Anna McNay

Review of Giuseppe Cavalli: Master of Light at the Estorick Collection


Giuseppe Cavalli: Master of Light

Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, London

18 April–17 June 2012


In 1947, Italian photographer Giuseppe Cavalli (1904–61) co-founded the group La Bussola (The Compass), which, as part of its mission to “establish a valid aesthetic credo for photographers,” asserted: “We believe in photography as art. […] It is equally possible to be poets with the lens as with the brush, the chisel or the pen.” Certainly, the selection of Cavalli’s works currently on show at the Estorick Collection confirm this statement. Muted and monochromatic, yet exploiting myriad shades of white, his bleak, unpopulated land- and beachscapes, are prematurely postmodern, reflecting a further axiom of the group that “in art the subject has no importance at all”.

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