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(Legnano, 1936 - Parma, 2009)


Aldo Tagliaferro was born in Legnano (Milan), where he spent his youth, devoting himself intensively to painting from an early age. In 1953 he joined the Associazione Artistica Legnanese and went on to display his figurative works in numerous group shows organised by the association. In the meantime he was working in Milan, where he had the opportunity to frequent the avant-garde galleries. 


In the early 1960s he decided to dedicate himself full-time to the artistic profession. In 1963 he held his first solo exhibition at the premises of the Legnano association, which was visited by the building contractor and art collector Felice Valadé. In the same year Valadé invited him to move to the “Quartiere delle Botteghe” in Sesto San Giovanni (Milan), a district where the contractor had built about thirty studios which he allowed artists to use in exchange for their paintings. This arrangement led to the creation of a group of artists that represented the most important trends of the time: the new figurative work of De Filippi and Ceretti, the abstract graphism of Vermi and Bionda, the objectual research of Castellani and Bonalumi and the conceptual work of Fabro etc. In this context, Tagliaferro was able to get to know these artists and compare notes with them.


After a period of reflection on his own work he identified his direction. From 1965, he began a research conceived as documentation and critical analysis of the socio-political context and human behaviour. To stay closer to reality, he used photographs taken from newspapers as evidence of events, which he then elaborated and re-proposed in a critical sense.In this process he sought formal solutions that could restore to the image the original emotive content that had been dulled by overuse, employing contrasting images and the differentiated repetition of the same image.


He displayed his first work with photos in 1965 at the San Fedele painting competition in Milan. It aroused considerable debate, since the world of art criticism maintained that photography “is not painting”.At the time it was no easy matter to display photographic works in the places traditionally dedicated to painting. Photography was considered a minor art, so that being able to show and trigger debate on such research was in itself a consolidation of one’s work.

The series of photographic works entitled Rapporto quotidiano politico (Daily political report), dating to between 1965 and 1968, represents a critical analysis of the socio-political events transmitted by the mass media of the time. The images used, taken from newspapers, enable at once both documentation and a subjective reading of reality. 


In Immagini differenziate (Differentiated images) of 1968, analysis focuses on the repetition of the same image in different colours made possible by the use of peelable paper which allows emulsion to be transferred onto different supports.


The political activism of 1968 led Tagliaferro to reflect, focusing his attention on direct involvement rather than continuing with his socio-political works. In the same year he joined the Mec-Art movement, and then from 1971 on continued his photographic research independently. 

Between 1968 and 1969 his research addressed the multiple possible uses of the photographic image. These studies included Immagini fusibili (Fusible images), exploring the possibility of integrating two images. Experimentation is very evident in Tagliaferro’s work, as shown by his use of peelable paper or emulsified canvas to obtain repetitive but differentiated images.


Analisi all’interno dell’ immagine e sulla sua possibilità combinatoria (Analysis within the image and on its combinatory possibilities), from 1969, addressed the subject of the commodification of women. Four images were used – a woman’s face, a man’s bust, a boy and an eye – along with a screen that had the dual function of both coagulating element and scansion of the image.


In 1970, wishing to continue to work on reality, in Verifica di una mostra (Verification of an exhibition) Tagliaferro began to use photography directly. During one of his shows he “recorded” the events so as to analyse the fruition of the art work, setting the rituals of the exhibition in relation to the behaviour of the spectator. This work was then added to the show itself. In formal terms, the work was developed with strips of enlarged frames on emulsified canvas displayed on a sloping plane, initiating a research on the macro-image and the proxemics of the fruition of the work of art. 


Dating to the same year is the work Tavola didattica (Educational poster) made up of six proofs with notes for the production of the silk-screen prints of Verifica di una mostra, analysing the phases of its construction. In this way, the artist wishes to transform the contemplative space typical of the gallery into a space of knowledge and participation.


When Tagliaferro was invited to produce a work for the XXXV Biennale in Venice, with Analisi di un ruolo operativo (Analysis of an operative role) he grasped this opportunity to make a critical analysis of the artist’s role in a pre-established condition, ironically overlapping photos of artists with images of a zoo and its list of rules. 


A similar work is Soggiorno temporale-Soggiorno eterno (Temporal stay-Eternal stay) of 1972, where he again uses contrasting images. In this case he critically addresses the rituals connected with the ceremonials of death, where even the pain is marketed as if it were a consumer product. 


In addition to critically probing events within the social context, Tagliaferro’s research also moved in the more specific direction of human behaviour. His 1973 work, Memoria- identificazione come sovrapposizione della realtà (Memory-identification as superimposition of reality), develops an investigation of memory and identification, setting reality in relation to an intimist moment.


