Joseph Pace was born Morbegno, Lombardy, Italy in 1959 and grew up in Congo. After his studies in Kinshasa and Rome, he moved to Paris in order to pursue his studies in Painting and Sculpture at the Sorbonne University of Paris. He received a Master of Arts from the Sapienza University of Rome and a Specialization from the Roma Tre University. Joseph Pace is a central figure of Filtranisme [Video], the neo-extistentialist philosophical and artistic movement founded in mid-1980s in Paris. Read More. He has been Assistant Professor of Sociology of Knowledge and Art, and History of Sociology at the Sapienza University of Rome (1996-2008).
Pace’s work has been shown in major institutions and museums thought the world. His work was the subject of a major exhibition held at the Boncompagni Decorative Arts Museum of the National Gallery of Modern Art of Rome, Joseph Pace, L’Eva Futura (November 26, 2014 – February 13, 2015) [Video]. In 2018, an exhibition of works by Joseph Pace was on view at the Pantheon in Rome, Basilica of Santa Maria ad Martyres, Polo Museale del Lazio, Joseph Pace, Sacra Sacrorum, The Sacred of the Sacred Things (November 23, 2018 – January 13, 2019) [Video], which travelled to the National Historical Library of Agriculture (March 1 – 29, 2019) [Video]. The Pantheon exhibition received more than one million visitors [Video].
Joseph Pace is widely known for his paintings, and for his iconic sculptures on exhibition for the first time at the Afro Brasil Museum of São Paulo for the FIFA World Cup Brazil 2014 celebrations [Video], O Negro no Futebol Brasileiro. A arte, os artistas (June 13– September 30, 2014), Boncompagni Decorative Arts Museum of the National Gallery of Modern Art of Rome [Read More], Joseph Pace, L’Eva Futura (November 26, 2014 – February 13, 2015), X Florence Biennale [Video] (2015), and Museo Venanzo Crocetti, Joseph Pace, Filtranisme (January 12 – February 23, 2015) [Video].
Others works, previously showed at the Museu de Arte do Parlamento de São Paulo [Video], Teatro de Jaguariuna, Forte Sangallo [Video], Diocesan Museum of Amalfi [Video], CRC in São Paulo, Cà Foscari University of Venice, were on view at the Câmara Municipal of Itapevi, Brazil, Joseph Pace, Entre o Informal e a ‘PoP Art’ (March 1 – 26, 2020), at the Castle of Bari (25 May – 23 November 2019), and Castle of Copertino [Video] (26 November, 2019 – 23 February, 2020), of the Polo Museale della Puglia, Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Libri d’artista. L’arte da leggere. For the 2 June Italian National Day and Republic Day celebrations, Pace’s work was on display at the Italian Embassy in Brasilia [Read More], Arte Italo-Braileira (June 2, August 5, 2013), Octavio Café in São Paulo under the auspices of the Italian Embassy and the ICC Italian Institute of Culture in São Paulo Momento Italia-Brasile: Joseph Pace, Emoçoes [Read More] (June 13, June 27, 2015) , Circolo Italiano of São Paulo [Read More] patronaged by the Instituto de Recuperação do Patrimônio Histórico de São Paulo, Dinamismo Cosmico de Joseph Pace – Italian National Day (June 25, July 30, 2016).
Through the concept of absolute beauty, Pace’s work anticipated future developments in scientific thought, by representing in installation, painting and sculpture the latest neuroscience theories, exploring the complex relationships between algorithms, brain and mind. His work explores and challenges the validity and the limits of the human beliefs systems, and his sculptures dissect the tensions and uncertainties of the hedonism of our time.
The coherence and the originality of Joseph Pace have been well described by Mariastella Margozzi of the National Gallery of Modern Art of Rome, for the Eva Futura Pace’s solo exhibition (November 26, 2014 – February 13, 2015): “Joseph Pace, is one of the the greatest exponents of “Filtranisme” […]. As was for the existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, the filtranisme also is artistically expressed through the work by Joseph Pace. Inspired by sources as diverse as fashion, sport, history, electronic music and decorative arts, the Italian artist uses techniques different (such as painting, assemblage, sculpture, electronic engravings, photography) influenced by the iconography of mass society, philosophy and psychoanalysis. His work gives an artistic and intellectual pathway with which the artist reinterprets many of our psychic realities. His sculptures was created with thousands of pieces of jewelery, mostly vintage, which Pace search all over the world, thus creating a sort of “industrial archeology” research applied to the decoration of the body of our time. Through different techniques, Pace put together different creatives and users generations. This also is, according to the artist, the aim of the filtranisme. Pace’s work is included in many museum and institutions permanent collections.” [Read More]
Joseph Pace has received numerous awards and honors in recognition of his cultural achievements, notably by the Sapienza University of Rome, Brandeis University, University of Konstanz, Italian Sociologists Association, Assembleia Legislativa do Estado de São Paulo, Italian Embassy in Brasilia, Instituto de Recuperação do Patrimônio Histórico de São Paulo.
Pace’s first figurative work (African-influenced-period 1979-1989) changed significantly towards abstract in Paris when he began to work the “Paysages Filtranistes”, dedicated to the relation between art, knowledge, brain and mind (1985-1990). In the late ’80s the encounter with Kurt Heinrich Wolff, of the Brandeis University, signaled Joseph Pace road leading from the figurative-abstract painting to that of the abstract expressionism.
Pace earned renown in the mid-1990s for his large-scale abstract ATONS painting series (inspired to indeterminacy in Contemporary Classic Music, and Techno Music) and IDM painting series, characterized by simple, almost primitive symbols, and on this virtual horizon, Pace often paints decisive and clear vertical strokes of pure red color. He was once described in the Diario da Assembleia Legislativa of São Paulo as an “Artist of vital dynamism and cosmic force.”
Today Joseph Pace works are created with a refined and aestheticizing language, made with thousands of pieces of mostly vintage costume jewelery, which he recovers from the residues of industrial production in every part of the world, thus also creating a sort of research in industrial archeology applied to the decoration of the bodies of our times.
Sapienza University of Rome
University of Konstanz
Micol Fontana Foundation
Ministry of Education, University and Research
Ministry of Interior (Unesco) and Ministry of Justice (Unidroit)
William Thomas Center Studies
ANS Associazione Nazionale Sociologi (Italian National Sociologist Association)
Artist active for peace, culture and education, Joseph Pace is the author of unpublished dramas and short stories about the war (“Raimond n’est pas retourn”, “I racconti dal pozzo”, “Twice!”).
In 2020 he appears in Tunisia in the film of Gianni Amelio ‘Hammamet’.