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LEICA FOTOGRAFIE INTERNATIONAL
January/February 1999

AWARD FOR LYNN SAVILLE

The American photographer Lynn Saville received the first photography prize from the small Italian town of Scanno.

The romantic old town in the Abruzzi mountains became famous on account of photos credited to the great photographers Mario Giacomelli and Henri Cartier-Bresson who succeeded in taking, just in this location, some of their most popular photographs which are still in demand today.

The Scanno Photo Prize was created by Giovanni Bucci, head of the Fototeca d’Abruzzo (photography museum of the Abruzzi), with the support of the local Museo de la Lana”(Wool Museum) as well as the town council of Scanno.

Lynn Saville, who has a preference for nocturnal photography (see LIF 4/96), was selected by the jury because, in addition to the obvious scenery, she symbolically characterized inhabitants through abstracting her images – and thus did not violate their rights, legally. Instead of depicting people distinctly, she photographed the lighted windows behind which they were living.

"After short contemplation of her pictures, we realized that, behind this play of light and shadow, stories were taking place," Giovanni Bucci commented when handing over the prize to the American photographer.

“Little by little, we began to imagine the families gathered around the supper table or sitting on the couch in front of the television set. Indeed, we can almost smell the kitchen odours and the cigarette smoke. Lynn Saville’s subjects seem to move in a kind of cosmic loneliness.

We are concerned with people beyond the current notions of time and space, yet their fears, passions, hopes and dreams are still omnipresent.

They are without recognizable faces, well resemble us all and perhaps even be dear to us. Lynn Saville brings these people so close to us that we hear them breathe and sense their heartbeat. That is why we gave her this prize," Giovanni Bucci concluded.

Lynn Saville teaches at the Parsons School of Design in New York.

Her prints are included in numerous collections, such as the Brooklyn museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum and the California Museum of Photography.

Concerning her photography at night, Rizzoli of New York published the book entitled Acquainted with the Night with accompanying poems by Philip Fried and an introduction by Joseph Rosa. The preface came from the pen of Bill Moyers.