Situated in Basilicata, Italy, Castello di San Basilio was built as a fortified farm by the monastic community of the Basilians in the 7th century. It later became a Norman fiefdom and as a consequence took on the phys- ical resemblance of a castle with the construction of the central tower. It is currently owned by the Berlingie- ri-Leopardi family who are making their own contribution to this historic place, using it, since the late 60s as a foundation to house their collection of contemporary art works.
On the occasion of Matera, European Capital of Culture, the Berlingieri-Leopardi family will transform the property into a project space dedicated to artistic experimentation and collaboration, inviting artists and cura- tors to work together on the development of new artistic discourses.
Oren Pinhassi’s sculptures and installations collapse traditional categories of architecture, nature and body. His work conjures public and private spaces associated with the body, socialising, and in particular gay cruising spots. Pinhassi’s primary material is a pigmented plaster/sand composite, which he uses to painstakingly build up his objects methodically.
Yet whilst they are familiar, recalling modernism in their uniformity and semblance of concrete, Pinhassi’s queered environments propose an altogether more fluid space - one in which rigid delineations no longer exist.
Oren Pinhassi graduated from the Yale School of Art in 2014. Recent solo shows include Second Nature at Edel Assanti, London, 2018; One in the mouth and one in the heart at Skibum MacArthur, Los Angeles, 2018; This is Not a Prop at David Zwirner in New York, 2018. Springs at the Petach Tikva Museum of Art, Israel, 2017. Completed residencies include Outset Contemporary Art Fund’s Bialik Residency, 2017, the Shandanken Pro- ject at Storm King Sculpture Park, New York, 2016 and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine, 2014. Pinhassi has been awarded numerous prizes including Pollock-Krasner grant, 2019; Fannie B. Pardee Prize, Yale School of Art, 2014; The Art Slant Prize, 2014; Shlomo Witkin Prize, 2011 and the Excel- lence Program Scholarship, Israeli Ministry of Education, 2011. Pinhassi lives and works in New York City.