' Gallery Exhibitions | Kim Foster Gallery
Antonio Petracca
Relief: Antonio Petracca
June 02 - July 29, 2016

Press Release


The Painted Constructions of Antonio Petracca

Antonio Petracca works in relief to create painted constructions that protrude from the wall. Incorporating imagery of landmark buildings, his work generally includes elongated slits with painted images taken from photographs of various exterior facades. The painterly information is then abbreviated, therefore giving the viewer a compressed perception of what is contained within the extended rectangle.

In his new exhibit, “Relief,” Petracca is interested in establishing the trace of memory, how our perception registers this memory, and how it becomes embedded. The artist crops realistic imagery that contain hints of a particular place, historical or cultural. The extreme manner in which they are cropped tends to border on abstraction—imitating the abstraction of memory.

Antonio Petracca has had solo exhibitions 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 Portland Museum of Art, Museum of the City of New York, New York Historical Society, George Eastman House, and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. His artwork has been written about in ARTnews, Art in America, New York Times, and Huffington Post.

link to Q & A Huffington Post by Dominick Lombardi

link to Gorky’s Granddaughter video interview

Past Exhibitions


Antonio Petracca was born in Rochester, New York, the first born of six children. His father Emmanuel immigrated to the US through Ellis Island from Palermo, Sicily. Early on he developed an interest in art. Petracca enrolled as an undergraduate at the Rochester Institute of Technology School of Fine and Applied Arts and received an MFA at RIT.  He received a full scholarship as a graduate teaching assistant. 

The influences in the early years came primarily from the new movements of Pop Art and Minimalism. Petracca, a generalist by nature, took photography, ceramics, sculpture, graphic design, printmaking, painting and drawing courses at the Institute. His work then was a combination of photography, mixed media, abstraction and Pop. His early art was also influenced by the times. “I remember my college years as a tumultuous, stressful, yet vital time. ‘The times they are a-changin’ sang Bob Dylan, his finger on the pulse.  Americans were on the move, exploring new places with expanded horizons. But others were caught up in the grand struggle for civil rights, voting rights, women’s rights and Vietnam. Examples of this early work are held in the collections of The Rochester Memorial Art Gallery and The George Eastman Museum.

In 1977, he became involved in art politics of the region and helped to create the Pyramid Arts Center, a non-profit space for artists, now called RoCo. Antonio traveled extensively for the Center to New York City, California and many places in between. In 1988 he moved permanently to New York City,  leaving  his beloved city of Rochester NY behind. The work changed, and became more architecturally centered inspired by the City, its’ visuality and emotional intensity. 

These separate ideas and influences fused into a coherent body of work that combined sculpture with illusionary painted surfaces. The City and the Landscape came into contact with the “Architectonic.” Identity of place, or lack of it was explored in the work. Examples of this body of work are found in the collections of The Museum of the City of New York and The New York Historical Society.

Everything changed in 2001, like many others, 9/11 had a direct and profound effect. Displaced and living in a hotel for six weeks, Petracca felt compelled to begin a series of work that responded to this horrific event. Titled “Sunny and Clear: High in the Low 80’s”, nine works were exhibited at the Kim Foster Gallery in NYC. “My approach was to depict the destruction and feeling of great loss but, more importantly, address the can do spirit of rebuilding and renewal most New Yorkers felt at the time. Huge derricks swept the sky, while  night light reflected off the hard hats of construction workers and rescue teams.” One of these works  “Terrible Beauty” is now in the collection of the 9/11 Museum. 

Unfortunately, attitudes in NYC changed in NY and the US . Whole population were being. Ridiculed and harassed because they were muslim or from the Middle East. “Somehow, this triggered my memories of bias against Italian Americans in Rochester, stereotypical jokes heard constantly throughout my life. Getting in fights, being called Dago Boy tore at my sense of identity. The recent series, Sopranos  and Mafia docudramas filling the airwaves, finally gave me the impetus to handle these issues in my art.” The result was the exhibition, “These are Not my Shoes” presented at Kim Foster Gallery in 2005. In this work, Petracca appropriated Italian art masterpieces and portraits of Italian American celebrities, combining them with stereotyped examples of text quotes from news media, internet and historical material.

