Giuseppe Modica was born in Mazara del Vallo, Sicily, in 1953.
He showed a very early interest in painting, and when he was only fourteen he produced his first works, still life in which there is already tension toward a "metaphysics" of everyday things.
In 1972 he enrolled in the faculty of Architecture at the University of Palermo, and the following year he moved to Florence, where he developed an intense and fruitful acquaintance with “the museums” and attended the Academy of Fine Arts, where he graduated in 1978.
In January 1973 Modica started his career with a solo exhibition in Mazara del Vallo, and in June of the same year his second one was in Palermo.
His first personal exhibition in Florence took place at the Galleria La Stufa, in 1976. In the introduction of the catalogue the art critic Elvio Natali already wrote about “metaphysics”.
In 1978, after completing his studies, Modica decided to stay in Florence to carry on his artistic research. These were very difficult years, during which he survived only thanks to the support of a few art enthusiasts friends and collectors. These were also years of experimenting for Modica, as he structured his particular pictorial expression: the balance and the essential rigour that will be fundamental and vital elements of his future work.
In 1976 he met his wife Carla, who has since then always been by his side.
Between 1982 and 1984 Modica set up other exhibitions in Florence and he won the attention of the most respected and attentive Tuscan critics: Pier Carlo Santini, Tommaso Paloscia, Renzo Federici and Giuseppe Nicoletti.
In this period he participates in the Basel International Art Fair "Art 13 Basel" and the next edition of "Art 14 Basel" with the Inter Art Galerie Reich in Köln. In 1985 he met the painter Bruno Caruso who wrote a significant essay for the first Modica's exhibition in the Roman Gallery “Incontro d’arte”. The exhibition was the starting point of a dialogue with scholars who later supported his work: Dario Micacchi, Enzo Bilardello, Guido Giuffrè and others.
On that occasion he met Maurizio Fagiolo dell’Arco, who has since then closely followed Modica’s artistic progress.
In 1986 Modica prepares a solo exhibition at the Gallery "La Tavolozza" of Palermo, during which he was introduced to the writer Leonardo Sciascia, who expressed interest and appreciation for his work and writes an article in the "Corriere della Sera", a page of great clarity, revealing and prophetic of new truth in Modica's research.
In 1987 Modica moved to Rome. In 1989 he won the competitive examination for the chair of Painting at the Academies of Fine Arts, and is currently full professor of Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome.
In the same year he met the critic Vittorio Sgarbi, who described the importance and the creativity of Modica’s works in “L’ammodicazione del sogno”, a text written for his personal exhibitions at “La Tavolozza” in Palermo and at “Jannone” in Milan.
More critics noticed Modica’s work: among others Marcello Venturoli, Sebastiano Grasso, Giorgio Soavi, Claudio Strinati.
In 1990 Modica is invited to the international exhibition “Triennale dell'incisione” in Milan. His first retrospective exhibition took place in 1991 at the Tour Fromage in Aosta, where he was invited by Janus, at that time director of the prestigious International Museum of Contemporary Art.
For that exhibition Maurizio Fagiolo dell’Arco wrote the essay The restless rooms in the catalog published by Fabbri. The text is fundamental to understand Modica’s painting. Fagiolo dell’Arco analysed deeply and originally Modica’s work: he highlighted the complex aspects of the themes: artifice, light, memory, sicilitude, geometry, mirroring, technique.
Through Maurizio Fagiolo, Modica met Alfredo Paglione, at that moment director of the “Galleria Trentadue” in Milan, with whom he created a successful cooperation and a lasting friendship.
Modica made another significant acquaintance in 1992, when he met the writer Antonio Tabucchi, who wrote the short story “Le vacanze di Bernardo Soares”, that accompanied a set of Modica’s engravings published by Sciardelli in Milan.
In 1993, on invitation by Franco Farina, he presented a retrospective exhibition in Ferrara, at the Palazzo dei Diamanti. On this occasion a text was written by Maurizio Fagiolo and a poem by Cesare Vivaldi.
Between 1994 and 1995 Modica participates at the XXXIV and XXXV Premio Suzzara at the Civic Gallery of Contemporary Art, and at the XXVII Premio Vasto. He inaugurates as part of ARGAM events, invited by Benito Recchilongo, a solo show at Andrè Gallery in Rome.
In 1996 Modica is present at the exhibition of contemporary art paintings Il Sentimento e la forma set up by Marco Goldin in Treviso and he exhibites in Milan with a personal, focused on the theme of the mirror, at the Appiani Art Gallery 32, with an essay by Marco Di Capua.
In 1997-1998 an exhibition of selected works took place at the Casa dei Carraresi in Treviso and highlighted the most significant aspects of Modica’s development from 1980 onwards. The curator was Marco Goldin, and the catalogue, published by Marsilio, included texts by Guido Giuffre', Massimo Onofri, Claudio Strinati and Luigi Burzotta. In the same year, at the Palazzo Spadaro in Scicli, Modica prepared a personal exhibition curated by Paopo Nifosì, Un metafisico nella terra dei fenici. Also in 1998, curated by Carmine Siniscalco, with a text by Maria Teresa Benedetti he inaugurated a solo exhibition at Studio S in Rome.
In 1999 he was invited to the 13th Quadriennal Exhibition of Arts in Rome’s Palazzo delle Esposizioni.
In 2001 Modica participates on invitation to the 28th Premio Sulmona and to the 8th International Biennial of Contemporary Art in Il Cairo, in addition to exhibiting with several solo exhibitions in Messina, Rome and Palermo.
In 2002 his hometown, Mazara del Vallo, paid homage to him with an exhibition of selected works La luce e' la luce e' la luce.
