The exhibition by the Italian photographer Massimo Vitale titled Leporello 2020. No Country for Old Men opened the new season at Visionarea art Space, a project which for the fifth consecutive year sees the valuable support of Fondazione Cultura e Arte, an instrumentality of Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Internazionale chaired by Professor Emmanuel F. M. Emanuele.
This season’s exhibition is dedicated to four Italian artists engaged in photography and painting. This exhibition, not by chance tilted ‘Imago Italica’, intends to celebrate Italian contemporary artistic talent – that feeds on topical themes though it draws heavily on tradition – on its international scale – through various media in the best practice of the Visionarea programme.
Therefore, we started with an exceptional selection of 16 photographs, including 7 large format images, taken in the last twelve months by the internationally renowned fine-art photographer Massimo Vitale, documenting Italy’s lockdown due to Covid -19 and the crowds pouring on the beaches when the country reopened and then went into lockdown again.
Emptiness has never attracted Massimo Vitale and he has little interest in deserted cities. After the Spring lockdown, as soon as people were allowed to leave their Italian homes and travel, they returned to the beaches where Massimo Vitale was ready to capture the Italians while they relaxed and enjoyed themselves as though to ask himself if they have changed in any way during the pandemic. After the first month of freedom, during which a certain distance was evident and time seemed suspended, in July and August the weekends did not appear to be very different from those in previous summers.
The technical elements are those that have always defined Vitali’s figurative personality. Large horizontal landscapes, skilful use of natural colours, tonal sensitivity to the slightest variations in light, panoramic formats, prints and materials of mathematical perfectionism. Vitali’s themes touch on social humanity, capturing the moments in spontaneous gathering, recreational, sports and collective sharing places. Beaches, discotheques, large concerts, ski pistes, cities of art … gathering places and shops that narrate contemporary civilization, our changing world and the subtle boundary between fun and invisible madness.
The curator, Gianluca Marziani explained that, “The artist puts himself at a safe distance and observes everyday life with its natural rhythms, then he takes long-range landscape photos, as if to capture as many elements as possible in the same image. He acts like an epic Western director, observing the natural force of the landscape, the impact of the skies that seem to be moving and the vanishing point leading to distant horizons. His beaches capture life in the hottest hours of the day, discotheques are shown at the peak of the night, the ski slopes appear full of skiers, the cities of art are full of overheated tourists and the public parks full of people having fun. An account of life through large-format artworks, occasionally arranged in diptychs or triptychs, in order to evoke the enveloping sensations of a film on reality. Photography becomes an ideal cinemascope which enlarges the scale and plays with pictorial landscape painting … In a period dominated by social distancing, Massimo Vitali’s message brings us back to the liberating energies of humanity, our attitude towards exchange and a promise of a future in which we recover ourselves by sharing experiences”.
The Chairman of Fondazione Terzo Pilastro – Internazionale, Professor Emmanuele Emanuele, added “I am delighted to present, for the fifth consecutive year, the Visionare Art Space project, which in 2021 has been accomplished in concomitance with the reopening of Italy after the lockdown due to COVID 19. Nonetheless, this year’s exhibition brings an important innovation, which I strongly advocated: it is organised in a brand-new space, dedicated to museum exhibition projects, in the Auditorium Conciliazione with large glass windows that overlook Piazza Pia, creating an ideal dialogue between the modernity of the exhibited artworks – distributed in two large adjacent halls, which in turn are connected the foyer- and the ancient beauty of the Roman landscape represented by Castel Sant’Angelo (Hadrian’s Mole).”
In fact, together with the opening of the new season at Visionarea Art Space, the Auditorium della Conciliazione presented to the public its new look, which was designed and created during the emergency in order to meet city’s new needs. Having waited for months due to the pandemic, the space reopened with and brand-new look, in white cube gallery style, an enlarged exhibition capacity and is equipped with the latest generation technologies, a coffee shop and an independent entrance on Piazza Pia in Rome.