PRINT Summer 2012


Pietro Roccasalva, Il Traviatore, 2011, acrylic on canvas, 30 5/8 x 19 5/8".

FIRST, THERE IS THE PAINTING. For Pietro Roccasalva, this medium occupies the radiant center of an ever-expanding constellation of formal and conceptual analogies that takes in photography, video, sculpture, installation, and performance. All are derived from painting as more or less concrete extrusions of the picture plane, and all return to it at some point as material for further painting. The artist’s skill in this department is irreproachable; evidently, he can render by hand anything he wants to see, but this is not to suggest that his imagination is unfettered or that its products can ever be described as “visionary.” The image is from the outset a mnemotechnology already overloaded with archival data—Roccasalva terms it a “microchip”—and in his hands it becomes only more so. From one work to the next, the pathways of information processing and association grow

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