Olivo Barbieri

b. 1954


Olivo Barbieri was born in 1954 in Carpi, Italy and lives and works in Modena, Italy. Barbieri has introduced a new, unique approach to traditional landscape and urban art and photography. He creates miniature still photography from actual landscapes by simulating shallow depth of field by the use of tilt-shift lens and aerial photography. His images of urban landscapes appear to be a hyper-detailed picture of a pristine model, blurring the distinction between the real and the artificial, and creating dreamlike representations of iconic international landmarks. His works evoke an existential reality, where both the beautiful and wretched are magnified to create a unified aesthetic. Conceptual notions of the uncanny are explored when the viewer questions not only the difference between the ‘real’ and the ‘artificial’, but also their position within their own surroundings.

He has participated in four Venice Biennales (1993, 1995, 1997 and 2011), and his works have been exhibited at prestigious institutions internationally including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art; and the International Center of Photography, New York. He has also participated in the Prague Biennial (2009) and the Seville Biennial (2006), and his first retrospective was held at the Folkwang Museum in Essen in 1996.

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2017 Site Specific Roma 04-14, International Festival of Rome, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Roma, Rome, Italy

2016 Adriatic Sea (Staged) Dancing People), Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, USA

2015 The Armory Show 2015, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, USA

2014 Alps – Geographies and People, Artevalori in collaboration with Noire Gallery,

2013 Viaggio in Italia, A project by Luigi Ghirri, 55 Venice Biennale, Italian Pavillion

2012 Olivo Barbieri, Ronchini Gallery