Pietro Roccasalva (b. 1970, Modica, Italy) makes paintings, sculptures, films, and other works that constitute a single, ever-expanding artistic vision. The entirety of his practice is like an ongoing installation that takes place in different locations across many moments in time; each piece refers both to past works as well as a potential infinity of future ones. While this multiplicity informs the artist’s Renaissance-like ability to employ a dizzying array of materials and modes, his masterful paintings are squarely at the center of his project. Synthesizing compositional strategies drawn from religious iconography, modernist collage, and digital distortion, and skillfully rendered over months and even years, the figures in the paintings are both deeply familiar and impossibly strange. They seem to return their viewers’ gaze, transforming the act of looking into an act of philosophical reflection. Yet despite the virtuosic technique that characterizes Roccasalva’s approach, as well as his deep knowledge of painting’s history, the interconnectivity and mystery he conjures are decidedly futuristic, reflective of a world in which more and more seems to be known but less and less is certain.
Pietro Roccasalva has been the subject of solo exhibitions at a number of institutions, including Fürstenberg Zeitgenössisch, Donaueschingen, Germany (2019); The Power Station, Dallas (2016); Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Germany (2014); Le Magasin, Grenoble, France (2013); CCS Bard at Seventh Regiment Armory, New York (2008); and Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo, Italy (2007). His work is in the permanent collections of such museums as Museion, Bolzano, Italy and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Roccasalva lives and works in Milan.