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Pietro Roccasalva's first exhibition in a German public institution opens at Kölnischer Kunstverein
Installation view Pietro Roccasalva F.E.S.T.A., Koelnischer Kunstverein, 2014. Photo: Simon Vogel.
COLOGNE.- The Kölnischer Kunstverein is presenting F.E.S.T.A., the Italian artist Pietro Roccasalva’s first solo exhibition in a German public institution. The show comprises both older and recent works by Roccasalva and provides a cross section of the different areas in which the artist works.

For over ten years the Italian artist Pietro Roccasalva has been developing a body of work that is difficult to define and can be seen as one of the most resolute contributions to contemporary art. His oeuvre is characterised by its diversity of media. On the one hand, it encompasses paintings and drawings that demonstrate a remarkable technical ability and sometimes display strong similarities to the icons of Old Masters. On the other hand, he also creates sculptures, installations, photographs and films as well as performances, which can be much more readily understood in terms of the contemporary discourse on art. The connection between these different areas of his work is formed by way of the content and narratives on which the works are based and whose origins lie in the conceptual cosmos of the artist. Roccasalva intertwines personal experiences with references to art history, literature and music as well as cinema in such a way that it is not uncommon for the works to shift between various levels of reality and fiction.

At the same time, the artist’s works are linked together in an unusual way: every work that Roccasalva creates makes reference to its immediate predecessor as well as the work that follows it. In a certain sense, the artist’s present oeuvre functions like an enormous house of mirrors, and the labyrinth seems to be furnished more than occasionally with concave and distorting mirrors. A secret is bound up within the work of Roccasalva, one that resists any revelation and thus makes a lasting mark on viewers’ memories.

Roccasalva has attracted international attention through his participation in the 53rd Venice Biennale and his contribution to Manifesta 7; most recently, the artist’s work was shown in a comprehensive solo show in Le MAGASIN, Grenoble.

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