Caroline Mesquita – Art Club #37

From March 24 to May 14, 2023
Curator: Pier Paolo Pancotto

In partnership with the gallery T293

Since its creation in 2016, the Art Club series has brought together works by international contemporary artists with the centuries-old heritage of the Académie de France in Rome. Taking the form of visual and plastic interventions scattered throughout the Villa Medici (loggias, gardens, salons), the Art Club series renews the experience of visiting a place where eras intermingle and unexpected connections arise. For the first meeting of the series in 2023, Villa Medici welcomes the French artist Caroline Mesquita. Her sculptural work, which is also based on video installation and performance, will be exhibited in the Citerne of the Villa Medici, from March 24 to May 14, 2023.

Caroline Mesquita presents for this Art Club a selection of seven plastic compositions and three videos created in 2022 and inspired by the vast ancient sculptural repertoire of Rome and the Villa Medici.

They are eight “masks” in patinated brass inspired by human faces (Romeo, Silvia, Billy, Georgia, Giorgio) or animals (Oiseau, Ippo, Toro). Translating their profiles and expressions into geometric solutions, Caroline Mesquita reworks these heads in her own way in an approach inspired by the artists of the avant-garde, between cubism, constructivism, surrealism and Bauhaus. These creations also recall the faces, portraits and busts of the Villa Medici which resonate with the contemporary faces of the artist.

She also proposes a selection of videos where the characters, halfway between men and machines, resemble bio-mechanical creatures. These video creations could be described as “retro-futuristic”: they use the codes of science fiction but with a patina of another time. Another characteristic element of these works is the theatrical and cinematographic tone that Caroline Mesquita imbues in the banal scenes of everyday life that she represents, by juxtaposing a large number of references.

Like the masks presented in this Art Club, these video creations address a set of themes that have been at the heart of the artist’s creative journey since the beginning.


Caroline Mesquita is a French artist with diverse modes of expression: sculptures, video installations, performances, visual arts… Drawing from a visual repertoire where science fiction and everyday life converge, she creates her own iconographic and iconological vocabulary to address contemporary reality.

In 2017, she participated in the Nuit blanche of Villa Medici and won the Ricard Corporate Foundation Prize and, in 2013, the Joseph Ebstein Sculpture Prize. Her work has been presented in monographic exhibitions, such as Portraits at T293 (Rome, 2022), In vivo at Pivô (São Paulo, 2020) or Night Engines at Centre Pompidou (Paris, 2018). She has also exhibited at internationally recognized institutions, including La Loge (Voici des fleurs, Brussels, 2018) and the Palais de Tokyo (Futur, Ancien, Fugitif, Paris, 2019).


Pier Paolo Pancotto has been the curator of the Art Club exhibition programme at Villa Medici since 2016. Previously, he curated the Fortezzuola series of exhibitions at the Museo Pietro Canonica in Rome in 2016-2018

He organised exhibition projects at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art in London, Galleria nazionale d’arte in Tirana, Lateral Art Space in Cluj, Galleria nazionale d’arte moderna in Rome, Museo H. C. Andersen, Rome, Museo Carlo Bilotti, Rome, Nomas Foundation, Rome, Casa Scatturin, Venice and La Fondazione, Rome. His works include: Artiste a Roma nella prima metà del ‘900 (2006); Arte contemporanea: dal minimalismo alle ultime tendenze (2010); Arte contemporanea. Il nuovo millennio (2013).

Launched in 2016 under the curatorship of Pier Paolo Pancotto, the Art Club series presents the work of international contemporary artists at Villa Medici in a spirit of openness to the most varied forms of creation. Among the artists recently exhibited: Giuseppe Penone, Katinka Bock, Mircea Cantor, Namsal Siedlecki, Achraf Touloub, Arcangelo Sassolino, Julius von Bismarck, Marinella Senatore, Lili Reynaud-Dewar, Cyprien Gaillard…

Photo credits:
Cover image: Caroline MESQUITA, Billy, 2022, patinated brass 43 ¼ × 27 ½ × 13 ¾ inches. Courtesy of the artist and T293, Rome. © Luana Rigolli
Caroline MESQUITA, Romeo, 2022, patinated brass 45 ¼ × 37 × 9 ½ inches. Courtesy of the artist and T293, Rome. © Luana Rigolli
Caroline MESQUITA, Toro, 2022, patinated brass 24 × 22 × 9 ⅞ inches. Courtesy of the artist and T293, Rome. © Luana Rigolli

Portrait of Caroline Mesquita: © Elina Belou

Portrait of Pier Paolo Pancotto: © Daniele Molajoli