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8 April – 16 July 2022

Reservation in advance is required: please email


From the 8th of April to 16th of July, 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery is proud to present, for the first time in Milan, the work of German photographer and writer Hans Georg Berger.

The exhibition, entitled ‘The learning photographer’, brings together more than 30 sophisticated black and white gelatin silver photographs printed on fine art baryta paper produced from negatives conserved in the German artist’s archive and carefully selected by the directors of the gallery and the artist.

The works in the exhibition retrace a fifty-year long career starting in the seventies when the artist became involved in the restoration of the Eremo of Santa Caterina on the Island of Elba. Berger transformed the ex Franciscan monastery into an international art centre which for years proved a melting pot for the ideas and experiences of artist friends, writers, painters and photographers. It was here that the pivotal meeting between Berger and the French writer and critic Hervé Guibert took place with whom he established – apart from a strong emotional connection – a photographic and intellectual relationship.

The exhibition charts Berger’s voyages – both personal and artistic – and his travels through Asia. These photographs reveal the close bonds that the artist built with these places and their inhabitants. Thanks to a deep shared understanding built between Berger and his subjects, the photographer breaks down the emotional distance between the photographer and the object of representation, presenting us with an intimate portrait of the Orient.

The purpose of the exhibition is to tell the story of a life and career beyond the ordinary. The many different themes shown represent Berger’s countless experiences and affect the viewer who takes away from it one coherent fil rouge: the search for intimacy between photographer and subject that Berger had already experimented with Guibert and that then becomes his own visual language and stylistic cipher. From the sensuality of his nudes and unmade beds, to his landscapes and portraits of the Orient, the power of these photographs lies in the artist’s ability to convey the soul of all his subjects, creating, without exception, powerful and poetic images of radically different subjects in faraway lands. It is an extraordinary, probably unique, journey at the centre of great contemporary photography.

The exhibition is accompanied by the art book ‘Hans Georg Berger’, personally signed by the artist and rendered more precious by the addition of an original artwork. The book has been published as a limited edition by 29 ARTS IN PROGRESS gallery in collaboration with the Lugano’s Museum of Cultures and contains accurate reproductions of seventy-five photographs – some of which never before seen – accompanied by texts and poetic material from the famous writers and figures who surrounded the life of the artist.

The exhibition will open to the public on the 8th of April. To visit the exhibition it is required that you book in advance by writing to:

Access to the exhibition will only be granted upon receipt of booking confirmation.