Pietro Ruffo (b.1978, Rome, Italy) makes mixedmedia work that reflects his social and moral concerns, and stance on specific ethical issues. Working in drawing, watercolour and sculpture, he creates intricate and meticulously-detailed objects which demand an intense manual working process.

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Pietro Ruffo Portrait By Antonio Marenco 2012 Blain Southern

GALLERY EXHIBITIONS

Blain|Southern London
The Political Gymnasium

The Political Gymnasium

11 January – 4 February 2012

INSTITUTIONS

Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome, IT
SPAD SVII

SPAD SVII

3 October 2014 – 15 February 2015

Fondazione Puglisi Cosentino, Catania, IT
Breve storia del resto del mondo

Breve storia del resto del mondo

3 April – 7 October 2016

BIOGRAPHY

Questions concerning the nature of freedom are at the core of Italian artist Pietro Ruffo’s practice, as his works explore a wide range of social, moral and political issues.

For his debut exhibition with Blain|Southern (2012) he created a series of large-scale, intricately-worked drawings which examined the concept of liberty. Studying a number of American moral and political philosophers, Ruffo’s aim was to investigate ideological structures of thought that have influenced politicians in the United States from the 1970s onwards. Concentrating on John Rawls’ and Robert Nozick’s theories relating to freedom, the artist considered the idea of true freedom and the role that individual liberty might play within this.

In his seminal work, Anarchy, State and Utopia (1974), Nozick attacks Rawls’ Theory of Justice (1971), in which Rawls proposes a system where the fair distribution of resources will ultimately benefit the disadvantaged sections of society. Nozick conversely argues in favour of a minimalist state, and ultimately questions whether it is ever fair to take something from one individual and give it to another. In order to highlight and further consider Nozick’s arguments, Ruffo has focused on a section of the text entitled ‘The Tale of the Slave’. The ‘Tale’ comprises nine passages that propose various cases of slavery, through which Nozick essentially contends that taxation is itself a form of enslavement, and that subsequently modern democratic states are fundamentally slave states.

In response to Nozick’s ‘Tale’, and due to the implicit connection that Ruffo sees between the politics of the mid-19th century and those of today, he created nine finely-detailed pencil drawings appropriated from the work of 19th century satirical draftsmen. Politicians who held conflicting policies and beliefs are depicted in caricature, assuming numerous comical postures. In direct dialogue with these images, Nozick’s nine sentences appear upon the drawings, delicately cut out, raised above the surface of the work and secured with pins, creating a subtle optical illusion as the drawings oscillate between two and three dimensions. Ruffo’s engagement with Nozick’s text forms part of his ongoing investigation into a wide range of social, moral and political debates. Since 2008, his work has focused on concepts of freedom, as seen in his Isaiah Berlin (2009-10) series, in which large portraits of the liberal scholar and philosopher were drawn over old maps. His extended and ongoing series of works, Flags, engage the theme of parasitism as well as exploring ideas of contemporary colonialism, tracing the cultural and military influence of some of the world's largest imperial powers.

The artist’s research is scholastic and yet his notes are graphic, rather than written. He discusses his work not as a finished product, but as process-based research; open-ended and in continuous development.In 2009 he won the Premio Cairo Award (Italy) and in 2010 he was awarded the New York Prize, bestowed by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His artist residencies have included working at The International Studio and Curatorial Program, ISCP Centre, New York (2010); the Nirox Foundation, in Johannesburg (2012) and most recently at The Fountainhead Residency, Miami (2013).

