LUCA REFFO lives and works between Milan and Venice. The media he uses include oil painting, mixed media, photography and assemblage.
He currently teaches Painting, Atelier 12, and Design Laboratory for Painting at the Venice Academy of Fine Arts. He is co-founder of Départ Pour l’Image Editions.


Essentially, I conceive the image as something immaterial, close to a feeling or a hallucination, even before as a form with weight, size or time. Comparing image and its formal realization, a fertile scenario becomes clear where the change of possibilities and definition of the work takes place. My research aims to harmoniously develop that change within the relationship between visible and invisible.
I think that painting is the ideal vehicle to look beyond appearances, to tell without describing anything. I am fascinated by the possibility of amplifying the evocative dimension of the image.

I use very thin layers of oil colours in search of a pictorial surface being sensitive and permeable to the phantasmal attitude of each image. I conceive creative activity as a balancing act: through the tension inside the work, I look for an enigmatic and dense but also clear and sudden form. In order to find that fleeting form, my artwork is based on a synthesis of the subject by drawing it, and then on the colour shades which make the painting adhere to the original feeling. Painting is a spiritual job. Each painting is a mirror. It is always a human even before cultural adventure.

My subjects arise from reflections on existential, social, scientific or political themes: I imagine them as temporary stations of a map, drawn by systems of references and concepts which I illustrate as a story. I try to expand the narrative and dialectic dimension of the image working on variations of subjects and themes, in close relation to the exhibition staging. My goal is, through influence of analogies and associations, to achieve the synthesis of interpretive possibilities leading to the generation of new forms. LR


SOLO EXHIBITIONS (selection since 2000)

2019 444 / Celestial Means of Locomotion, curated by Luca Reffo and Artphilein Editions, Spazio Choisi, Lugano (CH)

2018 Vanishing Point, Siam 1886 / miFac, Milan (Italy) (cat.)

2016 Silent Giants, PFAM, Berceto (Italy)

2014 No Less, curated by Camilla Martinelli, Kunsthalle Eurocenter Lana, Merano (Italy)

2012 Close to Me, curated by Marco Meneguzzo, Galleria Rubin, Milan (Italy)

2012 Looking Within, Robert Kananaj Gallery, Toronto (Canada)

2011 The Secret Week, Casa Studio Ballestrazzi, Rolli Days, Genoa (Italy)

2008 Shine on Crime, Galleria Rubin, Milan (Italy)

2007 Untitled, Squinterno Festival, Berceto (Italy)

2005 Dream Before the Dreamer, City Point, London, (United Kingdom)

2001 Luca Reffo, Galleria Tecné, Ponte di Brenta, Padua (Italy)

2000 Invasioni da Camera, Palazzo Parafava dei Carraresi, Padua (Italy) (cat.)


GROUP EXHIBITIONS (selection since 1994)

2020 Non-Gasoline Stations, Curated by: Caterina De Pietri, Spazio Choisi 01 e Artphilein Library, i2a Istituto Internazionale di Architettura, Limonaia, Villa Saroli, Lugano (CH)

2018 BYOPAPER!, Papeteries Étienne, Les Rencontres d’Arles, Arles (France)

2016 Dante e l’arte contemporanea, Palazzo Giacomelli, Treviso (Italy)

2015 AAF/Fair, ES Gallery, Milan (Italy)

2015 Quanto mi dai se mi sparo? curated by Camilla Martinelli in collaboration with Kunsthalle Eurocenter Lana (Bolzen), The Workbench, Milan (Italy)

2013 Arte in Sarpi, curated by Rossella Farinotti, Milan (Italy)

2013 Extended, Robert Kananaj Gallery, Toronto (Canada)

2012 The Italian Job, Pintura Italiana Contemporánea, Galeria Patricia Acal, Madrid (Spain)

2012 Roma Contemporary/Art Fair, Galleria Rubin, Rome (Italy) (cat.)

2012 AAM /Art Fair, Galleria Rubin, Milan (Italy) (cat.)

2011 Il Soggetto Sconosciuto, curated by Emanuele Beluffi and Marco Aion Mangani, BTF
Gallery, Bologna (Italy) (cat.)

2011 The Others/Fair, Podbielski Contemporary Berlin, Turin (Italy)

2011 The Best of Terzo Rinascimento, Famiglia Margini, Milan (Italy) (cat.)

2010 Figure con Variazione, Rubin Gallery, Milan (Italy)

2010 Terzo Rinascimento, Linguaggi della sensibilità ibrida, curated by Famiglia Margini, Galleria
Nazionale delle Marche, Palazzo Ducale, Urbino (Italy) (cat.)

