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Mazzoleni opens a solo fine art photography exhibition at their London gallery
Massimo Vitali, Picnic Allée, 2000. Lightjet C-Print from Negative Scan in Diasec Mount, 189 x 151 cm (unframed)|, courtesy Mazzoleni, London, Torino.


LONDON.- Mazzoleni announced the exhibition Massimo Vitali: Short Stories curated by Mirta d’Argenzio, which will open to the public on the 12 April and continue until the 24 May 2019. This will be the first time that Mazzoleni will present a solo fine art photography exhibition at their London gallery. Short Stories will display images collected in a new book of the same name, produced by Steidl Verlag publishing. Twelve of Vitali’s most outstanding photographs from different series will be presented, where each singular image depicts a significant moment for Vitali – the artist’s ‘short stories’ of a long and distinguished career.

Vitali is internationally renowned for his large-scale colour images of beaches and mass leisure events. His distinctive panoramic views show people interacting with their environments and one another. His sweeping panoramas, crowded plazas, even discotheques, examine and elucidate the masses at leisure.

In the early 1960s, Vitali worked as a photojournalist, collaborating with many magazines and agencies in Italy and other European countries. By the 1980s, he changed career path and worked as a cinematographer. However, his relationship with the still photography camera never ceased, and he eventually turned his attention back to that genre. By 1993, Massimo Vitali immersed himself within a fine art photography practice and started to use large format film cameras to photograph Italy’s sunny beaches to intently observe the inner and exterior lives of the nation’s people. In addition to his personal research, he has also produced commissioned editorial work for leading periodicals such as M le Magazine du Monde, The New York Times Magazine, Time Magazine and The New Yorker.

The selection of twelve works for Short Stories was decided following many conversations with curators and collaborators who profoundly know Vitali’s photography. The carefully curated selection of works reflects his particular style of artistic research over more than 25 years of working in large format film photography, and recently, in middle format digital. The different images unfold in a changing world, capturing the landscapes depicted and the human interaction within.

Massimo Vitali’s work is presented in several museums including, the Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, MUSAC, Castilla y León, Spain, the Guggenheim Museum, New York City, USA, Fond National Art Contemporaine, the Centre Pompidou, the Centre National des Arts Plastique, the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris, France and the Museo Luigi Pecci in Prato, Italy, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada, Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz, Austria and Arken Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark. His work can be found within the collections of Volkswagen, Elton John, Cisneros, Cameron Diaz, UBS and J. Walter Thompson.

Massimo Vitali was born in Como, Italy, in 1944. He moved to London after high school, where he studied Photography at the London College of Printing. In the early Sixties he started working as a photojournalist, collaborating with many magazines and agencies in Italy and in Europe. It was during this time that he met Simon Guttmann, the founder of the agency Report, who was to become fundamental in Massimo’s growth as a “Concerned Photographer”.

At the beginning of the Eighties a growing mistrust in the belief that photography had an absolute capacity to reproduce the subtleties of reality led to a change in his career path. Vitali began working as a cinematographer for television and cinema. However, his relationship with the still camera never ceased, and he eventually turned his attention back to “photography as a means for artistic research”.

Vitali’s series of Italian beach panoramas began in the light of drastic political changes in Italy. He started to observe his fellow countrymen very carefully. Vitali depicted a “sanitized, complacent view of Italian normalities”, at the same time revealing “the inner conditions and disturbances of normality: its cosmetic fakery, sexual innuendo, commodified leisure, deluded sense of affluence, and rigid conformism”. [Whitney Davis, “How to Make Analogies in a Digital Age” in October Magazine, Summer 2006, no.117, p.71-98.]

Over the past 12 years he has developed a new approach to portraying the world, illuminating the apotheosis of the Herd, expressing and commenting through the most intriguing, palpable forms of contemporary art – Photography.





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