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October 13, 2010

Stanley Kubrick Photographer 1945-1950 Exhibition in Italy

Stanley Kubrick Photographer
Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere e Arti, Venice
Through 14 november 2010

STANLEY KUBRICK, Self-portrait

STANLEY KUBRICK, Self-portrait
Courtesy Giunti Arte mostre musei / Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti / Museum of the City of New York

 

After the great success at Palazzo della Ragione di Milano, with more than 38.000 people visiting the show, the Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere e Arti - Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti in Venice is hosting the exhibition of two hundreds pictures (many of them printed from the original negatives) taken by STANLEY KUBRICK from 1945 up to 1950, when at the age of 17 he was hired by the American magazine Look.

The event's inauguration was timed to coincide with the 67th Venice International Film Festival, where Kubrick received the special Career Golden Lion Award in 1997.

The exhibition is curated by Rainer Crone and set up by Giunti Arte Mostre Musei, jointly with the Library of Congress, Washington D.C., and the Museum of the City of New York – where more than 20,000 still unknown negatives belonging to a young but already great photographer Stanley Kubrick are stored.

 

STANLEY KUBRICK, A tale of a shoe-shine boy, 1947

STANLEY KUBRICK, A tale of a shoe-shine boy, 1947, 16x16'
Courtesy Giunti Arte mostre musei / Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti / Museum of the City of New York

 

The pictures shown testify the ability of the artist to witness everyday life in America during the post-war period thanks to the ironical and withering shot of New York that was becoming the new world capital and of Dixieland musicians and circus’ epic.

The exhibition bring to the attention a less popular feature of the American filmmaker, conveying his way of taking pictures. Alongside with chess, photography is revealed as one of Kubrick’s main passions, activity inherited from his father and that he started as a teenager and terminated after only five years.
The first picture was published on June 26th, 1945 and portraits a newsvendor reacting to the death of Franklin D Roosevelt. A few months later, Look hired Kubrick as a photo reporter: at 17, he was the youngest photographer on the magazine's staff.

 STANLEY KUBRICK, Personalities of the circus, march 1948

STANLEY KUBRICK, Personalities of the circus, march 1948
Courtesy Giunti Arte mostre musei / Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti / Museum of the City of New York

 

The Look Method, which took the form of a narrative by episodes, did not meet with the approval of leading contemporary photojournalists. The Magazine’s owners wanted a constant follow-up of the characters portrayed in every action. This intruding style was fascinating for Kubrick who loved to build up a story starting from those images. In order to obtain a natural posture, Kubrick would remain unseen hiding his camera’s wire below his jacket and pushing the shutter using a device hidden in his hand.

In the indoor shootings, he would try to use natural light as much as possible working on the exposure time and on the diaphragm opening time. Most part of his aesthetic ability shown in his films was already present in his work of those days.
Kubrick is able to give the spectator the ability to personally interpret the psychological features of those appearing in the pictures.

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STANLEY KUBRICK, Portugal, 1948
Courtesy Giunti Arte mostre musei / Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti / Museum of the City of New York

 

“In this way, the first pictures taken by Stanley Kubrick see the light right after WW2 and they not only represent an era but they astonish for their surprising deepness. In this way, they cannot be simply considered as visual archives of the joie de vivre of a young and full of humour artist but they represent a conscious attempt to experiment the resources given by the technical mean with its ability to represent and perceive reality. This aspect will be maintained along the years in all Kubrick’s works.” -- Rainer Crone

An important step as the ambiguity of images and movies are the core of post-war cinema thus called modern and of which Kubrick is one unquestioned maestro.

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STANLEY KUBRICK,  Untitled, 1950
Courtesy Giunti Arte mostre musei / Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti / Museum of the City of New York

 

The exhibition, divided in eight sections, will display some of the stories captured by the artist like Portugal, a post-war trip made by two Americans, or Crimes, which witnesses the arrest of two criminals, following the policemen activity, their strategy and their tricks in order to make the arrest.

Betsy Furstenberg, the main character of the section, is presented as the symbol of the elated New Yorker Lifestyle during those years and the counter part of the small shoe shine” standing on the street corners.

Furthermore, there are sections reproducing the life within the Columbia University, an elite place where the American ruling class was educated and at Campus Mooseheart, Illinois, a University dorm built up by donors aimed at forming war orphans bound to America’s future middle class. New Orleans Dixieland musicians’ epic and circus performers will close the show.

Produced and conceived by Giunti Arte mostre musei, the exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Giunti Arte wich is the most complete monograph on the topic never issued before in Italy.

 

STANLEY KUBRICK Photographer
28 August - 14 November 2010

Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti
Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti
Campo Santo Stefano
Venice - Italy

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