Sovrapposizione alla realtà (Superimposition on reality) shows photographs of the gallery walls, which are then put back in the same place and photographed again. The aim here is to demonstrate the variability of reality, even if it is unchanged, in relation to time.


In the evolution of his research and experimentation, Tagliaferro did not only contrast interacting images, he was also interested in the opposition of issues. In his 1976 work, Analisi del feticismo da un’immagine trovata (Analysis of fetishism from a found image), he shifts again to the “outside”, placing signals within our context to verify the multiple possibilities of reading an image when it is isolated and transferred from its context, proposing it in a formal solution where the spectator is captured in the image itself.


It should be stressed that Tagliaferro’s analyses always have a reference to reality. This was confirmed in 1977 in Evidenziazione attraverso la quotidianità del vivere (Highlighting through the dailiness of life) where the “recording” of the real allows him to develop an analysis of human instinct and rationality.


In the 1979 work Io-ritratto (Portrayed Ego), representing an exploration of his own ego and its mutability, the artist calls himself into question by showing his own image split in two: half positive and half negative.


This was the year in which Tagliaferro moved to Africa, to Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo), where he stayed for a couple of years, making contact with African culture. He returned to Africa again in the years that followed, visiting Nigeria where he was particularly fascinated by one of the last surviving traditions of the dark continent: the hairstyles. In the 1983 cycle Dal segno alla scrittura (From sign to writing) these hairstyles are analysed for the “signs” they trace, alienating them from their context but not from their signal sphere.


In his last work, dating to 2000, Sopra/Sotto un metro di terra (Above/below a metre of earth), Tagliaferro returns to the intimist analysis with which – through the use of three elements: the sky, the earth and the landscape – he explores the relation between himself and the “outside” in a temporal relation. In his works Tagliaferro always uses formal solutions that help to highlight the issues. Here he uses two parallel series of large-scale images that interact and, as in other earlier works, place the spectator within the image. As the artist himself explains: in the small image it is the viewer who controls the image, whereas in the large image it is the very image that interacts with the viewer.


Aldo Tagliaferro died in Parma on 30 January 2009.



Galleria Corso Venezia – Milano


Galleria 2000 – Bologna

Galleria Pagani, Milano


Galleria del Grattacielo – Milano

Galleria Pagani – Milano


Galleria Ciak – Roma


Galleria La Bertesca – Genova


Galleria Christian Stein – Torino

Galleria Paramedia – Berlino


Galleria del Naviglio – Milano

Galleria Il Gelso – Lodi


Galleria L’Uomo e l’Arte – Milano


Galleria Il Gelso – Lodi


Galleria 72 – Bergamo


Galleria del Naviglio – Milano


Galleria del Cavallino – Venezia

AAL/Centro Cantoni – Legnano


Galleria Milano – Milano


Galleria Corsini – Intra


Studio Dossi – Bergamo


Stanze del segno – Sciacca Terme


Galleria La Meridiana – Agrate Brianza

Galleria Vanna Casati – Bergamo


Galleria Melesi – Lecco


Galleria Milano – Milano

Fondazione Bandera per l’Arte – Busto Arsizio


Cecé Casile – Milano


Galleria Elleni – Bergamo


Galleria L’Elefante – Treviso

Galleria VV8 artecontemporanea – Fotografia Europea 2009 – Reggio Emilia


Aldo Tagliaferro- La duplice forma dell'io - Galleria Delloro – Roma


Aldo Tagliaferro – Identificazione e memoria – Chiesa di San Carlo – Fotografia Europea 2011 – Reggio Emilia

Incontro con Aldo – Una mostra in omaggio ad Aldo Tagliaferro – Maurer Zilioli Contemporary Arts – Brescia

Aldo Tagliaferro – L’immagine trovata – MAGA – Gallarate


Aldo Tagliaferro. Verifica di una mostra 2.0 - Osart Gallery, Milano


Aldo Tagliaferro Riscrivendo, Libreria Libri Risorti, Reggio Emilia


Aldo Tagliaferro. MEMORIA IDENTIFICAZIONE - Osart Gallery, Milano


Aldo Tagliaferro. Verifica di un artista, Galleria VV8, Reggio Emilia





Premio San Fedele- Milano

Premio Ramazzotti – Milano


Premio San Fedele – Milano

Premio Piazzetta – Sesto San Giovanni


Biennale di Bolzano

Prospettive 3 – Galleria d’arte internazionale Due Mondi - Roma


Pittura meccanica per una nuova iconografia Mec-Art – Galleria Apollinaire, Milano – Modern Art Agency, Napoli – Galleria Il Canale, Venezia