Recent solo exhibitions include: Pietro Ruffo, Breve storia del resto del mondo, Fondazione Puglisi Cosentino, Catania, IT (2016); Terra Incognita, Italian Embassy Cultural Centre & Basu Foundation For The Arts, New Delhi, IN (2015); SPAD SVII, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome, IT (2014); Pietro Ruffo: Liberty House, Siena, Chiesa Monti, IT (2014); Pietro Ruffo, SOYEZ RÉALISTE. DEMANDEZ L'IMPOSSIBLE, Galleria Franca Mancini, Pesaro, IT (2014), Irhal, Irhal, Galleria Lorcan O’Neill, Rome, IT (2012); The Political Gymnasium, Blain|Southern London, UK (2012); Complex Instant, All-Russian Museum of Decorative Applied and Folk Art, part of the special projects of the fourth biennale of Moscow, RU (2011); Negative Liberty, Caffè Florian, Venice, IT (2011); L’enfer c’est les autres, Galerie di Meo, Paris, FR (2011); I sei traditori della libertà, Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, Rome, IT (2010); Pietro Ruffo, Museo Arte Contemporanea di Ravenna, IT (2009); Confini, Museo archeologico Rossi, Ventimiglia, IT (2008) and Flag, Galleria AKA, Rome, IT (2005). Ruffo has also worked on a number of public projects, including a sculptural proposal for Ground Zero in New York.

Recent group exhibitions include: Gradi di Libertà, Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna MAMbo, Bologna, IT (2015); Imago Mundi: Map of the New Art Exhibition of the Luciano Benetton Collection, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, San Giorgio Maggiore Island, Venice, IT (2015); Nero su Bianco, American Academy in Rome, IT (2015); Contemporanea Mente, via delle Belle Arti 131, Rome, IT (2014); Incidents of Phenomena | India-Italy-Myanmar, Spazio Cerere, Rome, IT (2014); Making History, Colombo Art Biennale, Colombo, LK (2014); Extra Large, MACRO (Museo D’Arte Contemporanea Roma), Rome, IT (2013); Italian Genius Now. Home sweet home, KAOSHIUNG MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, Taiwan, TW (2011); Amor Parvi or the love of the small, Kunstverein-Langenhagen, DE (2010); SLASH, paper under the knife, MAD Museum of Art and Design, New York, US (2009); Apocalittici e Integrati, MAXXI, Museum of XXI Century Art, Rome, IT (2008); Notte della Ricerca, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Frascati, Rome, IT (2006) and Fragments of time, yellow bird gallery, New York, US (2005).

Ruffo’s work is in several public and private collections, including Deutsche Bank Foundation, New York, IL as well as the Museo d’arte moderna di Bologna (MAMbo) in Bologna and the MAXXI Museum in Rome, Italy.

 

 

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1978, Born in Rome, IT
Lives and works in Rome, IT

 

EDUCATION

2005
Architecture, University of Rome, IT


AWARDS

2010
Research Fellowship at The Italian Academy for advanced studies in America, Columbia University, US
New York Prize, The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IT

2009
Premio Cairo, Cairo Editore and Giorgio Mondadori Editore Prize, IT


RESIDENCIES

2013
The Fountainhead Residency, Miami, US

2012
Nirox, Johannesburg, SA 

2010
The International Studio and Curatorial Program, ISCP Centre, New York, US 


SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2017
Pietro Ruffo, L'illusion parfaite, Galerie Italienne, Paris, FR

2016
Pietro Ruffo, Breve storia del resto del mondo, Fondazione Puglisi Cosentino, Catania, IT

2015
Terra Incognita, Italian Embassy Cultural Centre & Basu Foundation For The Arts, New Delhi, IN

2014
SPAD SVII, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Roma IT
Pietro Ruffo: Liberty House, Siena, Chiesa Monti, IT
Pietro Ruffo, SOYEZ RÉALISTE. DEMANDEZ L'IMPOSSIBLE, Galleria Franca Mancini, Pesaro, IT

2012
Irhal, Irhal, Galleria Lorcan O’Neill, Rome, IT
Grasweg, Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Strasburgo, FR
Freedom Supermarket, Carlotta Testori Studio, Milan, IT
The Political Gymnasium, Blain|Southern London, UK

2011
Complex Instant, All – Russian Museum of Decorative Applied and Folk Art, part of the special projects of the fourth biennale of Moscow, RU
Negative Liberty, Caffe Florian, Venice, IT
L’enfer c’est les autres, Galerie di Meo, Paris, FR

