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MODENA'S TRIBUTE TO FRANCO FONTANA

Events | Exhibitions | Photography

Modena Visual Arts Foundation, with the exhibition ‘Sintesi’, intends to recall the sixty-year career of the artist of Modena Franco Fontana, born in 1933 and already active in 1961.

The exhibition, which wants to be the right recognition for one of the most famous artists of Modena at national and international level, can be visited from March 22nd to August 25th 2019 and is divided into two sections.

The first section, edited by Diana Baldon, director of the Modena Visual Arts Foundation, is set up in Palazzo Santa Margherita and in Palazzina dei Giardini, and is composed of thirty works, most of which are unpublished, created between 1961 and 2017.

The second section has been edited by Franco Fontana, hosted at MATA - Ex Manifattura Tabacchi, and proposes one hundred and twenty photographs selected from the background of 1600 works that the artist has offered to the Municipality of Modena since 1991.

Fontana's works constitute a path through suggestions often described in the novels of Mark Twain and Jack Kerouac, made of immediate suggestions, uninhabited landscapes, a slow but constant flow of time and things.

In the 1960s, while the polychromy was not in vogue in art photography, Fontana already used it in geometric compositions, using images capable of altering the recording of the surrounding environment in an abstract and kaleidoscopic perspective.

The main themes of Fontana's photography are the landscapes, whose organicity follows the shadows and lines of the horizon, and above all the journey, which in addition to being a reason of representation, is also the constant driving of numerous works carried out over the years.

The photographer's gaze is direct on fragments of everyday life, in which the presence of the human is confirmed by its absence: roofs, barriers, scaffolding, walls and balconies evoke a human presence which is never explicit, but which is always present in the built environment that surrounds him.

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Corso Canalgrande 103
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This exhibition highlights Fontana's thematic coherence, which wants to find out geometric and minimalist lines from the various types of metropolitan settlements and urban constructions, which go against the organicity of the natural environments and landscapes that made the author famous throughout the world.

It deepens the symbiotic link between photography and architecture that since the 1920s has led the design of a building to be characterized by a systemof polychromies which can be similar to the composition of a multicolored dress. For example, Le Corbusier has often used polychromies to control the perception of space and harmonize projects in their entirety: thanks to color, the geometrical surfaces of buildings are transformed into three-dimensional elements.

 

In the same way, Fontana's photos can be compared to the paintings of the major exponents of the historical avantgarde, since the main elements of modern abstract painting are shapes, lines, colors and grids: his language is able to isolate the fragments of a scene, remove the context and show an unreal aspect of real objects through games of color, lines, lights, shadows.

Abstract photography emancipates itself from the traditional concept of objective recording of reality, and following the dictates of the pop art of the Fifties and Sixties, creates images and meanings starting from banal and popular objects, lacking of any real value.

‘Sintesi’ wants to recall in a suggestive way the itinerary of Fontana, and show how it is possible, thanks to the intense chromatic experience, to see beyond the superficial banality of everyday life and the normality of our existence.

Eufemia Ferrara

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