VERTICAL LANDSCAPES
The PHOTOGRAPHY of VITTORIO SELLA 1879-1943
FROM 26-01-2006 TO 17-04-2006
EXTENDED to 07-05-2006

Turin, GAM Via Magenta, 31
Opening: every day 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursdays 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Closed Mondays.

GAM di Torino, on the occasion of the Cultural Olympics accompanying the 20th Olympic Winter Games, is staging an important retrospective of the works of Vittorio Sella, a pioneer in mountain photography. The exhibition reveals to enthusiasts, and to all those with an interest, pictures that mark a fundamental moment in the representation of high-altitude landscapes.
The son of Giuseppe Venanzio Sella, the scientist and pioneer of photography in Italy (it was he who wrote the first Italian treatise on photography: Plico del fotografo, 1853), Vittorio Sella inherited a love of photography from his father, and a love of the mountains from his uncle Quintino, the founder of CAI, the Italian Alpine Club. These two passions led to the creation of a vast work of documentation, with thousands of plates and original prints now housed at the Fondazione Sella in Biella. From 1879 to 1909 he went on photography expeditions in the Alps, the Caucasus, and in Africa, Alaska and Asia, some of them with the Duke of the Abruzzi. His photographs very soon became key works of reference for geographical societies, mapmakers, geologists and, of course, mountaineers. Still today his photographs are a precious source of information for historic and scientific studies.
Technical skill, a balanced sense of perspective and of dominant lines, framing constructed in the form of a series of scenes, contrasts of light and shade, and extremely subtle gradations of tones and nuances form a masterly aesthetic whole, which reveals the extraordinary level of quality that was a constant feature of Sella’s photographs.
The exhibition will present about 100 photographs: original prints by Vittorio Sella using various formats and techniques, from 1879 to 1943. They include some extraordinary panoramas made up of photographs placed one next to the other, which the Biella-born photographer made during his numerous expeditions.

Exhibition curated by Lodovico Sella, organised and produced by GAM.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue, published by GAM – Fondazione Torino Musei, with pictures from the exhibition and essays by Marina Miraglia and Giuseppe Garimoldi.
Incoming: € 7.50 full; € 4.00 reduced

More: www.gamtorino.it

Links:

A Passion for Svaneti “[…] To Georgians, the Sv… 15. Febr. 2006 Rappo
Vittorio Sella , a famous Italian mountaineer and photographer of the 19th century, … Vittorio Sella travelled to Svaneti and Racha three times and mounted 30 peaks. … Vittorio Sella – Portraits Vittorio Sella ist wohl der grösste …
Kurze Geschichte des Bergführens im Kaukasus Deuts… 22. März 2006 Rappo
Die Namen von Gakha Tsiklauri , Iagor Kazalikashwili und vieler anderer finden sich in den Berichten der Expeditionen von Freshfield, Merzbacher, Sella ua Das Bergführerdiplom, 1925 von der geographischen Gesellschaft Georgiens erstmals …

Summit : Vittorio Sella : Mountaineer and Photographer : The Years 1879-1909 (Hardcover) by Greg Child (Contributor), Ansel Adams (Contributor), David Brower (Contributor), Paul Kallmes (Contributor), Wendy M. Watson (Contributor), Vittorio Sella (Photographer)

Hardcover: 128 pages
Publisher: Aperture (September 1, 1999)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0893818089
ISBN-13: 978-0893818081
Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 11.1 x 0.9 inches
Shipping Weight: 3.23 pounds

From Library Journal

This book is a careful reproduction of some of the best black-and-white landscape photography ever collectedAthe work of Vittorio Sella. A courageous photographer and mountaineer, Sella climbed peaks on three continents to record stunning views at the top of the world; this book should make us grateful that he hauled heavy photography equipment on those ascents. The strength of this volume is its collection of images: tucked and rolling glaciers, unyielding mountains that seem to run in an infinite sequence from close to distant, and deep gaps full of the treachery of silence. The absolute clarity of the portraits demonstrates this climber’s mastery of his medium. The images here look bold and contemporary: pure gatherings of white (snow), black (jagged peaks and ledges blocking sun), and various greys (clouds, shadows, and crevices). Ansel Adams’s preface byAwhich he wrote as an appreciation in 1939Ajoins with reverent essays by other Sella admirers who know enough to stand aside while the photographs earn their own silent appreciation. Recommended for public and academic libraries.ADavid Bryant, New Canaan P.L., NJ Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. Book

Description

Weighted with heavy, nineteenth-century camera equipment, Vittorio Sella climbed some of the world’s most mysterious, perilous peaks and photographed them, many for the first time. His strikingly elegant photographs, which in Ansel Adams’s words, “revealed [the mountains] in all their sheer majesty,” offer groundbreaking scientific and documentary information as well. Climbers today still use Sella’s pictures to map out routes and to better comprehend their challenges and the magnificence to come.Through Sella’s images, we can witness the grandeur of the world’s greatest peaks; the Russian Caucasus, the Saint Elias Range in Alaska, Mount Ruwenzori in Africa, the Kanchenjunga in the Himalayas. His photographic documentation of these peaks had no precedents and has few, if any, equals.Greg Child is a mountaineer and author of Thin Air (Dell, 1993). Wendy Watson is curator of exhibitions at Mount Holyoke College. Paul Kallmes, a renowned member of the American Alpine Club, has worked closely with the Fondazione Sella for several years.Published in association with Fondazione Sella and the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum.


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