2010
Premio New York Show (with Marinella Senatore), Cassina Showroom, New York, US
I sei traditori della libertà, Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, Rome, IT
Roommates/Coinquilini (with Valentino Diego), MACRO Rome, IT

2009
Pietro Ruffo, Museo Arte Contemporanea di Ravenna, IT
Pietro Ruffo, Un istante complesso, Centro Arti Visive Pescheria, Pesaro, IT
Pietro Ruffo. Grasweg, Galleria Lorcan O’Neill Roma, IT

2008
Pietro Ruffo, Nothing new under the sand, Testori UK, London, UK
Confini, Museo archeologico Rossi, Ventimiglia, IT

2007
Six Nations, Galleria Lorcan O’Neill Roma, IT 

2006
12 Mani-festi, Villa Mercede Library, Rome, IT
(Q)uestion (M)ark, Armory Art, Perugia, IT
Beslan doppia mappatura, Studio d'arte contemporanea Pino Casagrande, Rome, IT

2005
Flag, Galleria AKA, Rome, IT

2003
Geologia umana, Spazio Lavoratorio, Milan, IT
Mostra d’Oltremare, Presidenza Italiana dell’Unione Europea, Naples, IT
Pietro Ruffo, Palazzo dei Congressi, Riva del Garda, Trento, IT

1999
Pietro Ruffo, Cortile di Palazzo Ruspoli, Rome, IT
Pietro Ruffo, Magazzini Generali, Rome, IT

1998
Air Terminal Duemila, Performance, Air Terminal Ostiense, Rome, IT


SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017
Cyclic Journey - El Viaje Ciclico, Goethe-Institut, Barcelona, ES

2015
Gradi di Libertà, Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna (MAMbo), Bologna, IT
Imago Mundi: Map of the New Art Exhibition of the Luciano Benetton Collection, Fondazione Giorgio
Cini, San Giorgio Maggiore Island, Venice, IT
Nero su Bianco, American Academy in Rome, IT

2014
Incidents of Phenomena | India-Italy-Myanmar, Spazio Cerere, Rome, IT
Making History, Colombo Art Biennale, Colombo, LK 

2013
Green Flower Street, Tatiana Kourochkina Galeria d’Art, Istanbul, TR
Extra Large, Museo D’Arte Contemporanea Roma (MACRO), Rome, IT

2012
Regeneration, Museo D’Arte Contemporanea Roma (MACRO), Rome, IT

2011
Italian Genius Now. Home sweet home, Kaoshiung Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan, TW
Pietro Ruffo, Taichung Creative and Cultural Park, Taiwan, TW
When in Rome, Italian Cultural Institute, Los Angeles, US
UN’ITA Italian Artists in New York, Industria Gallery, New York, US 

2010
Amor Parvi or the love of the small, Kunstverein-Langenhagen, DE
Artifici contemporanei e difformità barocche, Museo d'Arte Contemporanea Sannio (ARCOS), Benevento, IT 

2009
SLASH, paper under the knife, Museum of Art and Design (MAD), New York, US
Cosi Lontano, Cosi Vicino, Centro Culture Contemporanee, Rome, IT
Una forza del passato, Red Bull Hangar-7, Salzburg Airport, AT
The Italian Sigh, Tenerife Espacio de las Artes (TEA), ES
Cromofobie, ExAurum, Pescara, IT

2008
1988, vent’anni prima vent’anni dopo, Museo d’arte contemporanea Pecci, Prato, IT
Passed as Present: Works from the Lodeveans Collection, York Art Gallery, UK
Apocalittici e Integrati, Museum of XXI Century Art (MAXXI), Rome, IT 

2006
Notte della Ricerca, Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Frascati, Rome, IT
Crave, Raw Space, London, UK
Out art, Villa dei Quintili, Rome, IT
Un quadro per un fondo, Palazzo della Cancelleria, Rome, IT 

2005
Residenti, Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, Rome, IT
Fragments of Time, Yellow Bird Gallery, New York, US

