By Lyle Rexer
Consider these names: Fellini, Antonioni, Olmi, De Sica, Rossellini, Pasolini, Visconti, Scorsese, Coppola – the most compelling film artists of modern times, in this country and in Italy, not to mention the rest of the West. And yet the image world out of which they grew, the photographic milieu that nurtured all of them, that connected the diaspora Italians in New York (and Buenos Aires, among other places) with the home country, has never been explored in depth in the United States. Until now. That alone is justification for spending time with black-and-white prints of grubby children in the street, workers with their tools, ancient nonne in their streetside conversations. To call this multisite presentation, spearheaded by NYU’s Grey Art Gallery, where it is on view through December 8, long overdue is a ludicrous understatement.