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Franco Fontana

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Franco Fontana (born 9 December 1933) is an Italian photographer. He is best known for his abstract colour landscapes.

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Franco Fontana was born in 1933 in Modena. He started making photographs in the 1950s when he was working as a decorator in a furniture showroom.[1] In 1961 he joined an amateur club which was a turning point in his career, and went on to exhibit solo in 1965 at the Società Fotografica Subalpina, Turin, and in 1968 in Modena,[1] at the Galleria della Sala di Cultura. Since then he has participated in more than 400 group and individual exhibitions.[2]

Fontana has photographed for advertising campaigns for brands such as Fiat, Volkswagen, Ferrovie dello Stato (National Italian Railways), Snam, Sony, Volvo, Versace, Canon, Kodak, Robe di Kappa, Swissair, and has been a magazine photographer for publications including Time, Life, Vogue (USA and France), Venerdì di Repubblica, Panorama, and with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and The New York Times newspapers.[citation needed]

Skyline, Fontana's first book, was published in 1978 in France by Contrejour and in Italy by Punto e Virgola with a text of Helmut Gernsheim and he has gone on to produce numerous publications of his works.

Currently Fontana is the art director of the Toscana Fotofestival.[citation needed]

He has received numerous awards, such as the 1989 Tokyo Photographer Society of Japan - The 150 Years of Photography - Photographer Award.[citation needed]

Style and reception

Fontana is above all interested in the interplay of colours and he has based his own vibrant and original language on that.[3] His early innovations in colour photography in the 1960s were stylistically disruptive, noted by critics to have "destroyed the schema, practices, and technical choices of the Italian tradition."[4][5] . Fontana uses 35mm cameras, and as Zahar notes, images distant viewpoints with telephoto lenses to flatten contours in a landscape of crops and fields into bands of intense, saturated colour,[6] effects that Levefre dubs a 'dialectical landscapism'.[1] Of his use of colour in his 2019 retrospective exhibition Sintesi ('Synthesis') at Fondazione Modena Arti Visive, curator Diana Baldon notes;

“His bold geometric compositions are characterised by shimmering colours, level perspectives and a geometric-formalist and minimal language...By adopting this approach during the 1960s, Fontana injected a new vitality into the field of creative colour photography for then multicolour was not in fashion in art photography...The way Fontana shoots, dematerialises the objects photographed, which loose three-dimensionality and realism to become part of an abstract drawing”.[7]

Aside from the rural landscape Fontana has applied his graphic sensibility to other subjects: city architecture, portraiture, fashion, still-life and the nude.



As well as in books, Fontana's photos have been used as album cover art for records produced by the ECM Records jazz label.