Pluralità viva – Martinengo (BG)


Mec-Art/10 – Galleria Ciak, Roma

Coincidenze – Massafra (TA)

“Pro” – Museo Charlottenburg, Copenhagen


“Qualcosa in più” – Galleria La Bertesca, Fiera di Genova

Confronti – Galleria Modulo, Milano

XXXV Biennale di Venezia (proposta per una esposizione sperimentale)

Arte e Fotografia – Palazzo dell’Arte, Milano

Arte e Critica '70 – Modena

Fotografia Creativa – Centro La Cappella, Trieste


Faites votre jeu – Galleria del Cavallino, Venezia

Photography into Art – Camden Arts Center, Londra

Fotografia come rivelazione – Bellagio


Combattimento per un’immagine – Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna, Torino

Arte e Fotografia – Galleria Christian Stein, Torino

Medium fotografie – Städtisches Museum, Leverkusen

XV Triennale di Milano


XXVIII Biennale d’Arte Città di Milano

Fotomedia – Museum am Ostwall, Dortmund

Premio Capo d’Orlando


Sempre cose nuove pensando – International Cultureel Centrum, Anversa

Fotomedia – Rotonda della Besana, Milano


Foto e idea, Comune di Parma


Pratica Milano – Studio Marconi, Milano

Trigon 77, Graz

Premio Città di Gallarate


VI Biennale della Grafica, Firenze

Artisti Lombardia degli anni ’60 – Palazzo del Turismo, Milano


Mec-Art – Galleria Il Dialogo, Milano


La Mec-Art – Galleria Corsini, Intra

Camere Incantate – Palazzo Reale, Milano


Lombardia: Vent’anni dopo – Castello Visconteo, Pavia


Arteder ’82, Bilbao


Experimental Italian Photography – Monclair College, New Jersey – Shadai Gallery, Tokio – Teatro Municipal, Buenos Aires


Ars Vivendi ’87 – Museum Reimekan, Kyushu


50 anni di fotografia sperimentale in Italia (1935-1985) – Centro Culturale Pier Paolo Pasolini – Agrigento


Foto/pittura – Galleria Il Gelso, Lodi


Luci e Ombre – Comune di Agrate Brianza


Tre autori, tre generazioni – Santa Maria delle Croci, Ravenna


Oltre la cornice – Museo Ken Damy, Brescia


Pagine di fotografia italiana– Galleria del Gottardo, Lugano

Fotografia e arte in Italia 1968-1998 – Galleria Civica di Modena, Modena


Il colore delle ciminiere – Palazzo Leone da Perego, Legnano


Fotografia italiana 1950 - 2002 - Museo Epicentro, Gala di Barcellona (ME)

La fotografia negli anni ’70, fra concetto e comportamento - Galleria Martano, Torino – Galleria Martini e Ronchetti, Genova

Arte in fotomedia - Galleria Milano, Milano

Utopie Quotidiane - PAC, Milano

Il Gelso di Giovanni Bellinzoni - Ex Chiesa di San Cristoforo, Lodi

IX esposizione nazionale Artisti per l’Epicentro – Fotografia Italiana 1950-2002, Museo delle Mattonelle Epicentro, Gala di Barcellona (ME)


Percorsi della memoria - Museo Pagani, Castellanza (VA)


Quetzal (con Ettore Sottsass) - Galleria Modernariato, Milano

Su la testa (promossa dalla Fondazione Mazzotta) - Stazione Centrale, Milano - Stazione Santa Lucia, Venezia

In…chiostro – Ex Monastero degli Olivetani, Nerviano (MI)


Gli artisti dell’Artistica – Freddo/Caldo – Museo Pagani, Castellanza (VA)


Arte senza miti – Centro Arte Contemporanea Cavalese (TN)


In pubblico - Museo Villa Croce, Genova

Dal Sogno al Segno - Palazzo Leone da Perego, Legnano (MI)


Tempo fotografia e creatività - Osart Gallery, Milano

Fotografando – dalla Mec-Art al digitale - Biblioteca Centro Culturale, Nembro (BG)

Idoli Pagani - Museo Pagani -Castellanza (VA)


Second Skin - Spazio Paraggi, Treviso

Mostra collettiva di artisti contemporanei - Galleria L’Elefante, Treviso


MEC ART – Arte oltre la fine della pittura - Galleria Elleni, Bergamo

La Polifonia del Mondo – Fotografie 1964 - 2010 - De Primi Fine Art, Lugano

Visi, ritratti, corpi - MACRO (Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma)Roma

