NeoRealismo: The New Image in Italy, 1932–1960 poignantly portrays life in Italy through the lens of photography before, during, and after World War II. While neorealism is associated primarily with cinematic and literary depictions of dire postwar conditions, this is the first major museum exhibition to highlight key photographers active at the time. Featuring approximately 175 photographs by over 60 Italian artists, NeoRealismo pairs them with the original publications in which they circulated—illustrated magazines, photobooks, and exhibition catalogues. On view at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery from September 6 through December 8, 2018, the show also includes film excerpts by such notable directors as Vittorio De Sica, Roberto Rossellini, and Luchino Visconti, alongside related movie posters.
Neorealism—as both a formal approach and a mindset—reached the height of its popularity in the 1950s. Organized by Admira and curated by Enrica Viganò, NeoRealismo is making its American debut at the Grey after traveling in Europe to wide acclaim. A selection of the photographs will also be on view at NYU’s Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò. As Viganò observes, “NeoRealismo takes a unique approach to the period between 1932 and 1960 in bringing together various media and materials that have never before been grouped together in the same context.” Grey Art Gallery director Lynn Gumpert adds, “NeoRealismo explores how Italian photographers conveyed daily political realities during these three decades, a subject that is particularly resonant today. We are very pleased to bring this important exhibition to the Grey, which, as a university art museum, consistently draws attention to underrepresented but culturally relevant bodies of work.”