Pozzolengo (BS), 28 agosto 1928 – Milano, 2 marzo 1973

Ugo Mulas is one of the most important figures in international photography after World War II. Ugo Mulas was born in Pozzolengo, Brescia, on August 28, 1928. After attending Liceo Classico in Desenzano del Garda, Ugo moved to Milan. Here he enrolled in law school, but before finishing his degree he left his studies to attend evening courses in Belle Art at the Brera Academy.
The Milanese artistic environment is particularly lively, divided between Realism and Abstractionism, open to new international trends. His encounter with photography took place in a bar on Via Brera. From 1954, together with his friend photojournalist Mario Dondero, he began attending the Venice Biennale of which he became the official photographer.
He thus participates in all editions until 1972, documenting the history and spirit of the event. His professional activity leads him to collaborate with Giorgio Strehler as stage photographer at the Piccolo Teatro in Milan. Here he produced the photo chronicles of many theatrical performances, portraying some of the leading Italian actors of the time.
Beginning in 1962, he was invited to portray the artists present in Spoleto for the annual celebration of the Festival dei Due Mondi. During the 1964 Biennale he met critic Alan Salomon and gallery owner Leo Castelli, traveled to the United States between 1964 and 1967, and came into contact with the leading exponents of New York pop art: Marcel Duchamp, Jasper Johns, Frank Stella, George Segal, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol.
In 1970 he discovered that he was ill with cancer. In the time between now and his death, Mulas devoted himself to bringing order to his work, developing a critical reflection on the meaning and modalities of the photographic medium, which took substance and form in the so-called “Verifications,” a series of fourteen photographs with great evocative power that would profoundly influence the work of many subsequent photographers.