artist / participant


press release

12 April – 16 October 2022

Amalia Pica. Quasi

Curated by Francesco Stocchi
Assistant curator: Saverio Verini

Fondazione Memmo presents Quasi, Amalia Pica’s first solo exhibition in Italy, running from Tuesday 12 April to Sunday 16 October 2022.

The exhibition, curated by Francesco Stocchi, represents a new chapter in the Argentinean artist’s practice, focusing on the analysis of the strategies implemented in communication and, more generally, on the use of language.

For years, in her drawings, installations, sculptures and performances, Amalia Pica has been exploring the dynamics through which we communicate a feeling or an idea to others. The public is often involved in her works, which invite both intellectual and physical forms of participation. In creating her pieces, the artist adopts everyday objects such as furniture, shoes, bottles and various utensils, used in a paradoxical overturning of semiotics and its rules.

For the exhibition at Fondazione Memmo, Amalia Pica presents a body of new sculptures, a continuation of the Catachresis series, focusing on the rhetorical device. A catachresis is a figure of speech by which we name things using metaphors. These are often connected to the human body. The “table leg”, the “arm of the chair”, the “bottleneck” are a few examples of objects which were selected by Amalia Pica to make these sculptural assemblages. The extension of a word beyond the limits of its meaning reveals how language and images can interact, contributing to the definition of reality. The results comprise hybrid figures, a blend of objects in anthropomorphic or animal forms, thus “quasi” personalities.

And it is precisely this adverb – which expresses a condition that has not been fully achieved – that gives the exhibition its title. Quasi alludes to the intermediate stage of the artist’s sculptures, the outcome of paradoxical and incongruent grafts, through which Pica nevertheless manages to suggest figures and anatomies endowed with an unexpected grace.

All the pieces were created by the artist in Rome over the course of numerous preparatory visits and stays in the city, during which she had the opportunity of working with expert artisanal glassworkers. In fact, glass is an element that often appears in her oeuvre. Her sources of inspiration include the marionettes that she observed in some artisanal workshops and theatres. Unlike the previous sculptures in the Catachresis series, the works shown at Fondazione Memmo present articulations, joints and threads that render them mobile, in a way that recalls the traditional marionettes of “figure theatre”.

In line with Fondazione Memmo’s programme, the artist had the opportunity of becoming acquainted with Rome, its narratives and its artisanal heritage, thus staging a new stage in her work.


Amalia Pica was born in 1978 in Neuquén, Argentina. After training at the Instituto Universitario Nacional del Arte and the Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes P.P. (I.U.N.A.), both in Buenos Aires, she moved to Europe to study at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam, Holland. She currently lives and works in London. Her work has been presented in public and private institutions all over the world.

Her most important solo exhibitions include: Quasi, Fondazione Memmo, Rome (2022); Accumulations and Overlaps, Tanya Bonakdar, Los Angeles; Pisapapeles, Proyectos Ultravioleta, Guatemala City (2021); Round Table (and other forms), Museum Haus Konstruktiv in Zurich (2020); ACCA Sevilla; While inside, Herald St, London (2019); please open hurry, PICA, Perth, and IMA, Brisbane; (un)heard, Cc Foundation, Shanghai (2018); ears to speak of, The Power Plant, Toronto (2017); A ∩ B ∩ C (line), Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2014); Amalia Pica en el MNBA, National Museum of Fine Arts, Neuquén; MCA, Chicago (2013); Amalia Pica, Chisenhale Gallery, London; For Shower Singers, Modern Art Oxford; Chronic Listeners, Kunsthalle San Gallo (2012); babble, blabber, chatter, gibber, jabber, patter, prattle, rattle, yammer, yada yada yada, Malmö Konsthall, Malmö (2010). Some of the group exhibitions in which she has taken part: Fly me to the Moon. The Moon landing: 50 years on, Museum of Modern Art Salzburg and Kunsthaus Zürich; After Leaving | Before Arriving, 12th Kaunas Biennial; The Stage Is Yours, Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma, Helsinki, Finland (2019); 12th Shanghai Biennial, Power Station of Art, Shanghai; Monuments to Us, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Stories of Almost Everyone, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Soundtracks, MoMA, San Francisco; The String Traveller, S.M.A.K., Ghent; Drawing Biennial 2017, The Drawing Room, London; Asamble (performance), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (2017); Manifesta 11, Zurich; Gwangju Biennial (2016); Expanding the Field of Play, Centre Pompidou, Paris; Adventures of the Black Square, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2015); Ruins in Reverse, Tate Modern Project Space, London; When Attitudes Became Form Became Attitudes, Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, Detroit (2013); On Apology, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2012); The Ungovernables, New Museum, New York (2012); ILLUMInations, 54th International Art Exhibition - Venice Biennale (2011).

Her works are included in the collections of museums and foundations such as: Tate, London; Guggenheim, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Fundação De Serralves, Porto; MFA, Boston.


Francesco Stocchi (1975, Rome) is curator of the department of Modern and Contemporary Art at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, and Fondazione Memmo, Rome. In September 2021 he co-curated the 34th edition of the São Paulo Biennial titled Faz escuro mas eu canto (Though it’s dark, still I sing) and in 2022 he is curating the Swiss Pavilion for artist Latifa Echakhch at the Venice Biennale. He is editor-in-chief of Foglio Arte and writes regularly on art and visual culture. He lives in Amsterdam.


Fondazione Memmo was founded in 1990, based on Roberto Memmo’s wish to launch a cultural operation that could bring the general public into contact with the world of art by means of face-to-face contact with masterpieces from all times and from many different civilisations.

From 2012, a project by Fabiana Marenghi Vaselli Bond and Anna d’Amelio Carbone gave rise to a new exhibition programme entirely dedicated to the contemporary art scene.

Fondazione Memmo’s objectives include contributing to the development of the local cultural milieu, encouraging connections with international organisations, nurturing contacts with other institutions and fostering interaction between artists and the city of Rome. The new concept was launched with a solo show by Sara VanDerBeek, followed by Sterling Ruby (2013), Shannon Ebner (2014) and Camille Henrot (2016), all curated by Cloè Perrone; 2017 saw the solo exhibition by Giuseppe Gabellone, curated by Francesco Stocchi, who subsequently also curated exhibitions by German artist Kerstin Brätsch and the duo KAYA, Latifa Echakhch (2019), Oscar Murillo (2021) and Amalia Pica (2022).

In 2015, the group exhibition Conversation Piece, curated by Marcello Smarrelli, was presented, followed by another seven editions organised on an annual basis, with the intention of reviewing the situation regarding the presence of art and artists in Rome (more specifically by involving artists hosted at academies and the international cultural institutes operating in the capital).

In 2019 Fondazione Memmo launched a residency programme in London, in collaboration with Gasworks, dedicated to Italian artists, thus encouraging the meeting, exchange and interaction between artists and institutions from different contexts. The artists involved so far have been Diego Marcon (2020) and Adelaide Cioni (2022).