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A Journey with an Edge: The Triton Museum of Art presents Salvatore Pecoraro
Prismatic Light Series #5, Acrylic on Canvas. 58" x 68", 1976.
SANTA CLARA, CA.- The first museum survey exhibition spanning the nearly 50 year career of Salvatore Pecoraro -- the prodigious and renowned Bay Area painter and sculptor -- will debut at the Triton Museum of Art beginning in July 2013. Spanning from 1963-2012, the exhibition will present works from Pecoraro’s diverse series and examine his contribution to the celebrated California art scene of the latter half of the 20th century.

More than 30 works will be on display, featuring key selections from the artist’s most significant series, including his preeminent 365 Skies 1970 series to be shown in its entirety for the first time since 1977. At the vanguard of many new media art practices that have come to be associated with the Photo-Realist, Minimalist, and light and space-oriented work A Journey with an Edge will revisit Pecoraro’s contributions to this art historical discourse, shedding light on his many advancements in the application of new art techniques, and his undeniable contributions to the advancement of a California aesthetic in art.

Widely exhibited since his earliest work, Pecoraro continues to maintain a vibrant and productive art practice today. While he has carried out numerous public and private commissions for the likes of the IBM Corporate Headquarters, Saks Fifth Avenue, the city of Sunnyvale, Sanwa Bank California, the Ken Behring Estate and De Anza College, his overall body of work and influence has been insufficiently examined.

Preston Metcalf, Chief Curator of The Triton, states: For over four decades, Salvatore Pecoraro has been an integral part of Silicon Valley art history. This exhibition showcases some of the high points of his career, allowing viewers to see his many techniques, materials and concepts. We look forward to exhibiting this unique collection of paintings and sculpture and in recognizing one of the foremost pioneers for this time within our own community.

The exhibition will be divided into selections from Pecoraro’s expansive series’ of work, allowing museum visitors to see the progression and development of his art practice.

Viewers will begin with the earliest works on exhibition; the 1960s Pinole series characterized by graphic, Pop Art-influenced paintings featuring women’s faces layered over gradations of color, geometric lines and abstracted landscape features. The Pinole works are a clearly demarcated precursor to Pecoraro’s more elaborate sky and horizon paintings he started shortly after, which employ the artist’s personalized airbrushing technique--perfected over many years--to create atmospheric distortions and light spectrums, motifs that punctuate Pecoraro’s artwork throughout the show.

Pecoraro’s fascination with geometric principles evolved into his later sculptural work of the 80s and 90s, and the Archeao-Tectonic series of marble sculptures, which represented a radical departure from the earlier atmospheric work and cemented his popularity amongst art patrons of the era. These two divergent aesthetics are reconciled in his newest Encore series. The First Encore, paintings on wooden panels that meld elements and techniques found in his previous work, and The Second Encore, his latest in the development of the trilogy series of mixed-medium compilations that further examine his advancement and incorporation of a diversity of mediums including traditional painting, watercolor, airbrush, lithography, 3D print making, digital image transfer and marble sculpture. The sheer range of work, and the inclusion of Pecoraro’s Encore series will give museum visitors a complete and lasting impression of the artist’s contribution and continued innovation in the field.

Anchoring the exhibition in the midst of these various bodies of work, and central to understanding Pecoraro’s art, is 365 Skies 1970. An ambitious work of endurance and patience created from 1969-1971, 365 Skies 1970 catalogues an entire year’s worth of California skies painted on vacuum-formed white styrene panels that ultimately assemble into an expansive 7 by 52 foot chronological visual calendar. Revolutionary for the time, in both the process and materials used, 365 Skies 1970 should ultimately be understood as predicating later important art practice advancements of the post-WWII era.

Born in Chicago in 1936, Pecoraro moved to the Bay Area in 1949 where his high school art teacher encouraged his talent and interest in art. He attended Oakland’s prestigious California College of Arts and Crafts with other notable classmates Robert Arneson and Manuel Neri. There, he studied under Richard Diebenkorn, whose work and approach to painting deeply influenced the young artist. After completing his MA at San Francisco State University, Pecoraro launched his art career, and continued to make waves with his development of new materials available due to the technological advancement of plastics and fluorescents, and his airbrush painting technique that gave his work the luminous realism he labored to achieve through more traditional brushwork painting. His inclination to incorporate new technologies and advance his work beyond traditional methods aligns with the overall philosophy of Silicon Valley, where the technology-oriented audience embraced him. Pecoraro lived and worked for 25 years in Silicon Valley before moving his home and studio to the Santa Cruz Mountains in 1992. Whether through his advancement of these various new mediums, or his reinterpretation of Modernist methods such as marble sculpting, Salvatore Pecoraro is an innovator in the arts with a significant contribution to the advancement of contemporary art practices.





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