Luca Pignatelli was born in Milan on 22nd June 1962, in a home studio, where his father Ercole, a painter and sculptor, created his works.
Enlivened by Giorgio De Chirico’s oneiric vision, Mario Sironi’s suburban areas and Burri’s experimental materiality, in the 80s he consolidated his poetic visions by attending courses held at the Faculty of Architecture, marked in that period by the insights of Aldo Rossi, drawn from time, space and distant cultures. Spurred on by the idea of the sedimentary growth of History, for Pignatelli painting had a special relationship with time:the shared presence of elements and forms that can be ascribed to different eras comes not only from dreams, but is real and lives with his work.
He was driven to visit warehouse sites, storage areas, military deposits and large engineering building sites.He was fascinated by the manner of silent mysteries that embody the anonymous architecture of port cities, with their shipyards and cargo handling facilities; he admired that of Parthenon, Vignola, Leon Battista Alberti, Loos and Mies van der Rohe, and others encountered along his journeys through the European cities.
Pignatelli is a painter who can handle the challenge of large dimensions and normally works on unusual supports, which are already pictorial in themselves:large tarpaulins, wood, iron and assembled papers, elements he works on, overlaying a range of images; a sort of catalogue featuring mechanical vehicles, ships, planes, metropolitan landscapes and reminiscences of the ancient world represented by the remains of statues and objects.Towards the mid-90s, the canvases being used were from the cargo trains that run along the tracks of Europe, stitched together and patched up, torn by endless journeying but which freeze history and open up perspectives onto other forays within the world of art.His poetry included using photography as an urgent need in his referencing other icons belonging to a golden past.Monumental sculptures of the Roman emperors and horse-drawn chariots, de-contextualised and worked into the canvases with different techniques and solutions, have become an important part of his iconography.
Luca Pignatelli’s work has had international appeal since the 90s. Some of his most recent personal shows include Museo di Capodimonte, Naples (2014), Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica, Rome (2011), Galleria Poggiali e Forconi, Florence (2010), 53rd International Art Expo, Venice (2009), Mamac, Nice (2009), Museo Archeologico Nazionale, Naples (2008), Teatro India, Rome (2007), Annex Plus–White Box and Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, New York (2006), Galerie Daniel Templon, Paris (2005), Galerie Mudimadue, Berlin (2004), Generous Miracles Gallery, New York (2004), Leighton House Museum, London. Some memorable group shows include: Galleria dell’Accademia, Florence (2014), Palazzo Chiablese, Turin (2014), Museo MAXXI, Rome (2010), Miami Biennial (2010), 53rd Venice Biennale International Art Expo (2009), Musée Olympique, Shanghai, Lausanne (2008), , Palazzo Reale, Milan (2007); MACRO, Rome (2006), 50th Venice Biennale International Art Expo (2003), Palais du Parlament Européen, Strasbourg (2003), Académie Royale de Belgique, Brussels (2002), PAC – Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea, Milan (2000), Isetan Tokyo Museum, Tokyo (2000), International Forum, Tokyo (2000), Musée Nicolas Sursock, Beirut (1997), Musée de Pully, Lausanne (1996), XII Quadriennale, Rome (1996).