contemporary art / history of art

Antonella Sacconi

Born in 1961 in Messina, Antonella Sacconi lived in her childhood in different cities of Italy. She graduated in Greek archelogy in Florenz. Subsequently, she published a book about the archeologic adventure of Francesco Morosini in Athens, 1687-1688. Here she describes the circumstances of the Venetian war against the Ottoman Empire, which guided to the partly destruction of the Parthenon at the Acropolis of Athens. These studies and her knowledge of the ancient world guided her to become teacher for Italian and Latin. Moreover, this influences her artistic oeuvre.

Since her infancy, Antonella has a passion for photography. In the second half of the 1970s, she started to take pictures with her first analogue camera, an Olympus OM2. Afterwards she experimented with different techniques of photo development. However, she didn’t want to stop there and studied the renown Italian photographers. In particular, the works by Mario Giacomelli are still affecting her oeuvre. He depicted mostly people and landscapes. Antonella started by photographing landscapes and in these images, allusions to Giacomelli are obvious. Additionally, Giacomelli uses – among other stylistic means – strong contrasts and courageous cropping, which contributed to the graphic character of his pictures. Both instruments are also used in many of Antonella’s works and she transferred them to her passionate portrays of architecture. A good example is “Fans” from 2014. Here the chosen picture section is a close-up from the AV Mediopadana railway station in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Moreover, the cutout shows a big contrast between the white sky and the architectural structure. Underlined by the black and white gradient, the graphic approach is evident. “Fans” is our Artwork of the Month / October 2023.

Antonella’s orientation to architecture photography is not surprising, having in view her passion for ancient constructions which lead her to archaeological studies. Besides the influence of Mario Giacomelli, the graphic character of her photos might be aroused by the knowledge of Giovanni Battista Piranesi’s etchings, with whom she would have become familiar during her studies. And in fact, the picture “Capricci (alla Piranesi)”, The Vessel, New York from 2019 reminds the famous artist. Also in other images allusions are visible. Moreover, the knowledge of classical shapes leads her to highlight forms, lines, and three-dimensionality. However, the artist does not circle around ancient buildings, but points on contemporary architecture, perhaps because it is often free from decoration and uses the geometric elements in a pure state.

Another passion may be on help: Antonella loves to travel. This enables her to visit renown contemporary constructions and to take them in focus, for example the Millenium Park in Chicago, the Market Hall in Rotterdam and the Bundestag in Berlin. In doing so, the human perception is important to her. For this purpose, the viewing angle is individual like a person visiting the place closely. This allows to concentrate on special characteristics of the targeted building, to emphasise the aesthetic value of the structure and include the human being as creator and contemplator. Herewith, she invents her own artistic oeuvre.

Due to her participation for the international award “Wiki loves Monuments Italia” (2014) where she arrived at the fourth position, some of her photos were published in the catalogue of the agency Alidem. In 2016, she had her first two solo exhibitions: at the Caffè letterario delle Giubbe Rosse, Florence and Casa di Vetro, Milan. In particular with the second show “Nude Forme. Geometrie dell’architettura contemporanea” started her career as photographer of contemporary architecture. Since then, she participated regularly in the MIA Fair, Milan with SpazioFarini6. The same gallery took her pictures to fairs in Parma, Paris and Lugano. Antonella’s photo “Spicchi di Luna” was published in the BNL Curator’s Guide and in the Marie Claire Maison. Additionally, it was presented at Milan’s Design Week and during the Venice Architecture Biennale in an installation by Paola Lenti (all 2018). Since 2021, she is part of the artists of the General Public Art Gallery, Los Angelos. Her project “Homo Faber” was presented in double personal exhibition at the Galleria B4, Bologna in 2022 and in 2023 Link Studio Arte from Bologna took her once again to the MIA Fair in Milan.

Antonella lives and works in Milan.

Artwork of the Month / October 2023