Exhibition: 18 November 2011 - 28 January 2012
Opening: Thursday 17 November 2011, 7 - 9 pm
Massimo Vitali will unveil a striking new collection of photographs in his first UK solo exhibition since 1997 on 18 November at Brancolini Grimaldi.
Vitali has become one of the most celebrated contemporary photographers worldwide, renowned for his large colour prints depicting the crowded beaches and shorelines of the Mediterranean Sea. However, this new series focuses on the natural - rocks, cliffs, waterfalls, caves and quarries. Holidaymakers have been reduced to mere dots, hovering uncomfortably on the shore, or taking shelter in the shadow of monumental natural landmarks. Seen from such a distance, these crowds mimic colonies of mammals - huddles of seals or penguins - washed up on the rocks. The power of nature comes to the fore - in one image people are literally replaced by crashing waves as the tide moves in. Everything is now in flux and the old certainties have been washed away. Our frailty in the face of such power is thrown into focus and we are forced to confront our mortality and our inability to resist the forces of nature.
Over the last 15 years, the subtle shift in Vitali's work from crowds to sparsely populated landscapes, seems an attempt to understand how we can avoid colonising that which makes our environment meaningful and balanced, and an almost Romantic vision of the sublime power of nature.
Massimo Vitali was born in Como, Italy, in 1944. After studying photography at the London School of Printing he worked as a photojournalist in the early sixties and enjoyed a career in cinematography for television and cinema in the 1980s. Vitali commenced his series of Italian beach panoramas in 1994, coinciding with a period of dramatic political change in Italy. Since then he had major solo exhibitions around the world and his prints are included in various major international collections.