  • Modena una città, text by Pier Paolo Preti, Ruggeri, Modena 1970
  • Terra da leggere, text by Pier Paolo Preti, IKS editrice, Modena 1974
  • Bologna, Il volto della città, text by Pier Luigi Cervellati, Ricardo Franco Levi Editore, Modena 1975
  • Laggiù gli uomini, text by Enzo Biagi, Ricardo Franco Levi Editore, Modena 1976
  • Sky-line, text by Helmut Gernsheim, Punto e Virgola, Modena e Contrejour, Parigi 1978
  • Presenze veneziane, text by Achille Bonito Oliva e Angelo Schwarz, Maurizio Rossi Editore, Modena 1979
  • Paesaggio urbano, text by Angelo Schwarz, Selezione d’Immagini, Milano 1980
  • Presenza-Assenza, text by Giuliana Scimé, Selezione d’Immagini, Milano 1982
  • I grandi fotografi, text by Achille Bonito Oliva e Giuliana Scimé, Fabbri Editori, Milano 1983
  • Full Color, text by Guy Mandery, Contrejour, Parigi 1983
  • I primi dieci ristoranti e alberghi d’Italia, text by Giovanni Agnelli e Giovanni Nuvoletti, La chiave d’oro Editrice, Modena 1983
  • Los Grandes Fotografos, Ediciones Orbis, Barcellona 1983
  • Capire domani 1933-1983, Edizione Stet, Firenze 1983
  • Meisterfotos Gestalten, text by Pier Paolo Preti, Verlag Laterna Magica, Monaco 1983
  • Piscina, Diapress, Milano 1984
  • EU 42, text by Paolo Portoghesi, Rondanini, Roma 1984
  • Franco Fontana, Nippon Geijutsu, Tokyo 1984
  • I dogi della moda, 1985
  • Disney World Epcot Center, text by Roy Disney, Edizioni Panini, Modena 1986
  • Lui lavora lì, text by Liborio Termine, Edizioni Panini, Modena 1986
  • Università Oggi, Edizione Opere Universitarie, Roma, 1986
  • San Marino e il gioco delle apparenze, text by Sergio zavoli, Cassa di Risparmio di RSM, 1986
  • Imola Imola, text by Aureliano Bassani, Edizioni Cerim, Imola, 1987
  • Franco Fontana, text by Giuliana Scimé, Umberto Allemandi Editore, Torino 1987
  • Franco Fontana, Rebecchi, Modena, 1988
  • Il corpo scoperto. Il nudo in fotografia, text by Daniela Palazzoli, Idea Books, Milano 1988
  • L’universo nel piatto, Rebecchi, Modena 1989
  • I nudi di Franco Fontana in Polaroid, text by Liborio Termine, Aleph, Torino 1989
  • Invito a Bologna, text by Athos Vianelli, Magnus, Udine 1989
  • Il carnevale di Viareggio, text by Alberto Bevilacqua, Mondadori Arte, Milano 1989
  • Kaleidoscope, text by Christian Caujolle e Franco Lefèvre, Edizioni Arte, Udine 1990
  • Franco Fontana è venuto una volta a Torino e l’ha vista così, Rebecchi, Modena 1990
  • Sakura, sogni paralleli, edizione Cassa di Risparmi di Vignola 1990
  • 40 immagine inedite di Franco Fontana, text by Mauro Corradini e Giandomenico Semeraro, Edizione del Museo Ken Damy, Brescia 1990
  • Modena Effetto Notte, Graphis, Bologna 1990
  • Viaggio in Sicilia, Graphis, Bologna 1992
  • Modena effetto notte, Graphis, Bologna 1992
  • Universo nel piatto 2, Graphis, Bologna 1993
  • Aemilia, text by Candido Bonvicini, Edizioni Biblos, Cittadella Padova 1993
  • Landscape moments, Rebecchi, Modena 1994
  • Franco Fontana, text by Flaminio Gualdoni, Federico Motta Editore, Milano 1994
  • Le ricette erotiche, text by G. Bolognesi, Graphis, Bologna 1995
  • Franco Fontana Landscape, edizione limitata a cento copie, Ken Damy Polimedia, Brescia 1996
  • 100 fiori, simboli, messaggi di libertà, text by Lello Piazza, Mondadori, Milano 1997
  • Janua Urbis, Ed .A. Pizzi 1997
  • POLAROID, text by Francesco Guccini, Motta fotografia, 1997
  • Modena ieri e oggi, text by Michele Smargiassi, Associazione Giuseppe Panini, Modena 1998
  • Franco Fontana antologica, text by Giorgio Cortenova e Walter Guadagnini, Leonardo Arte, Milano 2000
  • Sorpresi nella luce americana, text by Giampiero Mughini, Federico Motta Editore, Milano 2000
  • Emerging Bodies Collezione Polaroid, Edizioni Stemmle, Zurigo 2000
  • Emilia Romagna da gustare, text by Antonio Piccinardi, Giorgio Mondadori Editore, Milano 2000
  • Il paesaggio che verrà, text by Piero Angela e Giuseppe Pederiali, Panini, Modena 2000
  • Historic Route 66, with Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Skira, Milano 2002
  • Franco Fontana, a cura di Giovanna Calvenzi, testo di Massimo Mussini, Federico Motta Editore, Milano 2003
  • Paesaggio, with Mario Giacomelli, text by Federico Zeri, Edizioni Gribaudo, Asti 2003
  • Antiche penombre in controluce, Franco Cosimo Panini Editore, Modena 2003
  • Retrospettiva, text by Allan D. Coleman e Giuliana Scimé, Edizioni Logos, Modena 2003
  • Appia Regina viarum,, text by Valerio Massimo Manfredi , Ed. Trnsmec 2003
  • Paesaggi con Andrea Micheli Galleria degli animali, text by Renato Barilli e Giorgio Celli, Mazzotta Editore, Milano 2005
  • Appunti siciliani, text by Liborio Termine e Gianni Riotta, Federico Motta Editore, Milano 2006
  • La via Emilia, text by Francesco Guccini e Valerio Massimo Manfredi, Atlante, Bazzano (Bo) 2006
  • Il tempo fissato. Pietre e colori a Morgantina, text by Vincenzo Consolo e Liborio Termine, Ed. Università Kore, 2006
  • Alassio, Comune di Alassio 2008
  • Fabbriche di sassi, with Luigi Ottani, Anna Prandi, Edizioni Artestampa, Modena 2008
  • Modena effetto notte, reloaded, Ed. italiana e inglese, Edizioni Artestampa, Modena 2009
  • Paesaggi a confronto, Edizioni Artestampa, Modena 2010
  • Donne, Franco Cosimo Panini Editore, Modena 2010
  • Grandi autori, Fotografia contemporanea, edited by Claudio Pastrone, Fiaf, Torino 2011
  • L’anima un paesaggio interiore, text by Giorgio faletti e Liborio Termine, 24 Ore Cultura, Gruppo 24 Ore 2011
  • Skyline, texts by Claude Nori and Francesco Zanot, Contrasto due, Roma 2013
  • Franco Fontana. A life of photos, Italian and English editions, Postcart, Roma 2013
  • Bellezze Disarmoniche, Ediz. Artestampa. 2014
  • Franco Fontana - FULL COLOR, Ediz. Marsilio 2014
  • Vita Nova, Ediz. Sabrina Raffaghello. 2014
  • Vista d'Autore, Canon-EXPO. Libro numerato e firmato in 184 copie 2015
  • Terra Alma et Amara, 100 numbered copies signed with poetic texts by Valerio Massimo Manfredi - 2015, the proceeds to the Filo d'Oro.
  • La Fotografia Creativa, Mondadori
  • Italia a Scatti Il Racconto di Grandi Fotografi, Electa


