' Antonio Petracca - Kim Foster Gallery
Antonio Petracca
October 16 - November 15, 2014

Press Release

Kim Foster Gallery is pleased to present Antonio Petracca’s new exhibition Mezzogiorno (literally “midday” in Italian.) Giuseppe Garibaldi, credited as the primary force behind the unification of Italy, popularized the term that is now used as a reference to the Southern region of Italy and Sicily. Before Garibaldi, the South was ruled by a succession of Norman, French and Spanish feudal lords. Unification eliminated the feudal system, but did little to educate and transition the commoners to meaningful work. Famine and disease were rampant in the South, contributing to a mass exodus, including the artist’s family to the United States.

Today, the term mezzogiorno is often used as a pejorative. Northern and Southern Italy are worlds apart with different economies. But when it comes down to the abundance of Greek, Roman, Norman, Phoenician, Turkish and Spanish architecture, antiquities, food and ethnic diversity, the South rules. It also is home to some of the greatest museums in the world, Renaissance art included.

It is against this background that Antonio Petracca’s new exhibition is “pinned.” Mezzogiorno is the latest investigation into his Southern Italian heritage through his art. His previous work, These are not My Shoes, appropriated Italian art masterpieces, combining them with actual stereotyped material culled from the news, books, the web, and historical references. Pompeii Tagged followed in which the artist combined Pompeian frescos tagged with mob movie slang and T-shirt one-liners.

This new body of work is less confrontational and relies more on tweaking the visual language to comment on his observations and personal revelations. In the image, Mezzogiorno Matera, a man appears draped over a rock ledge. Is he a worker taking a siesta at midday, or an odd tourist photo op? Petracca borrows major tourist attractions; the Amalfi Coast, Napoli, Pompeii, Sassi di Matera, the Salento, and Apulia to use as a foil. Petracca believes he has found a language that conveys his quest: to understand and comment on the subtle and not so subtle bias against Southern Italians in Italy and America.


Antonio Petracca had a solo exhibition at the Italian American Museum in NYC and the Garibaldi Meucci Museum. He has been awarded several grants and special projects including an MTA mural commission. His artwork is in the collections of the Museum of the City of New York, New York Historical Society, George Eastman House, and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.

Past Exhibitions



2015            ‘Who Do You Think I Am?” Italian American Museum, New York, NY

2014 / 2011 / 2009 / 2007 / 2005 / 2002 / 2000 / 1997 / 1995 / 1994     Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

2010            ‘From Here To There’ Mercer Gallery, Monroe Community College, Rochester, NY

2008            ‘Identity Theft’ Garibaldi Meucci Museum, Staten Island, NY

2006            ‘Identity Theft’ Italian American Museum, New York, NY

2003 / 1999 / 1995   Oxford Gallery, Rochester, NY

1999            ‘Architectonic’ Galerie Bhak, Seoul, Korea

1997            ‘Back from the Future’ Pyramid Arts Center, Rochester, NY

1991            ‘Chance Glance’ Cleaver Callahan Gallery, NYC

1988            ‘Road Views’ Mercer Gallery, Monroe Community College, Rochester, NY

1987            Little Gallery, Rochester, NY

1985            Shahin Requicha Gallery, Rochester, NY

1984            Tower Gallery, SUNY College, Brockport, NY

1981            Monroe Community College, Rochester, NY

1980            Pyramid Arts Center, Rochester, NY

1976            Metro Gallery, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY

1975            ‘Gurning and Flexing’ Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY

1974            ‘Non-Silver Photography’ MFA Gallery, Rochester Institute of Technology, NY



2015           IAVA at Casa Italiana, New York University, NY

2014           Garibaldi Meucci Museum, Staten Island, NY

2012            “Social Structures” at CONTEXT Art Miami, curator Nicholas Cohn Art Projects.

2011            “IAVANET” Calandra Institute Queens College, New York, NY

2010            “Nature Calls” Shore Institute of Contemporary Art, NJ curator Dominick Lombardi

2009            Art Chicago 2009, Kim Foster Gallery booth, Chicago, IL

2008            Art Chicago 2008, Kim Foster Gallery booth, Chicago, IL

2006            ‘Natural and Unnatural: Imagining Landscape’ Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJ

2005            ‘The City: Contemporary Views of the Built Environment’ Lehman College Art Gallery, NY

2004            ‘Landscape 2’ Allyn Gallup Contemporary Art, Sarasota, Florida

2003 / 2004 / 2005            U.S. State Department, Art In Embassies Program, US Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela

2002            ‘Voyage’ Flowers East Gallery, London, UK

‘Woodwork’ Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, NY

2001            ‘Seeking the Sequential’ Pyramid Art Center, Rochester, NY

2000           ‘Elbow Room: Manhattan’s Public Spaces in Recent Art’ curated by Grady T. Turner, NYC

1998            ‘The Waking Dream’ curated by Dominick Lombardi and Steve Lowy, Castle Gallery, College of New Rochelle, NY

Art 1998 Chicago, Galerie Bhak booth  Chicago, IL

1997            ‘4 Artists From New York’ Galerie Bhak, Seoul, Korea

1996            Art 1996 Chicago, Kim Foster Gallery booth

Spazi Contemporary Art, Housatonic, MA

1994            Tribeca Towers Exhibition, sponsored by Art Initiative, NYC

‘Isn’t It Romantic?’ curated by Michael Walls, On Crosby St., NYC

‘Definitive Decade’ Aljira Arts Center, Newark, NJ

1993           ‘Putt Modernism’, Artists Space, NYC

1992           ‘Neurotic Art Show’ Artists Space, NYC

‘The Other Landscape’ Tribeca 148 Gallery, sponsored by Art Initiative, NYC

‘Artists Unleashed’ Brand Name Damages, Brooklyn, NY

1991          ‘Message to the Future’, SUNY College, Oswego, NY

New York State Art Exhibit, Herbert Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

