Franco Fontana

Franco Fontana (born 9 December 1933) is an Italian photographer. He is best known for his abstract colour landscapes.

Franco Fontana

BiographyEdit

Franco Fontana was born in 1933 in Modena. He started taking photographs in the 1950s when he was working as a decorator in a furniture showroom.[1] In 1961 he joined a local amateur club in Modena. The experience would be a turning point in his career, and Fontana went on to have his first solo exhibition in 1965 at the Società Fotografica Subalpina, Turin[1] and at the Galleria della Sala di Cultura in Modena in 1968. Since then he has participated in more than 400 group and solo exhibitions.[2]

Fontana has photographed for advertising campaigns for brands such as Fiat, Volkswagen, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, Snam, Sony, Volvo, Versace, Canon, Kodak, Robe di Kappa, Swissair, and has been a magazine photographer for publications including Time, Life, Vogue (USA and France), Venerdì di Repubblica, Panorama, and with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and The New York Times.[citation needed]

Fontana's first book, Skyline, was published in 1978 in France by Contrejour and in Italy by Punto e Virgola with a text by Helmut Gernsheim.

Fontana is the art director of the Toscana Fotofestival.[3]

He has received numerous awards, such as the 1989 Tokyo Photographer Society of Japan - The 150 Years of Photography - Photographer Award.[citation needed]

Style and Critical ReceptionEdit

Fontana is especially interested in the interplay of colours.[4] His early innovations in colour photography in the 1960s were stylistically disruptive. According to art critic Giuliana Scimé, Fontana "destroyed all the structures, practices, and technical choices within the Italian tradition."[5][6] Fontana uses 35mm cameras, and as noted by Iwan Zahar, deploys distant viewpoints with telephoto lenses to flatten contours in a landscape of crops and fields into bands of intense, saturated colour.[7] This is an effect that Franco Lefèvre has described as 'dialectical landscapism'.[1] Of his use of colour in his 2019 retrospective exhibition Sintesi ('Synthesis') at Fondazione Modena Arti Visive, curator Diana Baldon has observed;

“His bold geometric compositions are characterised by shimmering colours, level perspectives and a geometric-formalist and minimal language...By adopting this approach during the 1960s, Fontana injected a new vitality into the field of creative colour photography for then multicolour was not in fashion in art photography...The way Fontana shoots, dematerialises the objects photographed, which loose three-dimensionality and realism to become part of an abstract drawing”.[8]

Aside from the rural landscape Fontana has applied his graphic sensibility to other subjects: city architecture, portraiture, fashion, still-life and the nude.

Fontana's photographs have also been used as album cover art for records produced by the ECM Records jazz label.

