Senior Curator and Curator of Modern Art
Senior Curator and Curator of Modern Art, Robert Cozzolino joined PAFA in 2004. He has organized numerous exhibitions for PAFA, including, Light, Line and Color: American Works on Paper 1765-2005 (2005), Vik Muniz: Remastered (2005), Art in Chicago: Resisting Regionalism, Transforming Modernism (2006), Jacob Lawrence's Hiroshima (2008), George Tooker: A Retrospective (2009), Elizabeth Osborne: The Color of Light (2009), Narcissus in the Studio: Artist Portraits and Self-Portraits (2010), Abstract Expressionism and its Discontents (2011), and After Tanner: African-American Artists Since 1940 (2012). He has also coordinated major exhibitions at PAFA that were organized by colleagues, in each case introducing innovative public programs that provided new contexts for the material, including Villa America: American Moderns 1900-1950 (2006) and Peter Saul: A Retrospective (2008).
He is currently organizing a retrospective of the artist Peter Blume (1906-1992), a survey of David Lynch’s visual art (with Julien Robson), and the major centenary exhibition exploring World War I and American Art (2014) with co-curators Anne Knutson and David Lubin. His research interests range from the intersection of art and religion to the role of the body in Pop Art. He believes strongly in collaboration with his colleagues at PAFA.
A champion of underrepresented artists and uncommon perspectives on well-known artists, Dr. Cozzolino has been called the “curator of the dispossessed” for his attention to the underdog.
Dr. Cozzolino has brought many significant acquisitions into PAFA’s permanent collection, including the Linda Lee Alter Collection of Art by Women which features nearly 400 objects by artists such as Louise Bourgeois, Viola Frey, Ana Mendieta, Alice Neel, Louise Nevelson, Christina Ramberg, Alison and Betye Saar, Kiki Smith, Barbara Takenaga, Kara Walker, Beatrice Wood, and others. He is organizing an exhibition of the collection for Fall of 2012 which will be accompanied by a major publication.
Dr. Cozzolino earned his Ph.D in 2006 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a dissertation on Ivan Albright (1897-1983). His publications include exhibition catalogues for Narcissus in the Studio, Elizabeth Osborne: The Color of Light and Art in Chicago (PAFA, 2010, 2009, and 2007), With Friends: Six Magic Realists 1940-1965 and Dudley Huppler: Drawings (University of Wisconsin Press, 2005 and 2002), as well as major contributions to: Henry Ossawa Tanner: Modern Spirit (PAFA and University of California Press, 2011), Re:Chicago (DePaul University Art Museum, 2011), Shared Intelligence: American Painting and Photography (University of California Press, 2010), George Tooker: A Retrospective (Merrell, 2008), American Art at Princeton Volume One: Drawings and Watercolors (Yale University Press, 2004), New Critical Perspectives on Dalí (Bompiani, 2004), and Ivan Albright (Hudson Hills Press, 1997).
Public and scholarly discourse is important to Dr. Cozzolino’s work and perspective in the art world. He lectures frequently in a wide range of contexts, serves on public discussion panels, conducts numerous studio visits with artists, serves as a visiting critic in studio programs, and is often called on to be a juror for competitive exhibitions.
An active musician, he performs and records as a percussionist in two ensembles based in the Philadelphia area. He has also contributed to www.artjaw.com, a Philadelphia-based writing project about working in the art world.