1990          ‘Contemporary Landscape’, Cleaver Callahan Gallery, NYC

‘No Trends’, Nahan Contemporary, curated by Robert C. Morgan, NYC

‘Altered Landscapes’ Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, NY

1987          Bevier Gallery, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY

1986          14 Upstate NY Artists, Long Island University, NY

1984          Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany, NY

1982          Ten American Print Makers, Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY

1980         ‘Electroworks’ The Cooper-Hewitt Museum NYC



Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Oregon

National September 11 Memorial and Museum, New York, NY

The New York Historical Society, New York, NY

Museum of the City of New York, New York, NY

Albright-Knox Museum, Buffalo, NY

The George Eastman House, Rochester, NY

The Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY

Museo Internacional de Electrografia, Spain

Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY

ASCAP, New York, NY

Fidelity Investments, Boston, MA

Health & Hospitals Corporation, New York, NY

Hutchins Y & R Corporation, Rochester, NY

Medallion Funding Corporation, New York, NY

Mobil Chemical Corporation

Xerox Corporation




2003/ 2004 / 2005     U.S. State Department, Art In Embassies Program, US Embassy in Caracas, Venezuela

1993  Putt Modernism, Artists Space traveling exhibit, designed hole #5 of artist Miniature golf course.

1992  Art Matters Inc.; grant recipient, New York, NY

MTA Arts for Transit, mural installation at Jay Street-Burough Hall subway station.

Best of Show, Casa Italiana, Nazareth College, Rochester, NY

1986  Special Arts Award, Arts Council for Rochester

1976-86 Founder and Executive Director of Pyramid Arts Center, Rochester, NY



“Overlay: Antonio Petracca at Kim Foster Gallery” review by Jonathan Goodman, June 2009

NY Observer, Antonio Petracca, “Overlay”, Currently Hanging Museums & Galleries, 5/18/09

OGGI7, Antonio Petracca at Meucci-Garibaldi Museum, review by Vincenzo Mignino, 11/11/2007

Culture Catch, review by Dominick Lombardi, May 2007

Chelsea Now, “Kindling the Spirits” review by Jeff Wright, May 11, 2007

SUNY-TV, ITALICS The Italian American Magazine, Calandra Institute, episode #167, February, 2005

Democrat & Chronicle, ‘Antonio Petracca at Oxford Gallery,’ April 13, 2003

Art In America, ‘Antonio Petracca,’ review by Melissa Kuntz, January 2003

New York Times, ‘Antonio Petracca,’ review by Ken Johnson, September 13, 2002

Downtown Express, “Painting Architecturally” September 3-9, 2002

ARTnews, ‘The Many Faces of Realism: The Real Thing?’ (Cover story) by Ann Landi, June 2002

Albany Times Union, ‘Sculptural Heights: Technique and artistry in abundance at fine ‘Woodwork’ exhibit,’ review by William Jaeger, February 24, 2002

The New York Art World, ‘Antonio Petracca,’ review by Joyce Korotkin, January 2001

New York Art Magazine, ‘Antonio Petracca Space Constructed,’ review by Elizabeth Neuman, Dec. 2000

‘Space Constructed,’ catalogue essay by Grady T. Turner, Kim Foster Gallery, 2000

Village Voice, Voice Choices, ‘Elbow Room,’ review by Kim Levin, August 8, 2000

New Yorker, ‘Elbow Room,’ review by Alexi Worth, August 6, 2000

Art Magazine Seoul, Korea, Misoolsidae ‘Architectonics,’ review October, 1999

Economic Seoul ‘Fall Season International Exhibitions,’ September 13, 1999

‘Architectonic,’ catalogue essay by Ann Landi, Galerie Bhak, 1999

City Magazine Rochester,  ‘Fine art: the Pyramid alternative at 20,’ review by Ron Netsky, Dec. 16, 1997

ARTnews,  ‘Antonio Petracca,’ review by Margaret Moorman, October 1997

Cover,  ‘Peering Past the Mirror,’ review by Jeff Wright, September 1997

Review Magazine, ‘Antonio Petracca,’ review by Elizabeth Neuman, May 1, 1997

Democrat and Chronicle Rochester,  ‘Home?’ article by Stuart Low, April 1997

Review, ‘Antonio Petracca and the Order of Syntax’ review by Robert C. Morgan, May 1, 1997

Democrat and Chronicle Rochester, ‘A Crowded Landscape,’ review by John Worden, July 14, 1996

City Magazine Rochester, ‘At Oxford: an abundance of energetic works,’ review by Ron Netsky, Sep, 1996

City Magazine Rochester, ‘Manhattan Street Impressions,’ review by Donna De Palma May, 1995

New York Times, ‘Definitive Decade Show,’ review by William Zimmer, October 30, 1994

‘Mysteries,’ exhibition essay by Linda Weintraub, Kim Foster Gallery, NY

New York Times,  ‘Inside Art’ by Carol Vogel, October 8, 1993

Metropolitan Transportation Authority News, ‘High-Speed Landscapes,’ December 5, 1991

The Daily Gazette, ‘Brush Marks,’ review by Peg Churchill Wright, May 10, 1990