Sarah Tortora (b. 1988) is a visual artist based in Philadelphia. She received an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 2013, and served as a Lecturer of Contemporary Art at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia while in attendance. From 2016-2018, Sarah mounted solo exhibitions at NAPOLEON (Philadelphia, PA), GRIN (Providence, RI), Reynolds Fine Art (New Haven, CT), and CAS Arts Center (Livingston Manor, NY). Sarah has been an artist in residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, and Ox-Bow School of Art, among others. She was the 2015-2016 Alice C. Cole ’42 Fellow in Studio Art at Wellesley College, and from 2017-2018 was a yearlong artist-in-residence as the Visual Arts Coordinator at the Vermont Studio Center.

Tortora’s work frequently incorporates the imagistic potential of sculpture, by acting on an innate bodily alignment with “fronts” and “backs.” These prop-like sculptures become sites for projection: as facsimiles of archetypal objects, impostors of icons, or signs to communicate the structure of their own presentation. Her work accepts the premise that every equestrian monument is truly a Trojan horse, and by passively consuming sculptural archetypes, we passively place precedence on postured narratives of history.

At Jiwar, Tortora has been researching and photographing ways that images and text, through public signage, appear to collide or disjoin with Catalan Modernist architecture. She is rethinking the processes by which she has typically made sculpture (starting with a constructed object and inscribing painting upon it), and instead, is starting with images to be displayed structurally. After long walks through Barcelona each day, Sarah has been teaching herself processes of woodcut and linoleum relief printmaking in her Jiwar studio.