  1. ^ a b c Colombo, Cesare., Bignardi, Irene, Zannier, Italo, and Fratelli Alinari. Museo Di Storia Della Fotografia. Italy, the One and Only : A Century of Photography, 1900-2000 / Curated by Cesare Colombo ; Texts, Irene Bignardi, Cesare Colombo, Italo Zannier ; with the Collaboration of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Central Office of Cultural Affairs. Firenze: Alinari, 1998. Print.
  2. ^ Fontana, Franco. "Exhibitions". Franco Fontana Photographer. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  3. ^ Staff, Guardian (30 September 2005). "Periodicals: Oct 1". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-03-05 – via
  4. ^ Scimé, G., & Dau, M. (1997). Notes on Italian Photography: Part II: From Futurism to the Present. On Paper, 1(4), 32-35.
  5. ^ Duddy, N. (1991). A View on landscape photography. Doctoral dissertation, Bloemfontein: Central University of Technology, Free State.
  6. ^ Zahar, I. (2015). Photo Exemplar Classification: The Integration of Photographic History into Photographic Technique. In International Colloquium of Art and Design Education Research (i-CADER 2014) (pp. 161-172). Springer, Singapore.
  7. ^ "Franco Fontana : Sintesi - Interview". The Eye of Photography Magazine. 2019-06-17. Retrieved 2019-11-18.
  8. ^ "Works by Franco Fontana :: The Collection :: Art Gallery NSW". Retrieved 2019-11-18.

External links

This page was last edited on 6 January 2020, at 08:59
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