Salvatore Scarpitta


  • Edited by Luigi Sansone, Lawrence Rinder, Anne-Marie Russell
  • Binding Hardcover
  • Size 21 x 26 cm
  • Pages 116
  • Illustrations 67 colour illustrations
  • Language English
  • Year 2011
  • ISBN 9788836621712
  • Price € 30,00  € 28,50
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Trajectory tracks the career of Salvatore Scarpitta – Italian-American artist, born in New York City in 1919 – within the context of his artist circle, from Post-War Rome to NY and the Castelli Gallery to his 30 year influence as a professor at Maryland Institute College of Art. The catalogue presents 60 works by Scarpitta from 1958 to 2000, encompassing his journey through wrap paintings, race cars and sleds, in the company of works by his peers and students from Manzoni, Kline and Rauschenberg to Koons, Rubins and Puryear.

It includes essays by Luigi Sansone, Anne-Marie Russell, and Lawrence Rinder.

Salvatore Scarpitta was born in New York City in 1919 and spent his childhood in Hollywood, CA where he fostered a love of dirt track racing. He moved to Italy in 1936 to study painting. In the 1950’s, in an effort to purge the trauma of The War, Scarpitta began his revolutionary structured and bandaged paintings.

Returning to New York, Scarpitta was at the center of the avant-garde art scene striking up friendships with Norman Bluhm, Willem de Kooning, Philip Guston, Frederick Kiesler, David Smith,  and many of the Castelli Gallery artists. The 1970’s marked the next great development in his work: the sled. It was the car in a distilled form – the chassis without the wheels, an object for dragging your memories and feelings while simultaneously connoting a sense of adventure. From 1965 to 2001 Scarpitta taught at Maryland Institute College of Art. Beyond school walls his influence is still experienced today through a generation of younger artists like Jeff Koons, Matthew Barney, Martin Puryear, Nancy Rubins, Julian Schnabel and Not Vital.

Salvatore Scarpitta’s work has been exhibited in four Venice Biennales, two Rome Quadriennales, The Museum of Modern Art, P.S.1, The New Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Hirshhorn Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Corcoran Gallery of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Detroit Institute of the Arts, Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Institute of Contemporary Arts, Philadelphia, Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Padiglione d'Arte Contemporanea, Milan, among others.

New York, May - June, 2011