The Art Institute Chicago

ART INSTITUTE | 111 South Michigan Avenue
Illinois-60603 Chicago

plan route show map

artists & participants

press release

Overview: Ambroise Vollard (1867-1939) may well have been the most prescient contemporary art dealer of his generation. He commissioned paintings, prints, and illustrations from artists who have since become household names, among them Paul Cezanne, Vincent van Gogh, and Henri Matisse. Though past exhibitions have been devoted to Vollard's role as an influential publisher, Ambroise Vollard: Patron of the Avant Garde addresses his achievement as an innovative patron and a powerful catalyst in turn-of-the-century Paris. With major loans from international collections, this exhibition promises to be a once-in-a-lifetime event.

Vollard was in his early 20s when he abandoned a legal career to open a small art gallery. He established himself by presenting Cezanne's first-ever one-man exhibition in 1895; a significant Van Gogh retrospective in 1896; a Paul Gauguin exhibition in 1898; and Pablo Picasso's first exhibition in France, to name a few. Over the succeeding years, Vollard bought and sold pictures, and on occasion he purchased the entire contents of artists' studios, sometimes keeping the pictures for years until he felt that the market would be receptive.

Ambroise Vollard: Patron of the Avant Garde will also address Vollard's seminal role as a publisher of fine prints and livres d'artiste (fine art books). Printmaking had been successfully revived as an original art form at the start of his career. By commissioning artists rather than illustrators to decorate texts, Vollard more or less invented the genre of the livre d'artiste. His masterpieces included such diverse examples as Paul Verlaine's Parallelement (1900), illustrated with lithographs by Pierre Bonnard, and Honore de Balzac's Chef d'oeuvre inconnu (1931), illustrated by Picasso. A brilliant promoter of the artists he represented, Vollard was a self-promoter as well. The exhibition will conclude with a room of portraits of him, ranging from Cezanne's austere homage (1899) to Picasso's Cubist analysis (1910) to Auguste Renoir's vision of Vollard as a toreador (1917).

Catalogue: A catalogue will accompany the exhibition.

Organizer: The Art Institute of Chicago

Curator: Gloria Groom, David and Mary Winton Green Curator of European Painting, Art Institute of Chicago

Venues: Metropolitan Museum of Art: October 3, 2006-January 7, 2007 Art Institute of Chicago: February 7-May 13, 2007 Musee d'Orsay, Paris: June 4-September 14, 2007


only in german

From Cezanne to Picasso
Ambroise Vollard, Patron of the Avant Garde
Kuratoren: Gloria Groom, David & Mary Winton Green

Arbeiten von Paul Cézanne, Pablo Picasso ...

03.10.06 - 07.01.07 Metropolitan Museum, New York
07.02.07 - 13.05.06 Art Institute Chicago
04.06.07 - 14.09.07 Musée d´Orsay, Paris