MEF – Museo Ettore Fico, Turin will present a retrospective of Massimo Vitali’s photography from 26 February to 5 July 2020. The exhibition Massimo Vitali. Costellazioni umane (Human Constellations) comprises around 30 works, selected from over twenty-five years of the artist’s production. While not presented in chronological order, the display is for all intents and purposes an anthological exhibition. For those who know Vitali’s work, it will include photographs of sunny Italian beaches crowded with people on holiday (1995), however, also presented for the first time ever will be photographs of Jovanotti’s concerts on his last Italian tour in 2019.
Massimo Vitali’s work draws aesthetically on the history of art and not just that of photography. Italian by origin, Anglo-Saxon by training, with an international vision and attentive to the evolution of avant-garde research between the last century and the current one, the artist appears as a photographer inclined to leave no traces in his works of moments related to identifiable historical facts. His extremely static and crystallized world appears suspended as in a cinematic still image. His work appears as a result of an “Enlightenment” period, where places – beyond their geographical, landscape or atmospheric interest – are immortalized for what they are and “captured” by a focused and precise eye on the amount of detail, which is presented until paroxysm. The buildings are presented in all their identity and architectural physicality; the mountains are depicted, however impossible, to the last rock and lichen; the beaches and sand dunes are softened by reflections and shadows perceptible to the horizon. Like Canaletto and much of the 18th century painting, his eye captures every detail and transfers it to the photographic paper in a realistic and analytical way.
Two anthological volumes published by Steidl, will document the artist’s work with reproductions of all the works on display. The exhibition is in collaboration with Mazzoleni, London-Torino.
Image credit: Jova Beach Party Pink, 2019, lightjet print from original digital file on
photographic paper – Diasec with wooden frame, 187 x 247 cm, 73 5/8 x 97 1/4 in.