The Enzo Nocera collection comprises the entire body of work of the well-known Milanese portraitist and social and industrial photographer. The range of materials contained in the collection is of considerable historical and sociological as well as artistic importance, making it possible not only to reconstruct the author’s work but also to document many aspects of work, society and custom in the city of Milan from the end of the sixties until the early nineties. From the viewpoint of the languages of contemporary photography, Nocera’s work highlights a distinctive integration between the codes of a high level of professionalism and those of a research that harks back to great masters of the portrait like August Sander, Irving Penn, Bill Brandt and Jeanloup Sieff. Of great significance is the quality of the prints, always made by the photographer himself, who was one of the finest printers in Milan.
Enzo Nocera (Milan, 1944-93) started to work as a photographer in London in 1962, taking an interest in reportage. Returning to Italy, he worked from 1966 onward with agencies (Associated Press) and periodicals (Famiglia Cristiana) and in the field of theatrical photography (with Toni Comello). His first research project, Il Castellazzo, dates from 1968. At the turn of the decade he traveled in Sweden and Northern Europe, producing reportages and photographs of architecture, along with some of his first portraits. From 1974 to 1977 he contributed to the magazine Fatti e notizie published by Pirelli, taking innumerable pictures of blue- and white-collar workers (published in 1983 in the volume Fabbrica e ufficio. Immagini del lavoro Pirelli 1974-77). In the eighties he devoted himself chiefly to the portrait, producing his famous series of pictures centering on a deliberately classical approach to the studio portrait – Gente di Brera, 1980-81; Madri Ma Donne, 1984; Dedicato, 1989 – while his professional work came to maturity through collaborations with major companies (IBM, Glaxo) and magazines (Amica, Max, Capital, Autocapital, Vogue, Marie Claire, Class, Dove).
From the mid-eighties he combined his activity as a photographer with that of teaching, holding courses, seminars, lectures and debates in various parts of Italy and even at his own studio in the Brera district, which became a sort of school for young photographers. In 1994, after his premature death, the Region of Lombardy staged a major anthological exhibition at Palazzo Bagatti Valsecchi in Milan, Enzo Nocera fotografo, organized by Roberta Valtorta, while Electa published a volume devoted to his work to coincide with the event.
Private property, entrusted to the Museum of Contemporary Photography
Contents 55.089 photographic works
Dating of works 1966-1993
Authors Enzo Nocera
This content is also available in: Italian