Stefano Di Stasio

Stefano di Stasio (b. 1948, Naples, Italy) is an artist whose work represents a shift away from the abstraction, minimalism and reductionism that characterised much of twentieth-century Modernism. He advocates for a return to figurative, narrative painting: a depiction of subjects and stories. Di Stasio is one of the principal figures who called for a re-evaluation of the medium in the seventies and the eighties. He longed for image and figuration; to resuscitate and recalibrate painting in the modern day. His inspirations vary from Giorgio de Chirico and surrealism, to Raphael and portraiture, to metaphysics and magical realism. There is an enchanting sense of mystery, strangeness and intrigue that pervades his canvases as objects lose their practical function and are placed in incongruous settings. The familiar meets the unfamiliar in the work of Di Stasio, who believes that the creation of an image is independent of one’s own conscience. According to the artist, the image appears before rational, cognitive processes take place, rendering art an intuitive activity.

Di Stasio studied at the l’Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples. He was one of the founders of La Stanza, an experimental art space in Rome operating from 1977 to 1978. He exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 1984 and 2011. From 2001 to 2004, he performed a pictorial cycle on Franciscan stories for the church of Santa Maria della Pace in Terni. Di Stasio has participated in the Rome Quadriennale four times as well as in several institutional exhibitions. In 2004-2005, on behalf of the Senate of the Italian Republic, he painted the portrait of Amintore Fanfani for the permanent collection in Palazzo Madama in Rome.

Di Stasio creates a dialogue between styles, motifs and influences from history and the modern day to create alluring, perplexing paintings. He now lives and works between Rome and Spoleto.

Selected Exhibitions

Venice Biennale, Venice (1984 and 1995); Sydney Biennale, Sydney (1986); Museum of the Risorgimento, Rome; Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome; The Rome Quadriennale, Editions XI, XII, XIII, Rome; County Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, Ostend; Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome; Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome; CIAC, Foligno; GNAM, Rome; Ettore Fico Museum, Turin; Palazzo Collicola, Spoleto; Galleria d’Arte Moderna, Bologna; Galleria Alessandro Bagnai, Florence

Selected Collections

Palazzo Madama, Rome; Fabio Sargentini Private Collection, Rome; The Farnesina Collection, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome.

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