From March 12th to April 25th, 2020, 29 Arts in Progress gallery in Milan (via San Vittore 13) will present the group exhibition “ART & ICONS”, showcasing a selection of black and white photographs by Jean Dieuzaide, Mart Engelen, Edward Quinn and Ernst Scheidegger, in collaboration with #59 Magazine.

Four distinguished artists picture some of the greatest protagonists of our times from the 1950s until today.

Each in their own way, the artists portray these icons with a unique sensitivity of expression.Mix up a stylish cocktail of celebrated photojournalist Edward Quinn’s work with glamorous celebrities, the vintage mid-century allure of the French Riviera, and the visitor is immediately brought back to the “golden fifties”. Author of Stars and Cars of the 50s and Riviera Cocktail, Quinn brings, as People Magazine once wrote, “artistry to celebrity photos.” A pure and authentic Brigitte Bardot captured by Quinn with Sacha Distel on her side in an Austin Healey in the streets of Antibes (see above) epitomizes the tone of the exhibition.

Dutch contemporary photographer Mart Engelen focuses his investigation on great contemporary characters and artists such as Julian Schnabel, Willem Dafoe and Karl Lagerfeld. The intensity of expression conveyed in his portraits of diverse personalities often reaches beyond their public role. An example of Engelen’s development in this direction is exemplified by his portrait of Willem Dafoe, in which both subjects are allowed enough space for discreet self-representation. While his compositions might be described as being traditional or classic, there is something special that stands out in Engelen’s visual depiction of his subjects, something that the experienced viewer can feel, but not always capture in words.

The exhibition combines unconventional celebrity portraits with acclaimed photos of legendary artists including, among the others, Alberto Giacometti by Switzerland’s leading photographer Ernst Scheidegger, and Salvador Dalì by French photographer Jean Dieuzaide. Poetical, monochromatic and eternal as their subjects, these images show us how much these characters’ stories still impact modern times and highlight how much their influence as icons stand the test of time and last forever.

Edward Quinn (1920-1997) was born in Ireland. He lived and worked as a photographer from the 1950’s, on the Cote d’Azur, during the ‘golden fifties’ the playground of the celebrities from the world of showbiz, art and business. Quinn was at the right place at the right time, making spontaneous images which caught their charm, sophistication and chic. Amongst celebrities captured on film by Quinn were Grace Kelly, Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren, Marlon Brando, Steve McQueen, Pablo Picasso and many others.

Mart Engelen was born in The Netherlands in 1960. Influenced at a very young age by French film noir and Italian neo-realism, Mart Engelen immediately realized that he wanted to present his images in black-andwhite. “I don’t like colour because it distracts too much from the essence of my subjects. Black-and-white clarifies my message. Photography enables me to capture a kind of directness, spontaneity, emotionality and authenticity in my subjects in a split second.” As a portrait, he has captured celebrities in the worlds of art, fashion, film, music, business and politics. His subjects have included Morgan Freeman, Willem Dafoe, Al Pacino, Michel Houellebecq, Anselm Kiefer, Julian Schnabel and Gilbert & George. Mart Engelen’s passion for print and black and white photography led to his one-man project “#59 Magazine”, which he founded in 2009, launching the first issue at the TEFAF Art Fair in Maastricht in the Netherlands that year, which is now available in more than sixteen countries worldwide.

Ernst Scheidegger (1923-2016) was a Swiss photographer, painter and publisher. As a photographer but also as a friend he has visited Alberto Giacometti many times in his atelier in Paris but also in Stampa where Giacometti was born. He worked in the early 1950’s as a free-lance photographer for the famous Magnum agency and traveled a lot to the Middle East and India. In 1962 he founded his publishing company “Verlag Ernst Scheidegger” and the first book he published was a book about Alberto Giacometti. Many books about Giacometti followed but other artists as well.

Jean Dieuzaide (1921-2003) was a French photographer. One of the few photographers to document the liberation of Toulouse in 1944, Dieuzaide soon became a professional photo-reporter, initially specializing in sports, then covering all the actualite. He was also a faithful recorder of his native south-western France as well as its adjoining regions, especially Catalonia, Spain and Portugal. His pictures of French and Spanish gitans are romantic evocations of their life and evidence of admiration in which they were held following the war. Dieuzaide was awarded the Prix Nadar (1961) and the Prix Niepce (1995).