2004
Bioma Urbano, Banca ABN Amro Antonveneta, Rome, IT
InsideOut, A temporary art collection, Red Bull Music Academy, Rome, IT
Otto monache nigre, Todi, Perugia, IT
Premium+, Postdamerplatz, Berlin, DE
TERRITORIALE: project room, Milano Flash Art Fair, IT
Premio Mario Razzano, Museo del Sannio, Benevento, IT

2002
Interno FM, Ex Pastificio Cerere, Rome, IT 

2001
Pueri et Magistri, Pianella, Pescara, IT
Duetto all’italiana, young artists selected by Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Sendai, JP

1999
Pietro Ruffo, Touring Exhibition organised by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Italian Institute of Culture, Algers, AD; Ex Mattatoio-Testaccio; Terza Università degli Studi, Facoltà di Architettura, Rome, IT

  

WORKSHOPS AND PROJECTS

2007
Wall painting made in collaboration with patients from the Centre Hopitalier de
Rouffach psychiatric hospital, near Colmar, FR

2006
Permanent work in the church of S. Volto di Gesù, Rome, IT
Painting workshop with the children of Beslan, 'pocketmuseum', Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Roma (MACRO), Rome, IT

2005
Two permanent wall works for the Hospital of Vladikavkaz, donation of Fondazione
Pastificio Cerere, Protezione Civile Italiana, Ossetia del Nord, RU
Painting workshop with the children of Beslan, Ossetia del Nord, RU

2001
Painting workshop with the children of Sarajevo and Marzabotto, Bologna, IT
Collaboration for performance-video of Alma Sujlievich “Testaccio Fresh-Market” (curated by A. Bonito Oliva), Museo d'Arte Contemporanea di Roma (MACRO), Rome, IT

1999
Workshop for a permanent work at Centro d’Arte Contemporanea of Algers, UNAC, DZ

 

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

2015
Exhibition Catalogue, Il teatro degli artisti, Pietro Ruffo : SOYEZ REALISTES DEMANDEZ L'IMPOSSIBLE

2013
Pietro Ruffo, Choose Your Way To Be Free, Carlo Cambi Editore, IT

2011
Stella Santacatterina, Silvana Editoriale Spa, Exhibition Catalogue, Milan, All Russian Museum of Decorative Applied and Folk Art, Pietro Ruffo: A Complex Instant,
Stefano Stipitivich and Laura Barreca, Exhibition Catalogue, Venice, Caffè Florian, Pietro Ruffo: Negative Liberty

2009
L. Barreca, Exhibition Catalogue, Ravenna MAR Museo d’arte della città, Pietro Ruffo. La gioventù delle colline, in Critica in Arte
Ludovico Pratesi with texts by C. Perrella, A. Rorro, Exhibition Catalogue, Pesaro, Pietro Ruffo. Un’istante complesso
Centro Arti Visive Pescheria, Cinisello Balsamo, Silvana Editoriale, Milan
Mauro Covacich, Exhibition Catalogue, Rome, Auditorium Parco della Musica, Donne di Roma,
Valentina Gensini, Exhibition Catalogue, Silvana Editoriale, Cinisello Balsamo, Milan, Biennale Giovani Monza Serrone, Pietro Ruffo
Lioba Reddeker, Exhibition Catalogue, Salzburg, Hangar 7, Pietro Ruffo. Una forza del Passato

2008
E. Testori, Exhibition Catalogue, Ventimiglia, Museo Archeologico Rossi, Confini
R. Gramiccia, Exhibition Catalogue, Teramo, XIII Biennale d’arte Sacra, MuseoStauros, Le preghiere dei cervi volantiSantuario di San Gabriele
S. Santacatterina, Exhibition Catalogue, London, Testori, An art of unbounded territories

2007
F. Misciattelli, Exhibition Catalogue, Rome, Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, Residenti
P. Colombo  and A. Rorro, Exhibition Catalogue, Rome, Museum of XXI Century Art (MAXXI), Electa Apocalittici e integrati,Utopia nell’arte italiana di oggi
A. Bonito Oliva and A. Capasso, Exhibition Catalogue, Rome, Electa, Architettura del sublime. La chiesa del Santo volto di Gesù