2010 Terzo Rinascimento, Linguaggi della sensibilità ibrida, curated by Famiglia Margini and
ÀCAOS, Galleria Civica di Arte Contemporanea, Castello Normanno and Palazzo Russo, Aci Castello, Catania (Italy) (cat.)

2009 MiArt/Fair, Galleria Rubin, Milan (Italy)

2009 Scope Basel Art Show/Fair, Galleria Rubin, Basel (Switzerland)

2009 Di cielo in cielo, curated by di Nila Shabnam Bonetti, Piazza del Duomo, Milan (Italy)

2009 Arte Fiera Bergamo/Fair, Galleria Rubin, Bergamo (Italy)

2008 Kunst Zürich/Fair, Galleria Rubin, Zürich (Switzerland)

2008 Summer Group Show, Galleria Rubin, Milan (Italy)

2008 KunstArt08/Fair, Galleria Rubin, Bolzano (Italy)

2007 VIII Rassegna Internazionale d’Arte Contemporanea, VittorioArte, Vittorio Veneto (Italy) (cat.)

2006 Teacher’s Exhibition, Ex Convento di San Francesco, Museo Storico, Bergamo (Italy) (cat.)

2005 VI Rassegna Internazionale d’Arte Contemporanea, VittorioArte, Vittorio Veneto (Italy) (cat.)

2001 Eclectica Gallery, Mestre, Venice (Italy)

2001 III Rassegna Internazionale d’Arte Contemporanea, VittorioArte, Vittorio Veneto (Italy) (cat.)

1996 Nuove Figure, Totem Gallery, Venice (Italy) (cat.)

1994 Produzione e lettura dell’opera, curated by Pietro Roccasecca and Cesare Pietroiusti by
 Abbastanza Normale, Tuscania, Viterbo (Italy)



2019 A conversation with Luc Tuymans, curated by Luca Reffo in collaboration with Pinault Collection – Palazzo Grassi, Venice Academy of Fine Art and Départ Pour l’Image

2019 Francesco Albano / Humoral Fortuities, solo exhibition, curated by Luca Reffo at Ditta Salvatore Parlato Tessuti, Palermo, (IT)

2019 Daniele Franzella / An Inventory Of, solo exhibition, curated by Luca Reffo at RizzutoGallery, Palermo, (IT)

2019 ATELIER 12 / Exhibition + Publication / Départ Pour L’Image Edition, curated by Prof. Luca Reffo, 9th edition of Art Night Venezia, conceived and coordinated by the University Ca’ Foscari of Venice in collaboration with the City of Venice, Venice Academy of Fine Arts (IT)

2019 Exhibition and text / Le parole e le immagini / Progetto Aziz, curated with prof. Diana Ferrara, Venice Academy of Fine Arts (IT)

2018 Text / Sébastien Normand, Par delà la nuit, Départ Pour L’Image Edition.

2018 Exhibition and text /  Arkhypélagos, curated in collaboration with Nicola Cisternino, Fondazione Luigi Nono, Emergency and Venice Academy of Fine Arts, Emergency, Venice (IT).

2018 Exhibition and text / Other Lands, Angela Italiano solo show, Palazzo Vescovile, Monteforte d’Alpone, Verona (IT).

2018 Educational project / Drawing Marino, Atelier 12, Venice Academy of Fine Arts, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice (IT).



2020 Zines, Église, Palermo (Italy)

2019 Gallery Weekend at Podbielski Contemporary / Dal libro alla mostra, dalla mostra al libro, with Luca Reffo and Giulia Zorzi, Podbielski Contemporary, Milan (Italy)

2019 Fotografia Europea, [parentesi]‘s talks, book presentation, 444 / Celestial Means of Locomotion in collaboration with Départ Pour l’Image, Chiostri di San Pietro, Reggio Emilia (Italy)



2018 BYOPAPER!, Papeteries Étienne, 49th Rencontres d’Arles, Arles (F)



1996, summa cum laude in Painting, Venice Academy of Fine Arts.