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A man takes shade under the leaves of a Teak tree. Central India, 1977-79
© Gianni Berengo Gardin

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The Guardian

The Sense of a Moment: Gianni Berengo Gardin

11th April, 2014 - 23rd May, 2014

Prahlad Bubbar gallery is proud to present work by Italy’s most celebrated living photographer Gianni Berengo Gardin (born 1930), in his first UK exhibition since he was selected by Bill Brandt for Twentieth Century Landscape Photographs at the V&A, London, in 1975.

The Sense of a Moment: Gianni Berengo Gardin opens at Prahlad Bubbar from 11 April until 23 May 2014 and features original prints drawn from the artist’s personal archive. Berengo Gardin’s iconic images of post-war Italy will be shown alongside his first photographic series shot away from home, in a rarely documented rural India between 1977-1979.

Berengo Gardin was prompted to visit India’s rural heartland, the regions between New Delhi and Bombay, because “I have always been a great admirer of Gandhi and one of his statements is engraved on my mind. He said that Europeans and Westerners come to India and visit the big cities but they never go to see the villages, even though, in reality, India is made up of small villages.”

Over the course of two years, Berengo Gardin documented the India talked about by Gandhi in a fascinating series of portraits that intimately depict the lives of ordinary people, their rituals, customs and industry. These images were to later feature in his prestigious Scanno prize-winning publication India dei Villaggi (1980) and continue to serve as a remarkable record of life in India during an altogether different epoch.

Much like his Indian series, Berengo Gardin’s photographs of post-war Italy also capture a country on the brink of transformation, from an agricultural based economy, which had been severely affected by the consequences of World War II, into one of the world’s most industrialized nations.

Many of Berengo Gardin’s famous views of Italy will be featured in the exhibition, alongside previously unseen pieces. His iconic images of Venice will be shown as will Henri Cartier- Bresson’s favourite shot by the artist, taken from inside a vaporetto – its glass and mirrors ingeniously reassembling the sharp-suited men aboard.

Gallery owner Prahlad Bubbar is delighted to present this beautiful portrait of the countries in which he himself grew up, shot at a pivotal point in their histories by family friend and master of Italian photography: Gianni Berengo Gardin.


Editors Notes:

Gianni Berengo Gardin (born 1930, Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy) has produced over 200 publications of his photographs and innumerable international exhibitions. He was invited to stage a prestigious solo retrospective at the Palazzo Reale, Milan, in 2013. His images form part of major collections, including Calcografia Nazionale in Rome, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Bibliothéque Nationale, the FNAC Collection and the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, all in Paris. Gianni Berengo Gardin continues to work with his favoured Leica camera, using only black and white film.

Prahlad Bubbar is a leading specialist in classical Indian and Islamic art and widely known for his knowledge of the masters of 19th century Indian photography. He regularly sells and loans works of historical significance to major public and private collections and, in 2001, staged the first UK show on the doyen of Indian photography, Raja Deen Dayal. Prahlad Bubbar is a regular exhibitor at Asia Week, New York, which this year (14 – 22 March) will preview a selection of Gianni Berengo Gardin’s prints in advance of the exhibition opening in London on 11 April.

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