Selected Previous Critiques


“Matteo Pugliese… immediately struck me with the courage of his unconventionality... he loves to travel against the current. Not only in the sense that he thinks of creating new works, a feeling that is common to all artists, but above all in the sense that he realizes, and I would say without limits or brakes, all that his imagination suggests…”


Gino di Maggio 

b. 1940, Founder and President of the Fondazione Mudima de Milan



“…This is Matteo Pugliese, a sculptor of absolute and rigorous integrity in his career, which is precisely that of retracing the paths of the great sculptors in the history of art, from Rodin to Medardo, to Martini… yet this contamination of languages… which are revealed on a formal level and in many titles of his works, constitute an extraordinary mixture and very original of new and visionary sculptural concepts, where the ancient modelling is combined without too many subtleties, but with a fantastic imagery that is completely contemporary, capable of constantly bringing into play the intelligence of its fervent direction…”


Gabriella Belli 

b.1952, Italian art historian and curator, Director of Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia



“…Matteo Pugliese is divided between opposites that are distant and hard to reconcile and he never tries to meld them together… He likes to show, face to face, the two sides of the same medal: realism and fantasy, concreteness and credulity, elegance and exaggeration…


…he builds individuals that, with the figure wrenched from the stone and wall, as in the unfinished works by Michelangelo, have on their side the perfect completeness of form. Limbs that are exactly proportioned, toned and sculpted muscles, faces that are made hyper-expressive by the pain of physical effort, in a whole that presents man as he should be at the zenith of his perfection: characterized by a will capable of defeating the resistance of elements and raw matter…”


Maurizio Sciaccaluga

1963-2007, one of the most important art critics for contemporary art in Italy. He contributed articles for the most influential art magazines in Italy including Arte, Flash Art, Flash Art International, Tema Celeste.



“Memories with 'special effects', a physically powerful presence, but at the same time intimate, symbolic and transcendental: these are the explosive ingredients of the sculpture of Matteo Pugliese…


…Matteo Pugliese shares the thoughts of Gustav Mahler, ‘Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire’. In this way, the artist has preserved the primary essence of the sculptural modelling with all its symbolic power, but has infused it with a contemporary lifeblood…


…The anxiety and distress of mankind today, depicted so clearly in the Extra Moenia series can perhaps be placated and purified through the resolute strength of the guardians and the chain of memories borne by the beetles with tenacity and perseverance. This is the aspiration of the works by Matteo Pugliese.”


Gabriele Simongini 

b. 1963, Italian art historian and art critic, professor at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma



“…formal and linguistic contamination is the masterful pastiche that makes his sculpture absolutely figurative and at the same time absolutely contemporary... Wielding a craftsman’s manual mastery, Pugliese experiments with materials and techniques to formulate aesthetic languages that transcend a mere show of skill…


…The imposing busts, contracted limbs, important heads make up figures of up-to-date incarnations of the myth of Sisyphus, who interpret metaphorically the absurdity of the meaning of life. The wall is origin and end, and obstacle to be overcome and a reason for being…”


Luca Beatrice 

b.1961, Italian art critic and curator, lecturer in Contemporary Art History at Turin's Accademia Albertina