Gianfranco Gorgoni, whose photographs of artists and their operates blossomed into artwork on their own, and who documented the generation of some of the world’s most effective-known out of doors installations, died on Sept. 11 at his household in Harlem. He was 77.
His daughter, Maya Gorgoni, reported the induce was cancer.
Mr. Gorgoni photographed Andy Warhol lounging in mattress and posing with a pet. He photographed Bruce Nauman as he produced a perform known as “Corridor Set up With Mirror” at San Jose Condition University in California in 1970. Running in photojournalist manner, he captured photographs of noteworthy figures like Fidel Castro and Truman Capote.
But he was finest recognized for visuals of the genre typically labeled Land Artwork — pieces established in a particular landscape, usually only quickly or, if not, destined to be ravaged by the passage of time. His images of “Spiral Jetty,” the 1,500-foot-very long earthen coil that Robert Smithson made in the Fantastic Salt Lake in Utah in 1970, portrayed that get the job done at its generation as very well as in subsequent decades, as nature experienced its way with the piece, which includes submerging it totally for pretty much 3 decades.
Mr. Gorgoni also photographed get the job done by Michael Heizer from the identical time period, including his big drawings designed with a bike in a dry lake mattress in Nevada. He photographed “Running Fence,” the 24.5-mile cloth barrier the artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude erected in California in the 1970s. Much more not long ago he was hired by the Nevada Museum of Artwork as formal photographer of “Seven Magic Mountains,” Ugo Rondinone’s a lot-talked-about community art undertaking exterior Las Vegas (backed by the museum and the Artwork Manufacturing Fund) that consists of seven brightly painted stone towers.
“Gianfranco Gorgoni’s iconic images bear witness to the most sizeable Land Artwork is effective of the final 50 percent-century,” Ann M. Wolfe, senior curator at the Nevada museum, which holds Mr. Gorgoni’s archive, stated. She is curating the museum’s exhibition “Gianfranco Gorgoni: Land Art Images,” prepared for the tumble of 2020.
“His photographs realize success by transporting viewers to remote desert locations that might only be imagined usually,” Ms. Wolfe said. “Collectively, Gorgoni’s images assisted to condition world-wide perspectives on modern day art follow in the America West.”
Mr. Gorgoni was born on Dec. 24, 1941, in Rome, the son of an Italian actress, Olga Gorgoni, who died in a carbon monoxide incident when he was 12. He grew up in Rome and in Bomba, in the Abruzzi area of Italy.
In his 20s he moved to Milan to go after a pictures job. He experienced some accomplishment as a business and manner photographer there, but in 1968, intrigued by what he was hearing about the artwork scene in the United States, he took a boat to New York.
He immersed himself in New York’s theater and artwork worlds, frequenting hangouts like Max’s Kansas Town on Park Avenue South in Manhattan, and he began to make the acquaintance of chopping-edge artists. The influential art seller Leo Castelli befriended him early on and designed some of the introductions. Other individuals came by happenstance, as when he was photographing Jasper Johns at a gallery.
“Richard Serra was performing a piece in the corner,” Mr. Gorgoni recalled in a 1983 interview with Bomb magazine. “I assumed he was a mechanic coming to mend a little something.”
Usually with financial assist from Mr. Castelli, Mr. Gorgoni traveled much and wide photographing artists as they made new operate, irrespective of whether Land Artwork or museum installations. Some of those people illustrations or photos ended up gathered in a 1972 e book, “The New Avant-Garde: Difficulties for the Art of the Seventies,” a collaboration with the author and painter Grégoire Müller. In a 2002 post, The New Yorker recalled that the ebook “had a spectacular shot on the deal with of Serra in a welder’s mask, flinging molten direct from a ladle — he appeared like a functioning-class Poseidon.”
Mr. Gorgoni went to good lengths to photograph some of the Land Art he documented, which could be challenging to capture mainly because of its size. He at times stitched photos collectively for a panoramic result, long right before this was effortlessly done with digital cameras. Some of his photographs of “Spiral Jetty” have been taken from a helicopter.
“He was also keen to dangle from scaffolds and around huge holes in the earth,” according to an report about him previous yr on the web-site artsy.internet, which included that “he as soon as acquired caught for hours when he suspended himself in a harness at Heizer’s ‘Double Negative’ (1969), which consists of two significant cuts in the Nevada desert.”
As a photojournalist, Mr. Gorgoni, who normally labored for the Make contact with Push Illustrations or photos agency, expended time with rebels in Afghanistan in 1981 and with Yasir Arafat in Beirut. In 1974 he created his very first of many trips to Cuba, his Italian citizenship attaining him entry at a time when several Americans ended up allowed into the place. He grew to become a friend and admirer of Fidel Castro in 1990 the two released “Cuba Mi Amor,” a e book of Mr. Gorgoni’s photographs of the region with text by Castro. Gabriel García Márquez wrote the prologue.
In 1985 Mr. Gorgoni published a second guide of his art-entire world images, “Beyond the Canvas: Artists of the Seventies and Eighties.”
In 1974 he married Teta Frye they divorced in 1987. In addition to his daughter, he is survived by a stepson, Frederic L. Miller, and a granddaughter.