In 2006 ,The Italian American Museum, affiliated with Queens College, in NYC presented an exhibition of his work titled “Identity Theft” which included examples from ‘These are not my Shoes’ and a few from a series that depicted ancient Pompeian frescos, “tagged” with American style mob movie slang and one liners. These latter paintings  were exhibited at the Kim Foster Gallery in May 2007, titled “Pompeii Tagged”. Art from both of these related series were later exhibited at the Garibaldi-Meucci Museum in New York City.. 

Antonio Petracca’s latest series titled “Mezzogiorno”, which literally means “midday” in Italian, is also referential to Southern Italy and Sicily. This is also his first primarily photographic and digitally print oriented exhibition. Petracca states that “I have strived to be less confrontational and address my concerns with a broader brush, tweaking my visual language to accommodate several levels of access,  from parody to an examination of the self through cultural anthropology. As before, I have borrowed cultural landmarks and tourist attractions; the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Pulia but also areas unknown to most Americans like Sassi and Matera to use as backdrops.”  He believes that he has found a language that conveys his stated concerns in a kinder, gentler way. And Antonio Petracca vowed that he will continue to shake up his viewing public with an entirely new body of work, so stay tuned!

Solo Exhibitions

2015  Italian American Museum, New York, NY

2014 ‘Mezzogiorno’ Kim Foster Gallery, NY

2011 ‘10’ Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

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

2009 ‘Overlay’ Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

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

2007 ‘Pompeii Tagged’ Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

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

2005 ‘These are not my Shoes’ (Queste non sono mie Scarpe), Kim Foster Gallery, NYC

2003 ‘Intangible Presence’ Oxford Gallery, Rochester, NY

2002 ‘Forecast: Sunny & Clear High in the Low 80s’ Kim Foster Gallery, NYC

2000 ‘Space Constructed’ Kim Foster Gallery, NYC

1999 ‘Architectonic’ Galerie Bhak, Seoul, Korea 

‘China’ Kim Foster Gallery, NYC

Oxford Gallery, Rochester, NY

1997 ‘Architectonic’ Kim Foster Gallery, NYC

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

1995 ‘Heavy/Light’ Kim Foster Gallery, NYC

‘Objects and Apparitions’ Oxford Gallery, Rochester, NY

1994 ‘Mysteries’ Kim Foster Gallery, NYC

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

Selected Group Exhibitions

2018  “Human/Nature” curated by Juana Williams, Elaine Jacob Gallery, Wayne State Univ. Detroit

2017  “Sportsvergnugen” curated by D Dominick Lombardi, Lichtundfire, New York, NY

2016  “Relief” Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

2016  “Self Portraiture” curator D Dominick Lombardi, Galerie Protégé, NY

2015  IAVA at Casa Italiana, New York University, NY

2014  Garibaldi Meucci Museum, Staten Island, NY

2013  CONTEXT Art Miami, Kim Foster Gallery booth, Miami, FL

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

‘Terrain,’ Kim Foster Gallery, New York, NY

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

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

2003/4/5 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 ‘Close to Home’ Oxford Gallery, Rochester, NY

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

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

‘LandEscape Panorama’ Dieu Donne Papermill, NYC

1998 ‘The Waking Dream’ curated by Dominick Lombardi and Steve Lowy,

Castle Gallery, College of New Rochelle, NY

‘Camera Ready?’ Kim Foster Gallery, NYC

Art 1998 Chicago, Galerie Bhak booth  Chicago, IL

Collectors Gallery, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY

‘The Fanelli Show’ O.K Harris Gallery, NYC

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

Collectors Gallery, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY

1996 Art 1996 Chicago, Kim Foster Gallery booth

Oxford Gallery, Rochester, NY

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

 ‘Pages’ 450 Broadway Gallery, NYC

‘Definitive Decade’ Aljira Arts Center, Newark, NJ

‘New Space’, Foster Peet Gallery, NYC

1993 ‘Putt Modernism’, Artists Space, NYC

Art Chicago International, Foster Peet Gallery booth

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

Kitchen Benefit Show at Curt Marcus Gallery & Castelli Graphics, 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

Public Collections

Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s Store, Brookfield Place, New York, NY

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

Commissions / Grants / Special Projects

Who’s Who in American Art 

2003/4/5 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

Selected Bibliography

“The Art in Perception” review by D Dominick Lombardi, Huffington Post, November 2016

“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