Gianni Berengo Gardin was born in Santa Margherita Ligure in 1930 and began to take pictures in 1954. He used to live in Rome, Venice, Lugano and Paris. In 1965 he moved to Milan and devoted himself professionally to reportage, social research, architecture and environment photography. His first pictures (he wasn’t a professional yet), were published in 1954 in “Il Mondo”, by chief editor Mario Pannunzio. He worked with leading Italian and international magazines, with Touring Club Italiano and Istituto Geografico De Agostini. He also worked closely alongside the industrial world (i.e. Olivetti, Alfa Romeo…) on company monographs. Then, photographic books: he created more than two hundred of them.
Berengo Gardin was awarded several prizes, such as a World Press Photo (1963), the Brassaï prize (1990) at the Mois de la Photo in Paris, the Leica Oskard Barnack Award at the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie in Arles (1995) and the Lucie Award for Lifetime Achievement (2008)
He has had around 200 solo exhibitions in Italy and abroad, and his pictures form part of collections in various museums and cultural foundations, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne.
In 1972 Modern Photography magazine included him among the ” World’s Top 32 Photographers” . Italo Zannier described him as the ‘most eminent photographer of the post-war period’. He is also among the eighty photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson selected for the exhibition ‘Les Choix d’Henri Cartier-Bresson’.
In 2009 he was awarded by the University of Milan an honorary degree in Art history and criticism .