New York

Massimo Vitali

Benrubi Gallery

In an 1867 letter to a friend, Eugène Boudin bemoaned an influx of vacationers to his native Normandy coast, writing, “This beach at Trouville which used to be my delight, now . . . seems like a frightful masquerade. One would have to be a genius to make something of this bunch of do-nothing poseurs.” A solution was found in selective attention: “Fortunately, dear friend, the Creator has spread out everywhere his splendid and warming light, and it is less this society that we reproduce than the element which envelops it.” Figures turn up, yet as in many Impressionist representations of recreation, people at leisure seem to inhabit the sites of that leisure provisionally, even uncomfortably.

A brilliant Mediterranean light saturates Massimo Vitali’s images of beaches and other holiday destinations, but—lacking the painter’s editing prerogatives and, since he works in analog, those of the

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