Gabriele Basilico, Milan Portraits of Factories, 1978. © Archivio Gabriele Basilico


Gabriele Basilico
(Milan, 1944–2013)


After graduating in Architecture from the Politecnico di Milano in 1973, Gabriele Basilico ceaselessly devoted his energy to photography. The shape and identity of cities and changes in the urban landscape were the primary focus of his work from day one.
Milan. Portraits of Factories (1978–80) was the first work that he devoted to the industrial hinterland and it was also the subject of his first exhibition in a museum environment (1983, Padiglione di Arte Contemporanea, Milan).  In 1984 he was invited to join the DATAR Mission Photographique organised by the French Government and it led him to document the coastline of northern France. In 1991 he took part in another international photographic mission to Beirut at the end of a war that had lasted over fifteen years. He was to return to Beirut on three separate occasions thereafter, in 2003, 2008 and 2011.
Working in conjunction with Stefano Boeri in 1996, he produced a meticulous report on the changing landscape entitled Sections of the Italian Landscape, which he submitted to the 6th Venice Architectural Biennale and for which he won a prize. Gabriele Basilico produced a considerable number of works documenting cities both in Italy and abroad, together with a large number of exhibitions and personal books. Considered an unquestioned master of contemporary photography, he showed his work in many countries and was the recipient of countless awards and prizes. He also peppered his unflagging passion for the changing urban landscape with seminars, lectures, conferences and written reflections. His work features in many of the most important public and private international collections.