Online shop Support us

Past exhibition

Terminé le 21.05.23

Vasco Ascolini. Ciseler l’ombre

Since 1990, Vasco Ascolini has been donating photographs to the Museum. In over thirty years, more than 80 photographs have joined the Museum’s collection.
His first photographs involved the world of theatre. The contemporary Italian photographer Vasco Ascolini then turned to architecture, photographing places steeped in history, such as ruins, museums and castles, from Italy to Germany, taking in Versailles. Through his extraordinary work on shadow, on the darkness that organises and geometrically structures his composition, he offers us quite a different reading of these places that we thought we knew, suddenly propelling whatever is going on behind the scenes into centre stage.

Regarding his work, Christelle Rousseau, curator of the exhibition “Ciseler l’ombre”, writes this: “Combining the gaze and the talent of a painter, a sculptor, an architect and a stage director, Vasco Ascolini shapes a universe of images where darkness orchestrates the spectacle that is the world. Using light like a paintbrush or a cutting tool, he detaches his subjects from a deep darkness on the edge of which we feel ourselves wavering, highlighting the master lines of a palace, drawing a stone face, extending the gesture of a dancer ...

Using the possibilities of the camera and the photographic print, Vasco Ascolini crushes perspectives, sculpts the half-light, sublimes textures.”

Vasco Ascolini was born in 1937, in Reggio Emilia where he lives and works. He studied photography in the United States and at the University of Parma and started his photography career in 1965. His collaboration with the Municipal Theatre Romolo Valli of Reggio Emilia, from 1973 to 1990, gave him the opportunity to explore performing arts photography. From the early 1970s, his attention focused on heritage and cultural sites: historical buildings, museums, sculptures ... He was commissioned to photograph major French museums such as the Louvre, Rodin, Carnavalet, etc. Each assignment would be carried out while maintaining an absolutely personal and unrestrained vision. Vasco Ascolini is also a photography teacher in the Italian province of Reggio Emilia. Through him, the Museum of Photography (Charleroi) is therefore in touch with several Italian photographers who were taught by him and whose works have also joined the collection.

In the eighties, the assignment commissioned by the City of Aosta would be a key step for him. The text of the catalogue accompanying the exhibition written by Ernst H. Gombrich was a particularly crucial factor. The lengthy correspondence that ensued lasted many years. The meeting with Michèle Moutashar, director of the Musée Reattu, was also decisive. She gave him an assignment to photograph Arles and exhibited his works in 1991 at the Rencontres internationales de la photographie, so offering him international visibility in this new genre. In 2000, he was named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture.

His photographs are kept in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York and the Guggenheim Museum as well as at other major institutions in the United States, in Europe and in other countries: Lincoln Center Public Library, The University of Texas at Austin, the Italian Foundation for Photography, Turin, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, Musée Carnavalet, Musée de la Photograhie - Charleroi etc.

Visuel exposition
© Musée de la Photographie