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Two opportunities to enjoy the work of a great artist. Online on museovirtualepinopascali.it and in person at Must in Lecce.


Curated by Rosalba Branà

virtual opening on museovirtualepinopascali.it:12thJune 2020

exhibition opening at MustMuseo Storico della Cittàin Lecce:26th  June 2020

Gianni Leone, Self-Portrait

The Pino Pascali Fundationkeeps on delighting art lovers with its virtual exhibitions. This time it offers an opportunity to explore the works of the great photographer Gianni Leone. As usual, the project will be hosted on the platform museovirtualepinopascali.it created in collaboration with myphotoportal and launched on the 30thMarch with the photographic project  Camera con vista (A Room with a view) in which Leone was featured among the leading artists, and later with the project  Pino Pascali. Fotografie (Pino Pascali. Photographs),both accessible online.  Two years after hosting the retrospective Gianni Leone. Inventario: 1979- 2015 (Gianni Leone. Inventory: 1979-2015), the Pino Pascali Foundation is again exploring the language and viewpoint of a great photographer who was, together with Luigi Ghirri andEnzo Velati, among the promoters and inspirers of the mythological exhibition  Viaggio in Italia (Journey to Italy) hosted by Pinacoteca Provinciale di Bari in 1984. It was this language that deeply changed the image of Italy from the country portrayed in postcards to Leone’s urban and Mediterranean portrayal, here presented in a series of shots that can be viewed online from 12thJune 2020.

Friday 26thJune 2020,  MUST Museo Storico della Città di Lecce will open the solo exhibition GIANNI LEONE, a retrospective collection of the works of the Apulian photographer (Bari,1939). This is a project launched by the Kunstschau Association Contemporary Places in collaboration with the Municipality of Lecce – Department of Culture and with the Pino Pascali Foundation in Polignano a Mare.   Both events are curated by Rosalba Branà, director of the Pino Pascali Foundation.

60 photographs that Leone generously donated to the museum in Polignano in 2018, have been arranged in the rooms of MUST in such a way as to offer visitors a wide selection of the photographer’s work from 1980 to today. It is an overview of his research between the city and small villages, between countryside and industrial sites, while at the same time discreetly and quietly observing more marginal and abandoned locations such as solitary beaches and deserted corners of his Apulia in particular but of all the South of Italy too. One section of the exhibition will be dedicated to the thorough exploration of areas, backgrounds, formal details and geometrical shapes, studied and analysed to the point of an abstraction of light and feelings. 

Gianni Leone– as Rosalba Branà puts it – sees the landscape as a theoretical space, as a complex system of signs, a place where one goes to think, however not to feel nostalgic as that is a feeling that belongs to serial travellers, while he is a homebody and loves going back to his homeland. Our author loves and walks across plains, along the sea, he moves with slow steps across the flowing of time and the changes in light.  The French term“flânerie” suits Leone quite well in that he slowly seizes the spaces with his camera, he lingers without hurry,without rhetoric […] Scouring the landscape in all its details can be exhausting. Our artist does it by framing and focusing, by catching details and minimal but essential particulars. Is Leone interested in identifying the portrayed landscapes? I do not believe so. I think he is interested in producing a system of signs by choosing a certain shot, by creating certain shapes, by almost always adopting a central perspective thus selecting himself as the only human presence. As a matter of fact, Leone sees the inclusion of people in his photographs as irrelevant as he prefers to shoot in solitude and it is therefore clear that he enjoys spending time in his own company, other people’s presence is only ever suggested. Photography is not therefore representation of reality but an attempt to bring together memories, expectations and the flowing of time”.

The exhibition will be open to the public from the 26thJune to the 27thSeptember 2020, from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 1.30 pm and from 3.30 pm to 7 pm.


Gianni Leone was born in 1939 in Bari, city where he later taught History of Political Doctrines at University. He started taking photos in 1979 against a background of intense cultural activism. From 1981 to 1983 he managed the gallery Spazio Immaginewhere he exhibited his first research work, Letture (Readings), and where until 1983 he promoted  “Meetings at Spazio Immagine”, which consisted in series of conferences and lectures accompanied by monographic exhibitions of national and international artists. Among many others, he invited Luigi Ghirri, Mario Cresci, Giovanni Chiaramonte – who in turn invited him to the collective exhibition Luogo e identità della Fotografia contemporanea Europea (Place and Identity of European Contemporary Photography, 1982) – and Guido Guidi. His work was the result of an extremely personal critical research of the language of images and memory. His photographs are the fruit of over thirty years of travelling, often returning home, told through black and white photographs until 1994, when he then turned to colour photography.  He has taken part in collaborations and research studies such as Fasti barocchi (Baroque Splendour, 1984 – on Neapolitan Baroque Art) the important Viaggio in Italia, Giardini d’Europa (Italian Journey, European Gardens,1988), Ritorno al mare (Returning to the Sea,1994), Nuovo Paesaggio italiano (A New Italian Landscape, 1998), Mediterranea (Mediterranean), Verde e Vintage (Green and Vintage2005, 2008), and the more recent Poi (Then, 2010) and Casa Ghirri (Ghirri’s Home2011), intense reflections on spaces left by loss.  Leone keeps on working on his Vaghi Paesaggi (Vague Landscapes),views on wandering, beauty and the marvellous and constantly changing indefiniteness in which, in all our imperfection,  we look at our reflected image like in a mirror. In 2016 he was invited by the Pino Pascali Foundation in Polignano a Mare to exhibit more than 100 black and white and colour photographs with the title Inventario (Inventory). Again in 2016 Beppe Sebaste invited him to take part in the collective exhibition that launched his Stanza/ Ci sono cieli dappertutto (Room/ Skies Everywhere) in Narni. And again in Narni, in 2017 Sebaste exhibited for the first time  La casa e le stagioni ( The House and the Seasons), to remember di Luigi and Paola Ghirri and the photographs taken by Gianni Leone, Daniele De Lonti and Vittorio Fossati in the farmhouse in Roncocesi. In 2019, he participated in the exhibition Viandanti a Sud (Wayfarers to the South)held by the Pino Pascali Foundation, and curated by Rosalba Branà.



curated by Rosalba Branà

digital exhibition of the Pino Pascali Foundation
Opening, Friday 12thJune on
press@museopinopascali.it+39 3201122513

A collaboration with  Myphotoportal.com

From the 26thJune  to the 27thSeptember  2020:


Museo Storico della Città di Lecce Via degli Ammirati, 11, 73100