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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Marialba Russo

Dates:  1947 -
Born:  Italy
Active:  Italy
Italian photographer who did an intriguing set of self-portraits for her 1999 book ‘Il Ritratto di me‘ consisting of collages, hand painted photographs and other techniques.

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Marialba Russo
Il Ritratto di Me [Portrait of Myself] 
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ThumbnailMarialba Russo: An evolving retrospective 
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Marialba Russo, originally from Naples, has lived in Rome since 1987. She studied painting at the Accademia di Belle Arti (Academy of Fine Arts) in Naples. She started working with photography at the end of the 1960s. Her focus was on central and southern Italian religious representations and folk festivals.
Between 1972 and 1976 she collaborated with the Museo Nazionale delle Arti e Tradizioni Popolari (National Museum of Arts and Folk Traditions) in Rome. In 1976 and 1977 she published Al ristorante il 29 settembre 1974 and Giornale Spray in the series she herself created I Quaderni dello sguardo. Besides her personal work and her exhibitions, she collaborated with Vogue Italia and with other Italian and foreign journals. In 1979, with her photographic series Il parto, Marialba Russo represented Italy during the Venezia 79 la fotografia, in the section Fotografia Europea Contemporanea (Contemporary European Photography) supervised by Daniela Palazzoli, Sue Davis, and Jean-Claude Lemagny. In the 1970s, an important aspect of her work was noticed by Arturo Carlo Quintavalle who, in 1999, supervised the exhibit Il rosso e il nero. Figure e ideologie in Italia 1945-1980 nelle raccolte del CSAC.
In the following decade, Marialba Russo participated in several shows and initiatives dedicated to photography in Europe and the United States. She continued her collaboration with some Italian Universities where she taught photography. She also continued her experimentations on photographic language in the context of the works Della serie delle centotrenta figure di spalle in 1981, and 1929 Ritratto di mio padre e mia madre del 1982. In 1989, the Galleria d'Arte Moderna (Gallery of Modern Art) Giorgio Morandi in Bologna presented her retrospective and the monograph Marialba Russo - Fotografie 1980-1987, with a letter by Alberto Moravia.
In the 1990s, the author shifted her research on a more intimate and analytical reflection, where landscape became a metaphor for inner time. Roma, Fasti Moderni - il disordine del tempo, dated 1993, is a photographic account of the archeology of Rome, built through the rhythm of a film sequence. Epifanie, in 1997, was a collection of travel photographs, followed by the intimate tales of imagery of Famosa of 1998, and Il ritratto di me of 1999.
The short series presented at the two exhibits Incantesimo, sponsored by the Museo della Fotografia (Museum of Photography) of Thessalonica in 2001, and Passi at the Jin Tai Art Museum of Beijing in 2003, were a preview of Incanto, a work the author devoted herself to during the last ten years, from 1990 until 2000.
© Marialba Russo (March 2006)
Used with permission  

Internet biographies

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Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

• Evans, Martin Marix (Executive ed.) 1995 Contemporary Photographers [Third Edition] (St. James Press - An International Thomson Publishing Company) [Expensive reference work but highly informative.] 


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