Arts - Paolo Pellegrin: Un'Antologia
November 6, 2018

MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Arts

Paolo Pellegrin, "Kurdish peshmerga mourn the death of one of their comrades, a tank driver killed by an ISIS sniper, as they were about to leave Bashiqa after a day of battle," Iraq 2016 © Paolo Pellegrin/Magnum Photos.

Paolo Pellegrin
November 7, 2018–March 10, 2019

MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Arts
Via Guido Reni 4A
00196 Rome italy
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–7pm
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube / #PaoloPellegrinExhibit

Over 150 images by the great photographer recounting people, wars, humanitarian emergencies and the relationship between the human condition and nature

He has travelled throughout the world with his camera, recounting people, wars and humanitarian emergencies, along with stories of great poetry and extraordinary, pulsating nature. He has won 10 World Press Photo Awards and numerous other prestigious prizes throughout the world, including the Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography and the Robert Capa Gold Medal Award. He is profoundly interested in people and their relationships with places, events and their fellow humans. Paolo Pellegrin (Rome, 1964) is one of the most important photographers on the international scene, to whom MAXXI is devoting a major exhibition, curated by Germano Celant, in the museum’s stunning Gallery 5.

Entitled Paolo Pellegrin. Un'antologia, the exhibition is the fruit of two years of intensive work on the photographer’s archive and traces through more than 150 images, including numerous previously unseen works and a number of videos, a 20-year period in his career, from 1998 to 2017. It represents an invaluable introduction to his creative and documentary career and an opportunity to explore the issues that underlie his work in which the vision of the reporter and the visual intensity of the artist entwine and become one. 

The immersive and engaging exhibition layout is articulated between the two extremes of light and dark. The initial section is dark. The colour black dominates, populated by the stories of human suffering: the wars, the tensions, the destruction, but also the intimate beauty of mankind in the expression of its deepest emotions. The second part is instead characterised by a luminous space in which prevail images of nature that in its majesty and distance seems to recall the fragility of the human condition.

The two parts of the exhibition are connected by a passage that takes the visitor behind the scenes of Pellegrin's visual research: drawings, notebooks, notes and snapshots document the complexity of a creative process that is based above all on research, knowledge and preparation. Pellegrin considers photography to be a language composed simultaneously of rules and instinct. It is rooted in years of study around the image, the vision, the gaze: all aspects that the photographer has trained from the outset of his career through his interest in literature, the history of art, architecture, film and of course the work of the great masters of photography.

On the occasion of the exhibition, there will also be a preview of the first part of the photographic project realised by Paolo Pellegrin at L’Aquila last January, within the ambit of the photographic commission entrusted to MAXXI. Gallery 1 on the ground floor will be featuring a polyptych composed of a series of images in high contrast black and white that portray corners and details of what is a still wounded city. The other part of this work is composed of large format colour photographs in which Pellegrin, venturing outside the city, photographed the countryside and the mountains around L’Aquila during the course of a night illuminated only by the moon. These images will be exhibited for the first time at Palazzo Ardinghelli on the occasion of the inauguration of MAXXI L’Aquila in 2019, a project entrusted to the Fondazione MAXXI by MiBAC in order to contribute to the rebirth of the area through culture.

MAXXI - National Museum of 21st Century Arts
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