This new monograph aims to highlight the fundamental areas of Pietro Roccasalva's production through fifty works from the late 1990s up to the present day, including new and unpublished works from the artist's studio as well as public and private collections.
The formal and conceptual research carried out by Roccasalva over the last twenty years moves through a field of investigation where his painting practice intersects with various expressive media—sculpture, photography, video, and performance—under the banner of contamination between various artistic languages.
Through a range of references, Roccasalva has developed a vast iconographic repertoire made up of characters, objects, architectures, and his own peculiar vocabulary, deployed to reflect on the crisis of the Subject, and in turn that of identity, image, and form. This publication highlights the inter-connections and cross-references between themes, iconographies, techniques, and languages adopted by the artist over the years, accompanied by photographic documentation of the exhibition in which it originates and critical texts by art historians Ara H. Merjian and Flavia Frigeri. Ara H. Merjian's essay retraces Roccasalva's production through comparison with the history of twentieth-century art, while Flavia Frigeri reads the work through shifts in the temporal, spatial, and narrative prism.
Published on the occasion of the eponymous exhibition at the Collezione Giancarlo e Danna Olgiati, Lugano, in 2022.
Pietro Roccasalva (born 1970 in Modica, lives and works in Milan) is one of the most singular and promising Italian artists in the post-Cattelan generation in Italy. His work is a visionary and erudite mix of conceptual rigour and hallucinatory extravaganza: starting from painting as his main medium of expression and ranging from sculpture to installation, from "tableaux vivants" to drawing and film, Roccasalva's creative world is an unceasing investigation into the meaning of images and how we relate to them. His iconic obsessions are always set in complex installations in which the different elements act like characters on a stage, performing an erratic script that probes a wide range of historical references, from art history to philosophy, music, and literature.