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Francesca Pietropaolo

is an Italian-born art historian, curator, and critic based in Venice. Her research interests focus on post-war European and American art, and on international contemporary art. She has held curatorial positions at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia, Venice; and the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris. During her time at MoMA, she worked on Roth Time. A Dieter Roth Retrospective (2004), Plane Image. A Brice Marden Retrospective (2006) and exhibitions drawing from the museum’s collection of works on paper. She was on the curatorial team of Greater New York 2005 at MoMA P.S. 1, New York. At the Fondation Luis Vuitton she was in charge of artist commissions, notably a site-specific installation by Ellsworth Kelly for the Auditorium as well as works by Cerith Wyn Evans, Adrian Villar Rojas, and Taryn Simon. Her projects as independent curator include exhibitions such as North by New York: New Nordic Art (American-Scandinavian Foundation, New York, 2011), and Wrinkles in Time (IVAM, Valencia, 2009). In 2015 she co-curated the international film festival Fireflies in the Night at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC), Athens as well as its second edition Fireflies in the Night Take Wing (2016). In 2017 she co-curated Only Connect!, an international program of performances, at the SNFCC, Athens presenting performances by Kim Jones, Mieskuoro Huutajat (Screaming Men’s Choir), and Tania Bruguera, among others. is the editor of Ellsworth Kelly, first issue of Les Cahiers de la Fondation (Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, 2014), realized in collaboration with the artist. She is the author of numerous essays in publications for, among others, MoMA, the Walker Art Center, Tate, Fondation Pinault, Venice, and the Estorick Collection, London. She is the editor of Interviews on Art, the first collection of interviews with artists conducted by Robert Storr (Heni, London, 2017), and of its Italian edition Interviste sull’arte (Il Saggiatore, Milan, 2019). As critic, she has contributed to Flash Art International, ARTnews, Art in America, the Brooklyn Rail, Art Press, and Arte e Critica.

In Conversation

ART IS A POLITICAL OPPORTUNITY: Paolo Canevari with Francesca Pietropaolo

On the occasion of his forthcoming exhibition Odi et Amo at Galleria nazionale d’arte moderna e contemporanea in Rome (October 9 – November 7, 2010), Paolo Canevari met with art historian and curator Francesca Pietropaolo to discuss—among other things—art, superheroes, and simplicity.

In Conversation

Y.Z. KAMI with Francesca Pietropaolo

“The surface is the main thing and I believe that a painter has to invent their own surface.”


The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2021

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