Gianni Berengo Gardin (1930-)

Gianni Berengo Gardin
Gianni Berengo Gardin, Male Nudes, 1990 I Vintage Gelatin Silver Print I 30 x 40 cm

Gianni Berengo Gardin was born in Santa Margherita Ligure in 1930 and began his journey into photography in 1954, after residing in Rome, Venice, Lugano, and Paris. In 1965, he settled in Milan and embarked on his professional career, focusing on reportage, social investigation, architectural documentation, and environmental description.

His early photographs, as a semi-amateur, were published in 1954 in Il Mondo, directed by Mario Pannunzio, with whom he collaborated until 1965. He worked with leading Italian and foreign newspapers, the Touring Club Italiano, and the Istituto Geografico De Agostini, but primarily dedicated himself to creating photographic books, producing over 200 publications.

In 1963, he was awarded by the World Press Photo. In 1990, he was an invited guest of honor at the “Mois de la Photo” in Paris, where he won the Brassai Prize. In 1995, he won the Leica Oskard Barnack Award at the “Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie” in Arles. In 1998, he shared the Oscar Goldoni Prize for the best photobook of the year with “Zingari a Palermo.”

He has held approximately 200 solo exhibitions in Italy and abroad, and his images are part of the collections of various museums and cultural foundations, including the Calcografia Nazionale in Rome, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Bibliotheque Nationale, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, and the Collection photo FNAC in Paris, and the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne.

In 1972, the magazine “Modern Photography” included him among the “32 World’s Top Photographers.” In 1975, Cecil Beaton mentioned him in the book “The Magic Image: The Genius of Photography from 1839 to the Present Day.” And H. Gombrich cited him as the only photographer in the book “The Image and the Eye” (Oxford 1982).

Italo Zannier, in the “Storia della Fotografia Italiana” (Rome-Bari 1987), defined him as “the most remarkable photographer of the post-war period,” and he was among the 80 photographers chosen by Henri Cartier-Bresson in 2003 for the exhibition “Les choix d’Henri Cartier-Bresson.”

In 2006, during one of his exhibitions, he delivered a speech at the headquarters of the European Parliament in Brussels.

In 2008, he was awarded the prestigious “Lucie Award” for his career in the United States, and in 2009, he received an honorary degree in History and Criticism of Art from the University of Milan.