Q & A with Stephanie D'Alessandro, Curator of Modern Art at the Art Institute on the new exhibit Picasso and Chicago

February 15, 2013 | By Laurence Geannopulos

Q & A with Stephanie D'Alessandro, Gary C. and Frances Comer Curator of Modern Art at the Art Institute on the new exhibit Picasso and Chicago opening on February 20, 2013 in Chicago.

Q1: How did Chicago end up forging a long relationship with Picasso?

It is clear in even the briefest of histories that Chicago played a critical, early role in the reception and development of modern art in the United States. While the career of Pablo Picasso is just one of many examples, it is nonetheless an extraordinary story that began in 1913 at the Armory Show: some of the most significant events in the reception of his art—including the first presentation of Picasso’s works at an American art museum, the first solo show devoted to the artist outside a commercial gallery, and the first permanent display of his work in an American museum—all happened in Chicago and all within just the first two decades of the last century. This exhibition and catalogue “Picasso and Chicago” celebrate the special hundred-year relationship of Pablo Picasso, the preeminent artist of the twentieth century, and our city. The chronology documents the events of Picasso’s career and the growth of Chicago’s cultural institutions, and the storied moments of overlap that have contributed not only to the vibrant interest in Picasso today but also to the presence of nearly four hundred works by the artist in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Q2: What makes this new exhibition so special?

It is the first major Picasso exhibition organized by the Art Institute of Chicago in 30 years. This presentation features over 250 of the finest examples of Picasso’s paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, and ceramics from private collections throughout Chicago and the Art Institute’s own exceptional holdings. The Art Institute’s collection includes such important paintings as the classically inspired Mother and Child (1921) and the Surrealist Red Armchair (1931). The museum will also offer a full slate of programs that bring Picasso to life. Highlights include a lecture by Adam Gopnik of The New Yorker and a symposium featuring Michael FitzGerald, Janine Mileaf and Diana Widmaier Picasso, an expert on the artist’s sculpture.

The exhibition is accompanied by a handsome catalogue, Picasso and Chicago: 100 Years, 100 Works written by Stephanie D'Alessandro, the Gary C. and Frances Comer Curator of Modern Art at the Art Institute  with 106 color and nine black-and-white illustrations, and an insightful essay written by Adam Gopnik of The New Yorker.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
Sign in or register to post comments.

Anne Nguyen at Crossing the Line Festival 2016

Sept 23 - Oct 1, 2016
Multiple locations and Gibney Dance - Agnès Varis Center for the Performing Arts
280 Broadway
New York, NY 10007

Hubert Robert, 1733–1808

June 26 - October 2, 2016
The National Gallery of Art
6th St. and Constitution Ave. NW
Constitution Ave NW
Washington, DC 20565

Kader Attia's 'Ghardaïa' featured at the Guggenheim

Apr 29 - Oct 5, 2016
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 5th Avenue
New York, NY

Seuls en Scène 2016: Princeton University's French Theater Festival

Sept 22 - Oct 5, 2016
Princeton University
Princeton, NJ

Collection #2 "Human | Nature" at Chamber New York

May 19 - Oct 6, 2016
515 W. 23rd Street
New York, NY 10011
recomended for you

The Frick Acquires New 18th Century Pierre Gouthière Candelabra

Nov 16, 2016 – Feb 19, 2017
The Frick Collection
1 East 70th St
New York, NY 10021

'A House of Dust' by Alison Knowles at The James Gallery

Sep 7 - Dec., 2016
The James Gallery
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY

Dubuffet Drawings, 1935–1962 at the Morgan Library

Sept 30, 2016 - Jan 2, 2017
The Morgan Library
225 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10016

Plexus by Aurélien Bory for Kaori Ito at BAM

Nov 9 - 13, 2016
BAM Harvey Theater
651 Fulton St.
Brooklyn, NY 11217