Vitalità del negativo nell’arte italiana 1960-70, the first show organized by the Rome-based association Incontri Internazionali d’Arte, founded by Graziella Lonardi Buontempo, initiated a major effort to promote contemporary art, both Italian and foreign.
The 33 artists featured are now emblematic of Italian art in the 1960s and ’70s: Vincenzo Agnetti, Carlo Alfano, Getulio Alviani, Franco Angeli, Giovanni Anselmo, Alighiero Boetti, Agostino Bonalumi, Davide Boriani, Enrico Castellani, Gianni Colombo, Gabriele De Vecchi, Luciano Fabro, Tano Festa, Giosetta Fioroni, Jannis Kounellis, Francesco Lo Savio, Renato Mambor, Piero Manzoni, Gino Marotta, Manfredo Massironi, Fabio Mauri, Mario Merz, Giulio Paolini, Pino Pascali, Vettor Pisani, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Mimmo Rotella, Piero Sartogo, Paolo Scheggi, Mario Schifano, Cesare Tacchi, Giuseppe Uncini and Gilberto Zorio.
Ugo Mulas, the photographer most closely involved with the international art scene at the time, was commissioned to cover the event, which he did in his unmistakable style. The 130 photographs taken, which remained largely unpublished on their author’s death at an early age, now appear in this volume some forty years later. They capture the artists, the installations and the visitors in an extraordinarily lucid photographic reading a crucial exhibition for Italian contemporary art.
The book also provides useful insight into the history of photography, shedding light on the photographer’s work and his dialogue with artists. It was during the show’s inauguration that Mulas took one of the first shots of the “Verifications” series, regarded as among the most important photographic works of the period in terms of formal rigour and analysis of the medium.