Frames Blog Federico Serrani

Art in frame – to make it doubly immortal

1 June 2021

words by @ale_theia

Heading to Chianti for a weekend based on wine, good food – and rain, because the one I chose for my trip was not particularly forgiving in the weather – I let myself be conquered more by the unexpected drifts than by the planned stops . Leaving Milan to break the journey via the motorway, I chose Pistoia as a stop for my lunch break, a Tuscan city that I had never visited before and in whose city center I lost myself with pleasure, appreciating the colors of its churches typical of the polychrome marbles of the area, the still quiet streets waiting for tourists and above all the unexpected encounters, such as the one with Aurelio Amendola, or at least, with his work.

In fact, looking for a place to have lunch, I came across the billboards that indicated the exhibition, organized in the two exhibition sites of Palazzo Buontalenti and the Antico Palazzo dei Vescovi, curated by Paola Goretti and Marco Meneguzzo, dedicated to his work as a photographer of art, presented in almost 300 images – almost all of his production. AURELIO AMENDOLA | An anthology. Michelangelo, Burri, Warhol and the others, is divided into two major parts – Ancient and Contemporary – which retrace over 60 years of activity and all the genres in which the author has experimented, deepened by specific sections of the exhibition.

Amendola, born in Pistoia in 1938, in black and white but also in color, has been able to tell the marble works sculpted by the greatest artists of antiquity, who have scattered the Tuscan territory with masterpieces, but also Rome, Milan and the other Italian cities that preserve the history of art that they envy us so much. For this he was hired as a photographer of the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, the Uffizi, the Vatican Museums, the Vittoriale degli Italiani, and numerous other national and international museum institutions, which he was able to interpret with his harmonious, material gaze – in the sense nobler than the term – and also sensual.

Motionless works, resistant over time thanks to their beauty and marble material, but also lively and creative contemporary painters and sculptors, portrayed in their studios, during a creative process in progress, mobile and which thanks to these images is almost participated. If the sculptures of Michelangelo and Canova, illuminated in a masterly way and framed from several sides to want to capture almost cinematographic details, seem to come to life in the clear alternation of light and shadow, so the pyrotechnic “happenings” of Alberto Burri, the brushstrokes of Emilio Vedova in his studio in Venice, and again Manzù, Kounellis, Warhol and many others.


Amendola’s photos capture the movements, the brushstrokes and the scratches, the rest at the end of the extremely physical creative process of an artist,  they are a portrait set in the studio and in dialogue with the finished work,  they discover folds in their own way unprecedented in the dress of the Madonna in Michelangelo’s Pietà;  are both a historical document and a subjective filter of interpretation that gives new dignity and interest to visions of the world that in themselves might not have needed them, but which are given back to us with great power.

This splendid exhibition, which I invite you not to miss, will be available until 25 July. If you really don’t have time, there is always the opportunity to admire his images in Locarno, in an exhibition at Casa Rusca inaugurated at the end of March which will remain open until 19 September, dedicated in turn to his two souls. , that of a lover of antiquity and that of a skilled portraitist of the main international protagonists of twentieth century art. I have not visited the latter and therefore I cannot offer you a comparison. What is certain is that rediscovering an artist in the city that gave him birth and his first inspirations gives a little magic.


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