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Joachim Pissarro

Joachim Pissarro has been the Bershad Professor of Art History and Director of the Hunter College Galleries, Hunter College, New York, since 2007. He has also held positions at MoMA, the Kimbell Art Museum, and the Yale University Art Gallery. His latest book on Wild Art (with co-author David Carrier) was published in fall 2013 by Phaidon Press.

Guest Critic

Art, Theory, and Infancy

During a job search at a prominent university about 20 years ago, a search committee decided not to appoint a scholar in non-Western art despite the fact that, all agreed, this person surpassed in knowledge, field research, languages, and publications almost all (few) contenders in the field. The rationale of the decision was pithily expressed by a member of the committee: “He doesn’t have enough Theory.”

JOACHIM PISSARRO with Alexander S. C. Rower

Calder Foundation President Alexander S. C. Rower held a public talk with art historian Joachim Pissarro at Mnuchin Gallery on the occasion of Calder: The Complete Bronzes (October 25 – February 9, 2013).

In Conversation

JEFFREY DEITCH with David Carrier and Joachim Pissarro

Recently Jeffrey Deitch has been much in the news. He has just returned from L.A. where he held the directorship of MOCA for three years. Within this relatively short span of time, Deitch managed to transform radically the ways we approach museums, whether as insiders or outsiders, and, further even, he may have introduced a seismic change within the Art World proper.

In Conversation

PHILIPPE DE MONTEBELLO with David Carrier and Joachim Pissarro

Philippe de Montebello was appointed the director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New Yorkin 1977 after having served at the same museum as chief curator under Thomas Hoving. When he retired in 2008 he was the longest-serving director in the institution’s history, and also the longest-serving director of any major art museum.

In Conversation

ALMA EGGER with Joachim Pissarro

Fresh Window Gallery presented the exhibition NightLight from September 5 through October 18, 2014. The two-person show featured the work of Swiss-born painter Marc Egger and Japenese-Russian painter and sculptor, Miya Ando.

Thelma Golden with Joachim Pissarro and David Carrier

Thelma Golden, Director of the Studio Museum in Harlem, is a native New Yorker who grew up in Queens a precocious art lover. After graduating from Smith College with a BA in Art History and African-American Studies, in 1987 she became a curator at the Studio Museum.

In Conversation

SIR NORMAN ROSENTHAL with David Carrier and Joachim Pissarro

When recently we interviewed Philippe de Montebello, it happened that Sir Norman was in town, and so he participated in that discussion. He had much to say which was of great interest and so we thought it natural to continue the discussion with an interview devoted entirely to him.

In Conversation

MIKHAIL PIOTROVSKY with David Carrier & Joachim Pissarro

When one of us, Joachim Pissarro, was chief curator at the Kimbell Museum in the 1990s, he worked with Mikhael Piotrovsky, the director of the Hermitage. And so when it happened that the other one of us, David Carrier, was visiting Saint Petersburg in July, 2014, we wanted to interview Piotrovsky.

In Conversation

ALANNA HEISS with David Carrier and Joachim Pissarro, with the assistance of Gaby Collins-Fernandez

Alanna Heiss is hailed as a founder of what we know as the “alternative space movement,” and one of the most important centers for contemporary art in the country.

In Conversation

GLENN LOWRY with Joachim Pissarro, Gaby Collins-Fernandez, and David Carrier

When we began this ongoing sequence of interviews with museum directors, we knew that we wanted to talk with Glenn Lowry. To be a director of any museum is a complex, highly conflicted job. To be director of MoMA involves special pressures, which seem unique to the flagship American museum dedicated to collecting and reflecting on modern and contemporary art.

In Conversation

with Joachim Pissarro

George Condo is a New York-based artist whose career launched in the East Village in the early 1980s. During this time, he also worked in Andy Warhol’s factory before moving to Los Angeles and holding his first solo exhibition in 1983.

In Conversation

BARBARA DAWSON & SEAN RAINBIRD with David Carrier & Joachim Pissarro

On successive mornings in July, in sunny Dublin, I had the privilege of interviewing two museum directors. We talked about practical and conceptual issues—and we discussed the history of their institutions

In Conversation

MICHEL LACLOTTE with Joachim Pissarro

The Louvre is the most visited museum anywhere. And so, when, some years ago, we inaugurated this series of interviews with museum directors, naturally we wanted to interview all three living former Presidents of the Louvre: Michel Laclotte (1987–95), Pierre Rosenberg (1994–2001), and Henri Loyrette (2001–13). In February of 2019 Rail Consulting Editor Joachim Pissarro talked with all three men in Paris.