2006
A. Capasso, Exhibition Catalogue, Rome, Studio d’arte contemporanea Pino Casagrande, Beslan doppia mappatura
S. Pegoraro, Exhibition Catalogue, Vasto, XXXIX Premio Vasto d’Arte contemporanea; Teramo, Edigrafital; Vertigini, il fantastico oggettual

2004
M. Alicata and F. Ventrella, Exhibition Catalogue, Rome, Red Bull Music Academy, A temporary art collection
A. Petrilli, Exhibition Catalogue, Benevento, Museo del Sannio, Premio Mario Razzano

2003
E. Testori, Exhibition Catalogue, Milan, Spazio Lavoratorio, Geologia Umana

2001
Associazione A.R.S.I.A.L. - Istituto Giapponese di Cultura in Roma, Duetto All’Italiana, Fujisaki Department, Sendai, JP

 

SELECTED ARTICLES AND REVIEWS

2017
“Interview with Artist Pietro Ruffo”, artandonly.com, June 15

2016
C. A. Bucci, “Ruffo in volo sul mappamondo”, Repubblica, April
F. Pini, “Adesso che l”Europa è assediata riusciremo a unirci attorno a un ideale. E può essere solo quello della cultura”, Sette, April
G. Fantasia, “Pietro Ruffo, l”artista della libertà. Inaugurata a Catania una grande mostra a lui
Dedicate”, Huffington Post, 15 April

2014
“Un tour in Asia. Tra la terza Biennale dello Sri Lanka e l”India Art Fair a New Delhi, c”è anche un po’di Italia”, exibart.com, 24 January

2012
E. Mattiacci, “Pietro Ruffo, un italiano da ventimila euro a Londra”, Investimenti Arte, February
F. Giuliani, “Re-Generation: Roma, tute le forme dell”arte under 35”, La Repubblica, 27 June
E. Sassi, “Re-Generation: I Giovani e I maestri, da Pscali a Boetti”, Corriere Della Sera Roma, 27 June
“Italian artist Pietro Ruffo”s “The Political Gymnasium” at Blain|Southern”, Art Daily, 12 January

2011
S. Santacatterina, “Pietro Ruffo, Art between Invention and Creation”, Third Text, September

2010
R. Spence, “In Celebration of Recent Times”, Financial Times, 12 March, p. 7
Marco Pierini, “Pietro Ruffo – Con la stategia della libellula”, Arte, January, p. 86-91
Giorgio Galotti, “Pietro Ruffo, l”orogenesi di uno studio”, C02 Contemporary News, December / January 

2009
S. Cresci, “Pietro Ruffo”, Flash Art, no. 277, August / September, p. 116
N. Morelli, “Pietro Ruffo. Grasweg Galleria Lorcan O”Neill”, artkey.tv, 12 May
L. Beatrice, “Carte politiche”, Arte, no. 425, January p. 96-100
C. Quintieri, “Nel grembo della razionalità”, Insideart, January, p. 56-58
P. Vagheggi, “Bilanz 2008 Welche Krise?”, Art das Kunstmagazin, January, p. 58
R. Gramiccia, “La libertà è una cosa seria,commento al lavoro di Pietro Ruffo”, esserecomunisti.it, 30 September
M. Di Veroli, “Pietro Ruffo e Lorcan O”Neill unitiper la nuova pittura”, globartmag.com, 25 April
V. Siviero, “Pietro Ruffo”, Espoarte, no. 57, February-March, p. 20-25
R. Gramiccia, “I peggiori ricordi, l”arte non dimentica i morti sul lavoro”, Liberazione, 26 June
R. Gramiccia, “Pietro Ruffo, dietro la sua arte un malessere esistenziale”, Liberazione, 27 May
D. Di Pelino, “Fuori dai bordi intervista con Pietro Ruffo”, artapartofculture.org, 16 June