Permanent collectionsEdit

PublicationsEdit

  • Modena una città, text by Pier Paolo Preti, Ruggeri, Modena 1970
  • Terra da leggere, text by Pier Paolo Preti, IKS editrice, Modena 1974
  • Bologna, Il volto della città, text by Pier Luigi Cervellati, Ricardo Franco Levi Editore, Modena 1975
  • Laggiù gli uomini, text by Enzo Biagi, Ricardo Franco Levi Editore, Modena 1976
  • Sky-line, text by Helmut Gernsheim, Punto e Virgola, Modena e Contrejour, Paris 1978
  • Presenze veneziane, text by Achille Bonito Oliva e Angelo Schwarz, Maurizio Rossi Editore, Modena 1979
  • Paesaggio urbano, text by Angelo Schwarz, Selezione d’Immagini, Milan 1980
  • Presenza-Assenza, text by Giuliana Scimé, Selezione d’Immagini, Milan 1982
  • I grandi fotografi, text by Achille Bonito Oliva e Giuliana Scimé, Fabbri Editori, Milan 1983
  • Full Color, text by Guy Mandery, Contrejour, Paris 1983
  • I primi dieci ristoranti e alberghi d’Italia, texts by Giovanni Agnelli e Giovanni Nuvoletti, La chiave d’oro Editrice, Modena 1983
  • Los Grandes Fotografos, Ediciones Orbis, Barcelona 1983
  • Capire domani 1933-1983, Edizione Stet, Florence 1983
  • Meisterfotos Gestalten, text by Pier Paolo Preti, Verlag Laterna Magica, Munich 1983
  • Piscina, Diapress, Milan 1984
  • EU 42, text by Paolo Portoghesi, Rondanini, Rome 1984
  • Franco Fontana, Nippon Geijutsu, Tokyo 1984
  • I dogi della moda, Associazione Comitato Veneziamoda, 1984
  • Disney World Epcot Center, text by Roy Disney, Edizioni Panini, Modena 1986
  • Lui lavora lì, text by Liborio Termine, Edizioni Panini, Modena 1986
  • Università Oggi, Edizione Opere Universitarie, Rome, 1986
  • San Marino e il gioco delle apparenze, text by Sergio zavoli, Cassa di Risparmio di RSM, San Marino, 1986
  • Imola Imola, text by Aureliano Bassani, Edizioni Cerim, Imola, 1987
  • Franco Fontana, text by Giuliana Scimé, Umberto Allemandi Editore, Turin, 1987
  • Franco Fontana, Rebecchi, Modena, 1988
  • Il corpo scoperto. Il nudo in fotografia, text by Daniela Palazzoli, Idea Books, Milan 1988
  • L’universo nel piatto, Rebecchi, Modena, 1989
  • I nudi di Franco Fontana in Polaroid, text by Liborio Termine, Aleph, Turin, 1989
  • Invito a Bologna, text by Athos Vianelli, Magnus, Udine 1989
  • Il carnevale di Viareggio, text by Alberto Bevilacqua, Mondadori Arte, Milan, 1989
  • Kaleidoscope, text by Christian Caujolle e Franco Lefèvre, Edizioni Arte, Udine, 1990
  • Franco Fontana è venuto una volta a Torino e l’ha vista così, Rebecchi, Modena, 1990
  • Sakura, sogni paralleli, Cassa di Risparmi di Vignola, 1990
  • 40 immagine inedite di Franco Fontana, text by Mauro Corradini e Giandomenico Semeraro, Edizione del Museo Ken Damy, Brescia, 1990
  • Modena Effetto Notte, Graphis, Bologna, 1990
  • Viaggio in Sicilia, Graphis, Bologna, 1992
  • Modena effetto notte, Graphis, Bologna, 1992
  • Universo nel piatto 2, Graphis, Bologna, 1993
  • Aemilia, text by Candido Bonvicini, Edizioni Biblos, Padua 1993
  • Landscape moments, Rebecchi, Modena, 1994
  • Franco Fontana, text by Flaminio Gualdoni, Federico Motta Editore, Milan, 1994
  • Le ricette erotiche, text by G. Bolognesi, Graphis, Bologna, 1995
  • Franco Fontana Landscape, edizione limitata a cento copie, Ken Damy Polimedia, Brescia, 1996
  • 100 fiori, simboli, messaggi di libertà, text by Lello Piazza, Mondadori, Milan, 1997
  • Janua Urbis, A. Pizzi, 1997
  • Polaroid, text by Francesco Guccini, Motta Fotografia, Milan, 1997
  • Modena ieri e oggi, text by Michele Smargiassi, Associazione Giuseppe Panini, Modena, 1998
  • Franco Fontana antologica, text by Giorgio Cortenova e Walter Guadagnini, Leonardo Arte, Milan, 2000
  • Sorpresi nella luce americana, text by Giampiero Mughini, Federico Motta Editore, Milan, 2000
  • Emerging Bodies Collezione Polaroid, Edizioni Stemmle, Zurich, 2000
  • Emilia Romagna da gustare, text by Antonio Piccinardi, Giorgio Mondadori Editore, Milan, 2000
  • Il paesaggio che verrà, text by Piero Angela e Giuseppe Pederiali, Panini, Modena 2000
  • Historic Route 66, with Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Skira, Milan, 2002
  • Franco Fontana, a cura di Giovanna Calvenzi, testo di Massimo Mussini, Federico Motta Editore, Milan, 2003
  • Paesaggio, with Mario Giacomelli, text by Federico Zeri, Edizioni Gribaudo, Asti, 2003
  • Antiche penombre in controluce, Franco Cosimo Panini Editore, Modena, 2003
  • Retrospettiva, text by Allan D. Coleman e Giuliana Scimé, Edizioni Logos, Modena, 2003
  • Appia Regina viarum, text by Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Trnsmec, 2003
  • Paesaggi con Andrea Micheli Galleria degli animali, text by Renato Barilli e Giorgio Celli, Mazzotta Editore, Milan, 2005
  • Appunti siciliani, text by Liborio Termine e Gianni Riotta, Federico Motta Editore, Milan, 2006
  • La via Emilia, text by Francesco Guccini e Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Atlante, Bazzano, 2006
  • Il tempo fissato. Pietre e colori a Morgantina, text by Vincenzo Consolo e Liborio Termine, Ed. Università Kore, 2006
  • Alassio, Comune di Alassio, 2008
  • Fabbriche di sassi, with Luigi Ottani, Anna Prandi, Edizioni Artestampa, Modena, 2008
  • Modena effetto notte, reloaded, Ed. italiana e inglese, Edizioni Artestampa, Modena, 2009
  • Paesaggi a confronto, Edizioni Artestampa, Modena, 2010
  • Donne, Franco Cosimo Panini Editore, Modena, 2010
  • Grandi autori, Fotografia contemporanea, edited by Claudio Pastrone, Fiaf, Turin, 2011
  • L’anima un paesaggio interiore, text by Giorgio faletti e Liborio Termine, 24 Ore Cultura, Gruppo 24 Ore, Milan, 2011
  • Skyline, texts by Claude Nori and Francesco Zanot, Contrasto due, Rome, 2013
  • Franco Fontana. A life of photos, Italian and English editions, Postcart, Rome, 2013
  • Bellezze Disarmoniche, Artestampa, 2014
  • Franco Fontana - FULL COLOR, Ediz. Marsilio, Venice, 2014
  • Vita Nova, Ediz. Sabrina Raffaghello, 2014
  • Vista d'Autore, Canon-EXPO, 2015
  • Terra Alma et Amara, 100 numbered copies signed with a poem by Valerio Massimo Manfredi, 2015
  • La Fotografia Creativa, Mondadori, Milan
  • Italia a Scatti Il Racconto di Grandi Fotografi, Electa, Milan