OKWUI ENWEZOR with David Carrier & Joachim Pissarro

When Joachim Pissarro and I began to organize our interviews with major museum directors—men or women who had decisively changed their institutions—from the very start we planned to talk with directors both in this country and internationally. Thus we interviewed not only Jeffrey Deitch, who had directed MOCA in LA; Philippe de Montebello of the Metropolitan; Alanna Heiss, and then Glenn Lowry, from MoMA; Massimiliano Gioni of the New Museum; and Thelma Golden of the Studio Museum in Harlem; but also Sir Norman Rosenthal from the Royal Academy, London; and Mikhail Piotrovsky at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. In this, the eighth of our interviews, we talk with Nigerian-born Okwui Enwezor who, after a distinguished early career as curator in the United States, organized exhibitions in Europe, where now he is director of the Haus der Kunst, Munich.

In Conversation

with David Carrier and Joachim Pissarro

Sylvain Bellenger, who was born in Normandy, took French degrees in philosophy and in art history. He then moved to the United States, where he held curatorial posts at the Cleveland Museum of Art and at the Art Institute of Chicago before being appointed in 2014 Director at Capodimonte in Naples.

In Conversation

DEBORAH NAJAR with Joachim Pissarro and David Carrier

Our prime interest in this interview has been to inquire on the origins of the JPNF and how this museum came to be established in this location. As most of our readers will have not (yet) visited Dubai—indeed, thus far only one of us has made the journey—we wanted to get some essential background information about Dubai’s art scene.

In Conversation

PIERRE ROSENBERG with Joachim Pisarro and David Carrier

Museums have to contend with increasing numbers of visitors, but how these expansions of the buildings and the collections are supported financially considerably varies from one country to another. Pierre Rosenberg speaks with the Rail about his tenure as director of the Louvre, from 1994 to 2001.

In Conversation

Sumayya Vally & Aya Al-Bakree with Joachim Pissarro & Jennifer Stockman

Sumayya Vally and Aya Al-Bakree joined Guggenheim President Emeritus Jennifer Stockman and Rail Consulting Editor Joachim Pissarro for a conversation as part of the Rail’s New Social Environment Director’s Series, a series spotlighting the work of those who lead important cultural institutions.

In Conversation

Janne Sirén with Joachim Pissarro & Jennifer Stockman

Janne Sirén is the director of the Buffalo AKG Art Museum, a 161-year-old institution with one of the most important collections of American Abstract Expressionism. He was named director in 2013 and guided the organization through a major building project in which the concept of partnership was the cornerstone of the process. Sirén joined Guggenheim President Emeritus Jennifer Stockman and Rail Consulting Editor Joachim Pissarro for a conversation about the history of the Buffalo AKG, the fascinating career path Sirén created to arrive where he is, and the visionary work that goes into building a venerable collection.

In Conversation

HENRI LOYRETTE with Joachim Pissaro

Museums have to expand and add previously unrepresented visual traditions to the collection. All of them have to contend with increasing numbers of visitors. Henri Loyrette, former director of the Louvre, speaks with the Rail about these challenges.

Autobiographical Reflections and the Art World

I grew up at the complicated and taut interstices between the art gallery world and the avant-garde museum space.

Street Art Brazil

True to the spirit and intentions of street art, this vast and indeed wild exhibition organized by the city administration of Frankfurt took place everywhere but within the clean confines of the museum itself. The city of Frankfurt became the canvas upon which works were executed by about a dozen Brazilian taggers, writers, and graffiti artists who represented a plethora of genres.

Lineage: de Kooning and His Influence

Aptly named in witty double entendre, Lineage: de Kooning and His Influence focuses upon the physical lines painted by Willem de Kooning and the subsequent impact of these lines on contemporary painters as diverse as Joe Bradley, George Condo, Brice Marden, Albert Oehlen, Sue Williams, and Christopher Wool.

Talia Levitt: My Moon

Levitt’s works sensitively depict objects atop tapestries which are cropped to suggest clothing or the body. A grid overlays the patterned backgrounds of the paintings, resulting in an acrylic texture that mimics a textile weave.

Frankenthaler: History Returns to Venice

In his luminous essay “The School of Giorgione” (1877) Walter Pater, asserting that painting “must be before all things decorative, a thing for the eye, a space of colour on the wall,” describes the art of Giorgione, as he imagines it.

to Phong Bui
Between Skin and Paper

This is not an apology for ignorance. Rather, this is an attempt to suggest that there are many more avenues of knowledge than we think—or, that knowledge cannot be the preserve of a happy few, especially when it comes to art.

Stefan Gierowski

The year is 1945. The Second World War had just ended, laying waste to the old political order erected by the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. In the eastern end of continental Europe, a country geographically encircled by two revisionist forces—Nazi Germany and Communist Russia—is reduced to a smoldering ruin.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2023

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