Inge Schönthal Feltrinelli
People Who Changed the Time

Ernest Hemingway, Inge Schoenthal and the fisherman Gregorio Fuentes with a Marlin, Cuba, 1953.
Digital print.
Author’s collection.
© Inge Schoenthal Feltrinelli Inge Schoenthal, New York, s.d.
Digital print.
Author’s collection.
© Inge Schoenthal Feltrinelli Inge Schoenthal Feltrinelli.
Anna Magnani, Cinecittà, Rome, 1952.
Digital print.
Author’s collection.
© Inge Schoenthal Feltrinelli

Ernest Hemingway, Inge Schoenthal and the fisherman Gregorio Fuentes with a Marlin, Cuba, 1953. Digital print. Author’s collection. © Inge Schoenthal Feltrinelli

Inge Schoenthal, New York, s.d. Digital print. Author’s collection. © Inge Schoenthal Feltrinelli

Inge Schoenthal Feltrinelli. Anna Magnani, Cinecittà, Rome, 1952. Digital print. Author’s collection. © Inge Schoenthal Feltrinelli

Moscow, 15.III.2013—12.V.2013

exhibition is over

Ekaterina Cultural Foundation

21/5 Kuznetsky Most, porch 8, entrance from Bolshaya Lubyanka street (show map)
opening hours: 11:00 - 20:00, day off - Monday.
Tel: +7 (495) 621-55-22

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Curators: Paola Riccardi, Cristina Barbano

Curators: Paola Riccardi, Cristina Barbano

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Opening day photos

Olga Sviblova, Ekaterina Inozemtseva and Inge Feltrinelli Antonio Zanardi Landi Sergey Nikolaevich and Inge Feltrinelli

For mass-media

This gallery of enchanting portraits by Inge Schoenthal, then a young German press photographer fascinated by the world around her and in love with life, presents leading figures of the 20th century and some of the most brilliant minds in the cultural panorama of the 50s: from Ernest Hemingway to Pablo Picasso, from Marc Chagall to Billy Wilder, from Anna Magnani to Simone de Beauvoir. Her unforgettable portraits stripped of any illusion convey an extraordinary natural response to great people who will shortly become legends, capturing the ‘decisive moment’ with a sense of immediacy, intuition and freshness. These photographs show the subjects as individuals, unlike the clichés created and conditioned by that epoch’s style of portraiture.

There are the irresistible, unconstrained and ironical portraits of Ernest Hemingway taken in his living room at Finca Vigia, Cuba; a portrait of Greta Garbo on the streets of New York, surprised, utterly abstracted and half-concealed by her cloche hat; a shot of the handsome young Richard Avedon adjusting the pose of model Dorian Leigh.

All these photographs captivate the onlooker and transplant him ‘inside the scene’, next to the celebrity, where he can share moments that exceed the official boundaries the public were undoubtedly accustomed to in those days, and which few would relinquish for poster shots, even now.

Inge Schoenthal draws close to her subjects, but with respect, producing memorable images of famous people that she herself admires and revealing an interest that exceeds the formal limitations of her camera lens. Her ability to form relationships and establish close contact defines her successful career as a publisher to this day.

Although Inge Schoenthal turned away from photography soon after meeting Giangiacomo Feltrinelli to make way for her passion for books and a new profession, it continued to determine her vision, in recognition of the special significance of images and photographs that are pieces of a vast puzzle, able to reveal entire lives, relationships with friends and family or unique situations.

Each portrait is the witness of in-depth encounters, a harbinger of friendship and important connections; it is part of the common history shared by these images.

Paola Riccardi

Inge Feltrinelli is legendary for many Italians of my generation. This woman, heart and soul of the most progressive Italian publishing house, is famed for her exceptional courage and tireless determination, her sense of irony and extraordinary beauty, but also for her immense charm.

Imagine my joy when, more than twenty years ago, Giorgio Marconi introduced me to Inge at the preview of the Modern Soviet Artists exhibition I helped to organise at the Marconi Gallery in Milan. As I recall, Inge was sitting next to Umberto Eco (yet another legend, and not only for my generation). She gave a warm smile and complimented me on the exhibition. I shook hands, first with her and then with Eco, and rather embarrassed, I mumbled a banal ‘thank you, thank you’ before wandering off in a daze.

For years after that I continued to admire Inge whenever she appeared in the papers, in features on cultural events or on television. Much later I had the opportunity to meet her son Carlo, and we became friends. Three years ago Carlo invited me to a presentation of the documentary Inge Film.

Wearing one of her favourite orange jackets, Inge was sitting on one side of the stage like an impatient schoolgirl eager to begin a new adventure, explaining her project. As always, the public were entranced. I really liked the film and decided to bring it to Russia. My first attempts to organise a showing were unsuccessful, and only last year, thanks to my longstanding friendship with Olga Sviblova and more recent friendship with Ekaterina Inozemtseva, the project began to take shape and I began organising an exhibition of the Inge Schoenthal Feltrinelli photography collection in Moscow, with a presentation of her long and fascinating monologue. Here we refer back to the surname Schoenthal, since before marrying Giangiacomo Feltrinelli and becoming a famous publisher Inge was a very well known and respected photojournalist. This inquisitive and energetic young woman managed to take photographs of Hemingway at his house in Cuba, now rated among the best images of the great writer. Then everyone knew her as Inge Schoenthal.

I am sure the Moscow public will appreciate the work, the personality and charm of this extraordinary woman who was above all, and remains to this day, simply INGE.

Cristina Barbano
February 2013

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