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Colombo, Cesare., Bignardi, Irene, Zannier, Italo, and Fratelli Alinari. Museo Di Storia Della Fotografia. Italy, the One and Only : A Century of Photography, 1900-2000 / Curated by Cesare Colombo ; Texts, Irene Bignardi, Cesare Colombo, Italo Zannier ; with the Collaboration of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Central Office of Cultural Affairs. Firenze: Alinari, 1998. Print.
  2. ^ Fontana, Franco. "Exhibitions". Franco Fontana Photographer. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  3. ^ "Steve McCurry al Toscana Foto Festival". 10 December 2013.
  4. ^ Guardian Staff (30 September 2005). "Periodicals: Oct 1". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-03-05 – via www.theguardian.com.
  5. ^ Scimé, G., & Dau, M. (1997). Notes on Italian Photography: Part II: From Futurism to the Present. On Paper, 1(4), 32-35.
  6. ^ Duddy, N. (1991). A View on landscape photography. Doctoral dissertation, Bloemfontein: Central University of Technology, Free State.
  7. ^ Zahar, I. (2015). Photo Exemplar Classification: The Integration of Photographic History into Photographic Technique. In International Colloquium of Art and Design Education Research (i-CADER 2014) (pp. 161-172). Springer, Singapore.
  8. ^ "Franco Fontana : Sintesi - Interview". The Eye of Photography Magazine. 2019-06-17. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  9. ^ "Works by Franco Fontana :: The Collection :: Art Gallery NSW". www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  10. ^ "Works | Franco Fontana | People | George Eastman Museum". collections.eastman.org. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
  11. ^ "Franco Fontana | The Israel Museum, Jerusalem". www.imj.org.il. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
  12. ^ "Franco Fontana | Kemper Art Museum". www.kemperartmuseum.wustl.edu. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
  13. ^ "Franco Fontana, "Houston"".
  14. ^ "Emilia". www.cartermuseum.org. Retrieved 2021-03-26.
  15. ^ "Digital Collection | The Rose Art Museum | Brandeis University - Emilia". rosecollection.brandeis.edu. Retrieved 2021-03-26.
  16. ^ "Emilia". collections.eastman.org. Retrieved 2021-03-26.
  17. ^ "Paesaggio, Lucania (from "Color Nature Landscapes I")". egallery.williams.edu. Retrieved 2021-03-26.
  18. ^ "Seascape, Franco Fontana ^ Minneapolis Institute of Art". collections.artsmia.org. Retrieved 2021-03-26.
  19. ^ "Color Nature Landscapes II (x1985-61.1-.7)". artmuseum.princeton.edu. Retrieved 2021-03-26.
  20. ^ "Exchange|Search: artist:"Franco Fontana"". exchange.umma.umich.edu. Retrieved 2020-12-11.
  21. ^ Museum, Victoria and Albert. "Landscape, Basilicata, Italy | Fontana, Franco | V&A Explore The Collections". Victoria and Albert Museum: Explore the Collections. Retrieved 2021-03-26.

External linksEdit