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    Sale 7584


    15 May 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 41

    MARIO GIACOMELLI (1925-2000)

    Scanno, 1957-59

    Price Realised  


    MARIO GIACOMELLI (1925-2000)
    Scanno, 1957-59
    gelatin silver print
    titled and annotated in pencil on verso, 'via Mastai 24' credit stamp on verso
    11 7/8 x 15¼in. (30.1 x 38.7cm.)

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    In Looking at Photographs, Szarkowski admires Giacomelli's 'visual intelligence' and ability to recognise 'the thin slice of a second during which this picture was possible....' Giacomelli concurs: 'Nothing happens by accident -- neither the white nor the black...[in this image] the black figure is waiting for the white. When you are taking shots they have to be quick and on that occasion I was fast enough.' (quoted in Crawford, p.8)

    Fig.1: According to Simone Giacomelli of the Giacomelli Estate, the photographer began using the 'via Mastai 24' credit stamp, which includes a postal code, in the mid-1960s.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Mario Giacomelli was a prolific image-maker from the mid-1950s until his death in 2000. A self-taught photographer, he had little concern for archival storage of his work, often letting prints pile up in disorderly stacks around the darkroom. The present owner, a friend and fellow photographer, learned to print with Giacomelli in his darkroom.

    This and the following six photographs (lots 41-48) were gifted by Giacomelli to the present owner in the 1960s. The seventh, lot 48, was gifted in the mid-1970s.

    Pre-Lot Text


    It is not the individual photo that's important to me, but the series, the story.

    MARIO GIACOMELLI in his last interview, 2000


    Szarkowski, Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from The Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, p.185, dated '1963'; Mario Giacomelli, The Friends of Photography, Carmel, 1983, p.42, dated '1959'; Mario Giacomelli: Prime Opere: Vintage Photographs 1954-57, Photology, 1994, p.14; Frizot (ed.), The New History of Photography, Könermann, 1998, p.629; Crawford, Mario Giacomelli, Phaidon, 2001, p.295, no.20.