Search for content, post, videos

Modena: Art Kane, Visionary at Palazzo Santa Margherita


The retrospective Art Kane. Visionary is presented at Palazzo Santa Margherita in Modena, curated by Jonathan Kane, Holly Anderson and Guido Harari, until  September 20th 2015. The exhibition   dedicated to Art Kane, 20 years after his death and on the 90th anniversary of his birth, features for the first time in Italy some 100 photographs – both famous and previously unknown – that contributed to shaping the visual imagery of the second half of the 20th century.

Part of the exhibition will be given over to the portraits and the well-known photographs of the leading musical icons of the Sixties, another no less consistent section to social commitment (especially the fight for civil rights of black and native Americans , religious fundamentalism, Vietnam, the nuclear nightmare of Hiroshima, consumerism, growing environmental decay), to existential visionary reflections created from the ‘sandwiching’ of several slides (a pioneering technique in a pre-Photoshop age), to the photographic illustrations of texts by Dylan and the Beatles, fashion, without forgetting the evolutions of American society, all captured with such an original and visionary gaze as to conquer honours, prizes and the front covers of the most prestigious magazines around the world.

“I want to communicate the invisible elements in a personality,” said Art Kane, summing up the whole of his poetics in a few words.

In the words of Andy Warhol: “I think of Art Kane as being strong, say, like a pumpkin sun in a blue sky. Like the sun, Art beams his eye straight at his subject, and what he sees, he pictures – and it’s usually a dramatic interpretation of personality.”

“Art Kane was my idol – remembers Franco Fontana – almost a mirage for me, as I admired him from afar. Then I met him in ‘77 in Arles, and we became ‘colour’ buddies, linked by an unforgettable relationship of friendship and intimacy. He was a man of great genius, of great intelligence and creativity. He loved women and he photographed them with a degree of sensitivity and eroticism which I greatly appreciated. He loved Italy, which he visited on several occasions, also for a number of workshops that I organised. Hypercritical with the students, he would lay into them ruthlessly, provoking them and encouraging them to dig ever deeper into their own subconscious.”

Art Kane is the legendary photographer that at 10am on one August day of 1958 immortalised some 57 jazz greats on a sidewalk on 126th Street, in Harlem, unaware he was creating the single most significant image in the history of jazz. This photograph is universally famous as ‘Harlem 1958’, and it won him the Art Directors Club of New York gold medal. The image was so powerful that it inspired books, a 1994 documentary which was shortlisted for the Oscars (“A Great Day in Harlem”), and more recently a film by Spielberg, “The Terminal” (2004), starring Tom Hanks.

Kane’s lens captured the greatest artists of all musical genres, from The Rolling Stones to Bob Dylan, The Doors, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Frank Zappa, Cream, Sonny & Chér, Aretha Franklin, Louis Armstrong, Lester Young, turning them into countless icons, like, one out of many, the memorable shot of The Who wrapped up in a Union Jack. But Kane was much more than this. He was one of the true masters of 20th-century photography, whose visionary images have influenced the social conscience of many generations, leaving a mark on world’s culture.

Art Kane : Visionary
25 June-20 September 2015
Gallerie civica di Modena,
Palazzo Santa Margherita,
corso Canalgrande 103


Create an account or log in to read more and see all pictures.

Install WebApp on iPhone
Install WebApp on Android