Maurizio Fagiolo dell’Arco was the curator and the catalogue was published by Umberto Allemandi. In the sane year he was invited to the 53rd Premio Michetti Italia-Argentina.
In 2003 Modica participated in important international exhibition Novecento Siciliano in Minsk, Moscow, Barcelona, Palermo.
In 2004 Superintendent Claudio Strinati, with the sponsorship of the Roman Museums, organised in the Vittoriano the retrospective exhibition Riflessione come metafora della pittura. Opere 1989-2003, with a catalogue published by Umberto Allemandi.
In the same year another retrospective exhibition Piero ed altri enigmi was dedicated to Modica by the Arezzo Civic Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. The curator was Giovanni Faccenda, and the exhibition was focused on the enigmatic and arcane relationship between Modica’s works and the sublime legacy of Piero della Francesca.
In Comiso Modica partecipated in the exhibition Lo sguardo italiano, ventidue artisti per Bufalino sponsorized by the Gesualdo Bufalino Foundation.
In 2005 another retrospective exhibition L’enigma del tempo e l’alchimia della luce, curator Aldo Gerbino, was held in Palermo, at the Loggiato di San Bartolomeo.
In 2007 Modica's retrospective exhibition La realta' dell’illusione, curator Guido Giuffrè, was held in Marsala, Sicily, sponsored by the Presidency of that region and by the institution “Ente Mostre d’Arte Contemporanea Citta' di Marsala”. In the same year Modica was invited to the exhibition Arte Italiana in Palazzo Reale in Milan by Vittorio Sgarbi.
In 2008, in the National Museum of Palazzo Venezia in Rome, Modica presents the exhibition Roma e la città riflessa with works from 1999 to 2008; the city views are represented through their mirror image, in a sequence of fragments that make up and break down into rhythms of color, light and dark. In 2009 after a series of group exhibitions, is to advise the solo exhibition Blu Modica, curated by Marco Di Capua, Catalogue Silvana Editoriale, at the Cultural Center Le Muse in Andria.
After many years of absence, in 2010, Modica returns to exhibit in Milan, with the personal Metafisica di luce to Frederico Rui Contemporary Art Space-Crocevia, with a text by Gabriele Simongini.
In the same year he organizes the retrospective exhibition Inseguire la pittura - Giuseppe Modica works 1999-2010, edited by Laura Gavioli in Potenza, Galleria Civica of Palazzo Loffredo.
In 2011, reported by the literary critic and writer Massimo Onofri, he was invited by Vittorio Sgarbi at the 54th International Contemporary Art Biennale in Venice, Italy Pavilion, Arsenale Corderie.
In the same year he participated in the group exhibition Ermetiche apparenze. Metafisica e pittura by Giovanni Faccenda in Cultural Centre Le Muse, Andria.
In 2012 Modica created 12 plates watercolors to illustrate the Manzoniana Agenda 2012, on the Carichieti Foundation committee and he organized an exhibition of the same plates to De' Mayo Museum in Chieti and to the House of the Manzoni in Milan.
He was invited to the 15th Biennial of Sacred Art, to the Museum Stauros in Isola del Gran Sasso. He was invited to the birth of the New Museum of Contemporary Art at the Shrine of Divino Amore in Rome. In the same year it is to report the exhibition: Dopo de Chirico. Artisti metafisici italiani contemporanei at the Panorama Museum in Bad Frankenhausen. In 2013 Modica won the 64th Michetti Prize "The necessary beauty". In the same year it is to report the solo show at Elle Art Gallery in Palermo with significant critical essay by Sergio Troisi. Then he is invited to a unique traveling exhibition 10 artists to Edgar Lee Masters, edited by Marco Fazzini, in homage to the collection of poems Spoon River, in Cultural Centre Le Muse, Andria; City Library, Pordenone; Civic Gallery Ricci Oddi, Piacenza.
In 2014 the Italian Embassy in Australia in Canberra exposes permanently three important Modica's works and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Palazzo della Farnesina, includes three works of the most significant of his research, in the Contemporary Art Collection. In the same year Modica prepares a personal exhibition Luce di Roma by Roberto Gramiccia at the Galleria La Nuova Pesa; it is a selection of works of the most significant from 2005 to 2014 whose common denominator is the light and the city of Rome.
Almost simultaneously in the Catania Art Gallery opens another important personnel Misteri di luce by Francesco Gallo; are works between 2007 and 2014 investigating the Mediterranean light in its sublime essence. At the Cultural Centre Le Muse of Andria, by the philosopher Rocco Ronchi, it opens a unique exhibition Arte ed eresia that unites a select group of the protagonists of contemporary history of art, not comparable to the orthodox currents: Bulzatti, Ferroni, Guarienti, Guccione, Kopp, Luino, Mattioli, Modica, Savinio, Tornabuoni, Riva.
An important recognition comes to Modica also from China with the first prize (gold medal) in the "International Festival of Nanjing Art" with the acquisition of the paint for of the festival Museum.
In 2015 Modica opened his first solo exhibition in Paris by Giovanni Lista with the text "The mélancolie onirique de Giuseppe Modica" to Jean Sifrein gallery. In December 2015 and January 2016 Modica participated in the exhibition Blue Vision-Italy contemporary art in China in Chongqing Museum Art Gallery in Zhongshan Industrial Park.
May 6, 2016, edited by Marcello Fagiolo is inaugurated, under the patronage of Orestiadi Foundation, of the Diocese of Mazara del Vallo and the City of Gibellina the Triptych La Crocefissione di luce specially painted to be placed in the Mother Church by Ludovico Quaroni.