(Italy 1910 – 1984)
17.9 x 9.3 cm
Adele Gloria’s extraordinary career as an artist was preconditioned by her background as a young woman from Sicily. Defiantly outspoken and ambitious, Gloria quickly became entangled with the avant-garde circles in her hometown of Catania, leading to a close acquaintance with the leader of the Italian futurist movement F. T. Marinetti. In line with many women artists of the time, Gloria sought to break away from parochial notions of femininity by working in a multitude of modes – poetry, painting, dance, sculpture, fashion design, journalism and photography.
The photo collages which Gloria created during the 1930s are particularly interesting for the intense focus the artist places on her own persona, diverging significantly from the futurist emphasis of technological progress. Modernity, in Gloria’s self portraits is not sanctified for its own sake, but is validated for the opportunities it created for a woman to unravel and express her multifaceted individuality.
Photo collage was a highly favoured method in futurist circles as it embraced the technical possibilities of the medium, while at the same time destroying the stasis of frozen time, which was ‘the antithesis of what Futurist art wanted to be.”1 Gloria’s ‘Composition’ 1932-33, achieves a sense of dynamism by a seemingly random juxtaposition of photographic fragments of herself. The clash of scale, form and contexts produces an effect that is more akin to a cinematic montage or experimental music. It is compounded by the intentionally slapdash method of application, which makes the presence of the artist so tangible.
1. Lista, G. ‘Futurism and photography’, Merrell publishers, London, 2001 p 10
Giovanni Lista, I futuristi e la fotografia: creazione fotografica e immagine quotidana, Modena, 1985, 57 (illus.). fig.132
I futuristi e la fotografica: creazione fotografica e immagine quotidiana:
Futurism: vintage photographs, drawings and books, Galerie Priska Pasquer, Köln, 25 Apr 2003–31 Jul 2003
What's in a face? aspects of portrait photography, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 24 Sep 2011–05 Feb 2012