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Massimo Vitali

Landscape with figures


07-10-2016   25-10-2016

Guidi&Schoen inaugurates the new gallery season at 18:00 on Friday, 7 October 2016 with the opening of a solo show by Massimo Vitali, “Landscape with figures”. The exhibition presents a selection of works created in recent years which the artist himself refers to as natural habitats - colonies of people set in natural landscapes, as if they were animals – including his famous series of beaches.
Though landscape is more important in his recent works that it used to be, the true centre of interest is still the human element: society as it interacts and constantly changes. His are not just ordinary landscapes, but landscapes with figures, in which every person is at the centre of a story, and all the people portrayed reflect an age in the way they relate to one another in the landscape.
More than any other place, Vitali sees the beach as common ground where all humanity is concentrated, a non-place where people of different origins come together in a casual, relaxed way, revealing themselves and who they really are.
And so his is a privileged point of view, allowing him to observe social dynamics, freeze a moment in history and trace the evolution of society through lifestyles and customs. “Landscape with figures” is a photographic voyage from the Italian coasts of Tropea and Porto Miggiano to the moon-like landscape of the white rocks of Sarakiniko, on the Greek island of Milos, Butterfly Valley in Turkey, Lençóis National Park in Brazil, and even Norway, arms akimbo on the high granite cliffs of Preikestolen.

Massimo Vitali was born in Como in 1944, and lives and works in Lucca, Italy and Berlin, Germany.
He studied photography at London College of Printing. In the '60s, after meeting Simon Guttmann, founder of the photo agency Report, he began a career as a photoreporter working for Italian and European magazines and agencies. In the '80s he made television films and advertisements. In the mid '90s he began to see photography as an art form, developing his own original way of portraying the world, and began to use large formats.
His works are included in the collections of some of the world’s most important museums, including Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver. His work has been featured in solo shows in prestigious locations all over the world, including the Erich Lindenberg Art Foundation in Porza, Foam in Amsterdam, Museum-Lentos Kunstmuseum in Linz, Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci in Prato, and at events such as the Biennale in Venice, Rencontres Internationales de la Photo in Arles and Fotografia Europea in Reggio Emilia. The many group shows in which he has been invited to participate include shows at Palazzo Reale in Milano, at MAXXI – Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo in Rome, at the Tate Modern in London, at BOZAR Expo - Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, at the Monnaie de Paris and at Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume.
Press release (pdf)
Massimo Vitali

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