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7439 Miles Across the USA



7439 Miles Across the USA

The Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute in Washington present Photographer Renato D'Agostin in a conversation with Verna Poser Curtis, former Curator of Photography in the Prints & Photographs Division at the Library of Congress, and Susan Behrends Frank, Curator at the Phillips Collection. This event marks the closing of the exhibition 7439 by Renato D'Agostin.

"While traveling across the United States on the back of my motorcycle I had a lot of time to think about all the reasons why I was doing it, how it would connect to my previous projects, my previous photographs, how my America would appear to the audience, and more importantly how it would translate into my senses.

7439 is the number of miles I rode through the country I now call home. It kept changing, and it kept surprising me. There is a time in a photographer’s life when you start connecting the dots between the past and the future of your language. For some photographers that moment is every day."  --  Renato D’Agostin


Embassy of Italy 
3000 Whitehaven Street NW 
Washington, DC 20008






[...] In 7439 D’Agostin invites us to look at a traditional coast to coast trip with the traits that have been distinguishing his photographic work through the years. One of the things I “love” most in Renato is his unbridled curiosity, his willingness to seek, to “sniff out” new places and environments in order to perceive, find and communicate his own interpretation through his beautiful, delicate and powerful photographs. Renato’s work is intense and dramatic: black and white signify the absence of time and speak of the fleetingness of life and of memory’s attempt to make up for its loss, to relish once more the moment that just fled – but was masterfully captured by the photographer D’Agostin – helps viewers look at the world from afar, recalling that reaching the essence of things means to first penetrate their darkness.

By alienating what is ordinary, Renato creates new ways to see daily life. Each photography project thus becomes a new opportunity to discuss and investigate distant, parallel or even universes, which are very close to us, and provides viewers with novel ways to interpret what is in front of our very eyes and which, through the artist’s “cut,” we can perceive differently: at times realistically, at times more “magically.”

His work proves that the poetry of an image is born not from a camera, but from the gaze behind it, and that a photographer’s skill lies not in capturing images, but in being able to convey them. The infinite chromatic nuances of black and white lead viewers to “see through and beyond.” Each of Renato’s photos is created with immaculate precision, yet his images describe a slightly distorted reality. Each detail enables a comprehensive vision, and “beyond” is the final escape. Against a backdrop of documentation, interpretation and the photographer’s images, the notions of closeness and farness overlap, recede and ultimately plunge us into a highly emotional atmosphere through a narrative that is both reflective and vague, sensitive and interrupted – just like the language of poetry. [...]  --  Renato Miracco 



Verna Curtis is a curator specializing in photographs and other works of art on paper. She graduated with a B.A. in history from the University of California-Berkeley, and M.A. in art history from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also attended Arizona State University, where she studied photography and met her husband, a sculptor and architect. Curtis, a Miami Beach native, resides in Chevy Chase, Maryland. She is Curator of Photography in the Prints & Photographs Division at the Library of Congress.

Among the awards she has received are an American Association of Museums/International Partnerships Among Museums grant to investigate F. Holland Day at the Royal Photographic Society in England and a Library of Congress grant to research photographer Arnold Genthe in California and Japan. She has organized numerous exhibitions, lectured, and published widely.

Her publications include Photographic Memory: The Album in the Age of Photography (New York: Aperture Foundation, 2011); Ambassadors of Progress: American Women Photographers in Paris, 1900-1901 (Giverny: Terra Foundation for American Art, 2001); F. Holland Day; Selected Texts and Bibliography (Oxford: Clio Press, 1995); La Tauromaquia; Goya, Picasso and the Bullfight (Milwaukee Art Museum, 1986); Photography and Reform: Lewis Hine & the National Child Labor Committee (Milwaukee Art Museum, 1982).

Dr. Susan Behrends Frank has been a curator at The Phillips Collection since 2000.  Since joining the Phillips, Dr. Frank has curated or overseen numerous exhibitions, including East Meets West: Hiroshige at The Phillips Collection (2005); Moving Pictures: American Art and Early Film, 1880-1910 (1907); Philip Guston, Roma (2011); David Smith Invents (2011); Made in the U.S.A.: American Masters from The Phillips Collection, 1860-1970 (2014), Impressionist and Modern Masters, Paintings from The Phillips Collection (Rome, Barcelona and Madrid, 2015-16) and From Hopper to Rothko: America’s Road to Modern Art (Museum Barberini, Potsdam, Germany, 2017).  She is also interested in photography and has organized small exhibitions at the Phillips drawn from local collections, including Scale Matters (2011), Picturing the Sublime (2012), and Shaping a Modern Identity (2013).  Dr. Frank has published several books and essays and given numerous lectures in the U.S., Japan and Europe.  Currently, she is co-organizing a Picasso Blue Period exhibition with the Art Gallery of Ontario for 2020. 

Renato D'Agostin was born in 1983 in San Donà di Piave, Italy, located within the Province of Venice. The lure of the lagoon city’s atmosphere captured his early photographic instincts. He moved to New York and, at 24, had an exhibition at the Leica Gallery in Soho. Other exhibitions quickly followed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. His photography has become part of the permanent collection of the Library of Congress, The Phillips Collection, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, the International Center of Photography in New York and LACMA in Los Angeles.  In 2016, he presented 7439 at the Freedom Tower in the Condé Nast Gallery, New York, a collection of photographs captured while traveling 7,439 miles across the United States on his 1983 BMW motorcycle. Renato currently lives in Brooklyn.



Data: Mar 19 Set 2017

Orario: Dalle 18:00 alle 19:00

Organizzato da : IIC Washington, Embassy of Italy

Ingresso : Libero


Embassy of Italy