Elio Ciol was born in 1929 in Casarsa della Delizia (Pordenone, Italy), where he still lives and works. He has practiced photography from a very young age, but in the fifties, Ciol developed his own personal language in landscape and documentary photography. His style continued to evolve over the years, as demonstrated in the wide collection of his projects. Ciol’s photographs are achieved by the meticulous attention to composition, interpretation and sensibility towards not only the portrayed subjects but the intrinsic poetry within each image, which aims to evoke a story.
Ciol’s work is part of the Neorealism movement in photography; a predisposition towards everyday life of ordinary people, depicted to induce social and political transformation. His focus as a documentary photographer started with the rural world, shifting to emigration (with a focus on the railway station) and finally to the life of children. His images are never aggressive – no display of grief, no insistent showing of suffering or death, not disturbing to look at – but rather, joyful in nature.
Elio Ciol also focused intensively on landscapes, mostly Italian. The contrast captured between light and shadow and the choice of black and white give rhythm to the photographs and highlight the vitality of the landscape. The harmonious dialogue between light and shadow brings a deepness into the images and induces the spectator to read them through a visual perspective, going further than the bi-dimensional object. Viewers can find themselves completely enfolded in the landscape, leading to an interpretation that perhaps is more intense and unique than if they were standing there in reality.
Elio Ciol’s work is characterised by its immense sensitivity towards places, architecture, people and landscapes. He has exhibited all over the world, including more than a hundred solo exhibitions. His ‘tender’ approach to documentary photography and his poetic eye towards the landscapes has bought him considerable awards in Italy and abroad. His work is part of collections in many international museums, including the V&A in London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
2000 “Immagini d’Italia”, New York
2000 “L’incanto della visione”, Paris
2004 Municipality of Casarsa della Delizia “Il fascino del vero”, Italy
2009 Mestre’s Centro Candiani “Terre di poesia”, Italy
2009 Villa Manin "Elio Ciol. Gli anni del Neorealismo", Italy
2009 Pier Paolo Pasolini Study Centre, "La luce incisa", Casarsa, Italy
2009 Church of St. Francis in Pordenone, "Il volto e la parola”, Italy
2011 Russian Academy of Fine Arts “Assisi: la densità del silenzio”, Moscow
2011 RosPhoto in Saint Petersburg, Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Salekhard, Tokyo and Assisi
2011 Arezzo&Fotografia, Arezzo
2011 54th Venice Arts Festival in the Italian Pavilion, Trieste
2012 Classic Gallery, Anthological Exhibition, Moscow
2012 Salone degli Incanti “Il fuoco della natura”, Trieste
2012 Istituto Italiano di Cultura together with Fondazione della Biennale d’Arte “Il volto e la parola”, Irkustk, Novosibirsk and Moscow.
2013 Europhotofestival, Archivio Fotografico Italiano, “Gli anni del Neorealismo”, Legnano and Milan
2015 Galleria Giovanni Bonelli and Centro Culturale in Milan “Pasolini, il poeta che sfidò il nulla”, Italy
2015 Galleria Sagittaria of Centro Iniziative Culturali “Assisi. La densità del silenzio”, Pordenone, Italy
2019 Ptuj City Gallery "Abitudine Della Luce", Slovenia
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
International Museum of Photography, Rochester, New York
Center for Creative Photography Tucson, Arizona
Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, Austin
The Art Museum, Princeton University, New Jersey
Centre Canadien d’Architecture, Montréal, Canada
The Art Institute of Chicago
The University College of Wales, Aberystwyth
Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Musée de la Photographie, Charleroi
Civici Musei e Gallerie di Storia e Arte, Udine
Galleria di Arte Contemporanea Pro Civitate Christiana, Assisi
Museo Diocesano e Gallerie del Tiepolo, Udine
Series catalogues available upon request.