Fall is a vibrant and busy season for art in the city. With EXPO Chicago just behind us, enticing exhibitions can be spotted at many galleries and L’Alliance Française de Chicago (AFC) is in on the festivities. The cultural institution is currently hosting a one-week-only exhibition featuring rare works on paper by French Impressionist Camille Pissarro.
L’Alliance acquired a loan of Pissarro’s important works on paper from a private Midwestern collection through the R.S. Johnson Fine Art Gallery, whose president R. Stanley Johnson is an AFC board member.
Director of programs at AFC Aimée Laberge spoke with Newcity about the works that they find to be the most captivating and significant: “I know Stanley thinks the self-portrait ‘Camille Pissarro par lui-même’ (circa 1890) is the most important piece in the collection, but I personally prefer the lightness and joyousness in the ‘Kew Gardens’ (London, circa 1892) watercolor.”
Pissarro studied in Paris as did other important Impressionists such as Monet and Renoir, the latter of whom once called Pissarro’s work “revolutionary.” He is also classified as a father figure for Post-Impressionist artists like Cézanne, Van Gogh and Seurat.
A collective of twenty rare prints, watercolors and pastels are on view at the Alliance Française through September 24, only a short while. Considering that almost all of Pissarro’s works are now permanently housed in museums, this exhibition is exceptionally rare. (Mahjabeen Syed)
The exhibition is free and open the public during business hours through Thursday, September 24 at the Alliance Française de Chicago, 810 North Dearborn.
Elliot J. Reichert is a Chicago-based curator, critic, and editor. He is a currently Curator of Contemporary Art at the Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana Unversity, and Hatch Projects Curatorial Resident at the Chicago Artist Coalition. Formerly, he was Art Editor of Newcity and Assistant Curator at the Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University. His writing has been published in The Brooklyn Rail, the Journal of Visual Culture, and Newcity.