MEC ART - Arte oltre la fine della pittura - Frittelli Arte Contemporanea, Firenze

Mostra prime acquisizioni Collezione Civica d’Arte - Museo d’Arte Contemporanea, Sella di Lodrignano, Neviano degli Arduini (PR)

Geografia senza punti cardinali – La fotografia nell’arte degli anni ’70 in Italia - Galleria Giorgio Persano, Torino

Il linguaggio fotografico associato al progetto - Galleria L’Elefante - Treviso


Mec-Art Italiana - Bergamo Arte Fiera - Bergamo

Memoria Variabile - Galleria Milano - Milano

Sulla Parola – Le Parole nell’arte tra Sessanta e Settanta - Fabbriche Chiaramontane, Agrigento

MEC ART – Oltre la pittura, verso la fotografia - Galleria d’Arte Bergamo, Bergamo

FOTO/GRAFIA - Galleria Elleni - Bergamo

Italian '70s – Arte concettuale italiana - Osart Gallery, Milano


Ad libitum - Fondazione Bandera per l’Arte, Busto Arsizio

Arte e Ambiente - Galleria L’Elefante, Treviso

Homini & Domini – Il corpo nell’arte fotografica, Libreria Lovat, Villorba (TV)

Gli spazi dell’arte – Dalla pop art al concettuale, Antico Palazzo di Città, Cagliari

Il corpo solitario – Autoscatti contemporanei, Maurer Zilioli Contemporary Arts, Brescia


“Con lo sguardo degli altri”. La collezione fotografica di Roberto Mutti - Palazzo Comunale, Seriate (BG)

Corpi in azione / Corpi in visione - Esperienze e indagini artistiche 1965-1980 - Museo Pecci, Milano

Arte e Antropologia: opere ed esperienze negli anni Settanta - Il Chiostro Arte Contemporanea, Saronno (VA)

E subito riprende il viaggio …, Triennale di Milano

ll cadavere e il chirurg - La Bottega di Cecé Casile, Milano

Sguardi sul tempo - Percorsi nella fotografia d’autore - Casa dei Carraresi, Treviso

E subito riprende il viaggio …, Reggia di Monza

Il corpo solitario – Autoscatti contemporanei -Palazzo della Penna, Perugia
FOTO/grafia - Spazio19, Treviglio (BG)

Renata Boero | Giorgio Ciam | Luca Serra | Aldo Tagliaferro - VV8 Arte Contemporanea, Reggio Emilia


L'inarchiviabile / The Unarchivable. Italia anni '70 - FM Centro per l'arte contemporanea, Frigoriferi Milanesi, Milano

FLASHBACK. Fotografia italiana di sperimentazione 1960-2016 - Palazzo Ducale, Genova

Le stanze della fotografia - Palazzo Leone Da Perego, Legnano

Conceptual Photography - Osart Gallery, Milano

Conceptual Photography. Fotografia concettuale e internazionale anni '60/'70 - TOMAV, Moresco

Camere in prestito - Photographica Fine Arts, Lugano

Versus. La sfida dell'artista al suo modello in un secolo di fotografia e disegno - Galleria Civica di Modena, Palazzo Santa Margherita, Modena

Flashback. Fotografia italiana di sperimentazione 1960-2016 - Palazzo Ducale, Genova

Conceptual Photography. Vito Acconci, Vincenzo Agnetti, Carlo Massimo Asnaghi, Giuseppe Chiari, Giuseppe Desiato, Joe Jones, Kenneth Josephson, Ketty La Rocca, Elio Mariani, Duane Michals, Dennis Oppenheim, Claudio Parmiggiani, Aldo Tagliaferro, Franco Vaccari, Minor White, Michele Zaza, TOMAV – Torre di Moresco Centro Arti Visive, Moresco (FM)

Le stanze della fotografia, Palazzo Leone da Perego, Legnano

L'immagine della parola, Galleria L'Elefante, Treviso

Camere in prestito, Galleria Photographica Fine Art, Lugano

Dieci Anni di Fotografia Europea 2007 -2016. VV8 arte contemporanea, Reggio Emilia


Questioni di Famiglie - Centro Italiano della Fotografia d'Autore-Bibbiena (AR)

Cielo e terra - Galleria Milano - Milano

Settant'anni nei sentieri dell'arte – essere nel contemporaneo - Pinacoteca del Castello Visconteo, Legnano


PHOTOSEQUENCES -Osart Gallery, Milano

Mario Cresci e Aldo Tagliaferro. Interferenze - Galleria Elleni, Bergamo

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