2008
R. Gramiccia, “Ruffo e i cervi volante”, Stile Arte, no. 121, p. 60
M. Covacich, “Donne di Roma: Carla”, La Repubblica, 1 May
C. Pignatti Morano, “Esplorazioni nell”artecontemporanea a Roma”, Flash Art, no. 269, p. 159
L. Pratesi, “A caccia di artisti emergenti ecco quelli sui quali puntare”, Affari e Finanza, La
Repubblica, 14 January, p. 42

2007
R. Spence, “New temple in the eternal city”, Financial Times, 8 December, p. 18
F. De Sanctis Mangelli, “Dalla Cina a Beslanpassando per Gomorra e Ground zero. Pietro Ruffo”,
Arte e Critica, no. 52, September-November, p. 108
L. Benedetti, “Per un nuovo processo creative”, Arte e Critica, no. 51, June-August, p. 75
P. Pancotto, “La libertà di circolazione delle mercie la schiavitù degli uomini nell”opera di Ruffo”
L”Unità, 5 July
E. Del Drago, “Sguardi di giovani artisti fra ildisincanto e la meraviglia”, Il Manifesto, 10 April

2006
C. Di Lorenzo, “Lo studio di Pietro”, Casamica (Il Corriere della Sera), 4 February, p. 90-91
I. Marotta, “Intervista a Pietro Ruffo”, treccani.it
R. Sleiter, “La “banda” che alla Magliana ha creatouna Chiesa”, Il Venerdì, La Repubblica, 10 March
M. Di Forti, “Roma ha un nuovo volto”, Il Messaggero, 24 March
G. Simongini, “S. Volto di Gesù, fede e modernità”, Il Tempo, 24 March
C. Alberto Bucci, “Luce e pittura in periferia, è natala chiesa degli artisti”, La Repubblica, 24 March
L. Colonnelli, “Otto artisti per una magica cupola”, Il Corriere della Sera, 24 March
S. Vedovotto, “Una nuova casa per il Signore a regola d”arte”, Il Giornale, 24 March
R. Gramiccia, “Un tempio aperto alla gioiadelle arti”, Liberazione, 29 March
B. Di Loreto, “Chiesa della Magliana”, TemaCeleste, no. 115, May / June, p. 131
R. Guidobono, “Beslan doppia mappatura”, Exibart on paper, June / July
P. Barrere, “Santé L”art fait le lien”, L”Alsace, 10 November
P. Guaglianone, “La giovane arte. Intervista a PietroRuffo”, exibart.com, 24 November

2005
M. E. Fiaschetti, “L”arte rinasce in fabbrica”, Il Corriere della Sera, 26 November

2004
R. Gramiccia, “Se potessero palare”, Liberazione, 21 July
L. Filippi, “Una chiacchierata a Filacciano con PietroRuffo”, E-Art magazine, 15 September
G. Schwarz, “Un fiume d”arte a San Lorenzo”, La Repubblica, 19 September

2003
G. Grimaldi, “Ecco la mostra formato europeo”, Il Mattino, 27 November
G. M. Padovani, “Trasferta geologica”, Panorama, 18 December

2001
A. Marenco, “UlanBataar. Nel giugno 2000 un artista romano incontra un”artista della Mongolia”, exibart.com, January

1998
R. Civello, “Molteplicità e unità dell”arte”, Secolo d”Italia, 17 January



PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Deutsche Bank Foundation, US
Hospital of Vladikavkaz, donation of Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, Protezione Civile Italiana, Ossetia del Nord, RU
La Fondazione Pastificio Cerere di Roma, IT
La Fondazione Giuliani, IT
La Depart Foundation, IT
La Fondazione Guastalla, IT
Lodeveans Collection, UK
Il M.A.R. Museo d’arte della città di Ravenna, IT
IL M.A.M.B.O. Museo d’arte moderna di Bologna, IT
MAXXI Museum, Rome, IT
Museo Bilotti Ruggi d'Aragona, Rende, IT
S.Volto di Gesù Church, Rome, IT

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