Joachim Pissarro has been the Editorial Director of Wildenstein Publication in America since 2002 and is currently the Bershad Professor of Art History and Director of the Hunter College Galleries, Hunter College, New York (since 2007). Previously, Mr. Pissarro was Curator in MoMA’s Department of Painting and Sculpture (2003-07). For MoMA, he organized the exhibition Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne and Pissarro 1865–1885 (2005) and Out of Time: A Contemporary View (with Eva Respini, 2006).
From 1997 to 2000, Mr. Pissarro was the Seymour H. Knox, Jr. Curator of European and Contemporary Art at the Yale University Art Gallery, as well as an adjunct professor in the Department of the History of Art at Yale University. While at Yale, Mr. Pissarro organized or co-organized exhibitions that include Jasper Johns’s Recent Paintings (with Richard Field and Gary Garrels, 2000); After looking at Chinese Rocks: Brice Marden: Work in Progress (1999); and Post-Modern Transgressions (1999). He presided over the reinstallation of the modern and contemporary collection at the Yale University Art Gallery, and focused on the recent history of the Yale School of Art, which led to the exhibition Then and Now and Later (co-curated with Thomas Crow, 1998), which featured Dawoud Bey, Gregory Crewdson, John Currin, Ann Hamilton, Roni Horn, Abelardo Morell, Jessica Stockholder, Peter Wegner, and Lisa Yuskavage.
Mr. Pissarro served as Chief Curator at the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas from 1994 to 1997. He coordinated (with guest curator Yve-Alain Bois) Matisse and Picasso: A Gentle Rivalry (1997), shown at the Kimbell Art Museum. A number of Mr. Pissarro’s exhibitions traveled nationally and internationally: Monet and the Mediterranean (1997-98), shown at the Kimbell Art Museum and Brooklyn Museum; Georges de La Tour (1996-97), co-organized with the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., in collaboration with Philip Conisbee, and shown at the Kimbell Art Museum and the National Gallery; and The Impressionist and the City: Pissarro’s Series (1992-93), which was shown at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Royal Academy of Arts, London.
Mr. Pissarro is the co-author of the Catalogue Raisonné of the work of Camille Pissarro, which was published by the Wildenstein Institute in Paris in 2005. His book, Cézanne/Pissarro, Johns/Rauschenberg: Comparative Studies on Intersubjectivity in Modern Art, was published in 2006 by Cambridge University Press. Mr. Pissarro’s recent writings include en essay on Beuys: “Joseph Beuys: Set Between One and All”, Joseph Beuys: Make the Secrets Productive, PaceWildenstein, New York, 2010 and an essay on Jeff Koons titled: “Jeff Koons’s Antiquity Series—A Reflection on Acceptance”, in Jeff Koons : The Painter, an exhibition co-curated by Pissarro, at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, summer 2012.
Prior exhibition catalogues or essays include: “The Formation of Crepuscular and Nocturnal Themes in van Gogh’s Early Writings,” in Van Gogh and the Colors of the Night (MoMA, 2008) and an essay on representations of the night by contemporary artists: “The Night’s Thousand Eyes” in to: Night (Hunter College Galleries, 2008); an essay titled : “The Late de Kooning: ‘Kritik’ vs. ‘Klinik’”, in Willem de Kooning 1981-1986, L&M: New York, 2007, as well as an essay on Robert Indiana’s semiological approach to his art: “Signs into Art,” in Robert Indiana: The Artist and His Work, Rizzoli: NY, 2005. His book Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne and Pissarro (The Museum of Modern Art, NY, 2005) received much critical attention in the field of studies of modernism. His essay on “Jasper Johns’s Bridge Paintings Under Construction” was published in Jasper Johns: New Paintings and Works on Paper, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, SF, 1999. He has for the past twenty years contributed reviews and articles to The Art Bulletin, Apollo, The Burlington Magazine.
His teaching and writing presently focus on the challenges facing art history due to the unprecedented maelstrom of artefacts made available to us through the Internet and social media. He recently co-authored a book called Wild Art (Phaidon Press) with David Carrier, released in October 2013. The book features 10 chapters of about 50 works each showcasing alternative art genres such as street art, food art, miniscule art, ice, and sand sculptures.
His next book Aesthetics of the Margins / Margins of Aesthetics (2018, Penn State University Press – also with Carrier) will present a philosophical and art historical analysis providing theoretical foundations for the observations found in Wild Art. The aim of the next book is to investigate the ideological underpinnings behind the division between two kinds of art (in the system/out of the system) : why such distinctions are inherent in, and necessary to the art world, and how have these systems of exclusion developed over the past two centuries?
Mr. Pissarro received a degree in philosophy from the Sorbonne in Paris, and received a M. Phil. in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute, London, and a Ph D. in History of Art from the University of Texas at Austin.