Cose Mai Viste.
Photographs by Mario Giacomelli. Edited by Enzo Cucchi.
Photology, Milan, 2006. 432 pp., 230 color illustrations, 6x8½".
The title Cose Mai Viste translates literally as
“things never seen,” and applies here in two senses.
The most direct describes works never before
shown, never exhibited or published. The broader
describes views that no one but Giacomelli has
ever seen, moments when only he was there. Now
that he is gone, only his prints remain to describe
them—or transform them. As a self-taught artist
who became a star of postwar Italian photography,
Mario Giacomelli (1913-2000) made his name with
images of the country around him, particularly the
series, There Are No Hands to Caress My Face, which
showed young seminarians playing in the snow, in
brilliant graphic contrast to their black cassocks.
His single frame,“The Boy from Scanno,” also made
its way into exceptionally wide circulation in John
Szarkowski’s classic Looking at Photographs. The
230 images collected here, which range from the
1960s to the 90s, are at once familiar—like the
monk playing soccer on the cover—and all new—
he’s playing on the grass.
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