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Nino Migliori

June‚ÄďAugust 2019

Installation View
Installation View
Nino Migliori, The house opposite, 1954. Two men ride bicycles in front of an apartment building
Nino Migliori, Summer evening from 'People of Emilia,' 1953. Exterior view of an apartment building. One window is lit and a family is seated at the dinner table.
Nino Migliori, People of Emilia, 1950. Street scene featuring three children. One boy stands in a doorway in the background, while two girls play with a wind instrument in the foreground.
Nino Migliori, Bread Carrier, 1956. A boy carries bread on a wooden plank on his left shoulder.
Nino Migliori, People of Emilia, 1957. A group of schoolboys jumping from a low wall.
Nino Migliori, Delta People, 1958. Seven boys on the street looking to the camera.
Nino Migliori, People of Emilia, 1950. A young girl is half hidden behind a wooden door. A bucket is in the lower left of the frame.
Nino Migliori, Children by the Sea, 1954. Two girls on a swing photographed from a low angle.
Nino Migliori, Quattro Con, 1955. Five men seated on a wall photographed from the back. A ship's sail is in the right of the frame.
Nino Migliori, The Diver, 1951. One man jumps over another into the ocean.
Nino Migliori, Untitled, 1951. Frame is diagonally divided; one half is a wooden dock, the other footprints in the sand.
Nino Migliori, Bathing Beauties, 1954. Two woman sitting on the beach in straw hats, photographed from behind.
Nino Migliori, People of Emilia, 1950. Street scene featuring a man leaning on his bicycle in the foreground while another man rides a bicycle in the background.
Nino Migliori, Albino, 1956. One white umbrella opened among many black umbrellas, photographed from above.
Nino Migliori, People of Emilia, 1950. Patrons gathered outside a building marked "Grande Esposizione"
Nino Migliori, Bologna, 1958. A street with vehicles photographed from above.
Nino Migliori, The Cashier, 1957. A clothed dog by a seated man accepts a coin from a man on the street.
Nino Migliori, People of Emilia, 1952. A group poses for a wedding portrait as a balloon vendor walks through the foreground.
Nino Migliori, Venice, 1958. A canal with one boat running between buildings. Advertisements on the right.
Nino Migliori, Northern People, 1950. A man with a cane seated on a bench. A mural of Milan is on the wall behind him.
Nino Migliori, People of the South, 1956. A woman seated on a bench, holding a paper fan in front of her face.
Nino Migliori, The Hands Speak, 1956. Three women sitting on stairs chatting.
Nino Migliori, The Hands Speak, 1956. Three women sitting on stairs chatting.
Nino Migliori, The Hands Speak, 1956. Three women sitting on stairs chatting.
Nino Migliori, The Hands Speak, 1956. Three women sitting on stairs chatting.
Nino Migliori, The Widow, 1956. Two woman talk on the street. One is wearing all black.
Nino Migliori, Northern People, 1953. A middle-aged fruit vendor poses similarly to the woman in the advertising illustration behind her.
Nino Migliori, The Street Kids, 1955. Five boys play with peashooters in an alley. Three are on the street, two are leaning out a second story window.
Nino Migliori, White Shoes, 1951. Three women photographed from behind from the waist down in matching white heels.
Nino Migliori, Milan Fair, 1954. Predominantly white architectural abstraction
Nino Migliori, Night from Asinelli, 1958. One of the Asinelli towers photographed from above at night.
Nino Migliori, Milan Fair, 1954. Predominantly white architectural abstraction
Nino Migliori, Meeting in the Province, 1957. People gather in the street as a man speaks into a microphone from a balcony.
Nino Migliori, The Street Kids, 1955. Six boys play with peashooters in an alley. Four are on the street, two are leaning out a second story window.

Press Release

Keith de Lellis Gallery features the mid-century work of Italian photographer Nino Migliori (b. 1926) in this summer’s exhibition. Self-taught, Migliori began making photographs in 1948, documenting his familiar and beloved Italy as it emerged from the second world war. The artist traveled throughout his homeland, from the impoverished south to the more affluent and industrial northern regions, capturing the people with the affection and empathy of an equal.

 

A prominent figure in the neorealist school of photography, Migliori produced a rich and significant body of work in post-WWII Italy. The country was engaged in throwing off the repressive shackles of a fascist regime, an idealistic pursuit not lost on its photographic community. Migliori and his fellow documentarians pledged to expose the human condition and all its foibles, replacing romanticism with wit and humanity. Traveling to the southern regions to expose the pride of its people and the prejudice under which they toiled symbolized a rite of passage for Migliori and for other photographers of the postwar generation. Migliori also documented a traditional way of life in the North that would soon be transformed by modernization. The charming old-world ambience of its towns and the marvelous characters strolling its streets are a fascinating study of a culture on the precipice of change.

 

Some of his most intriguing photographs were conceived as sequences presenting a narrative from beginning to end. A series of four images titled Le mani parlano (The hands speak) 1956 depicts a trio of Italian women embroiled in discourse—a remarkable study of facial expressions and hand gestures that need no textual explanation. In another endearing series, I ragazzi della via (Boys of the street) 1955, a gang of six boys engaged in mock battle, armed with peashooters, dart across the frame.

The artist’s most recognizable photograph, Il Tuffatore (The Diver) 1951 shows two brothers on a Rimini dock, one jumping over the other into the sea. Migliori captured the moment in which the diver is parallel to the horizon, suspended in mid-air above his brother. Viewers often ask if the image has been manipulated, but it was simply perfectly timed.

 

Migliori’s photographs also include dramatic cityscapes with bird’s-eye views of Bologna, architectural abstractions of Milan, and glimpses of ad-plastered canals in Venice. These high- contrast scenes reveal striking patterns, textures, and other details of these busy cities. Migliori’s spontaneous visual records of wonderful little moments captured in the everyday lives of the Italian populace lasted less than a decade, but yet survive as his most powerful vision.