20th-Century Art from the Albert Pilavin Collection
This exhibition displays selections from the Albert Pilavin Collection, the cornerstone of the Museum's holdings in twentiethcentury American art. In 1967, Selma Pilavin began assembling works of art in memory of her husband, himself an artist, as a means to present contemporary art to the people of Providence. Her philosophy in acquiring works of art was to buy from emerging artists as well as from those who were already established, and many objects entered the collection shortly after they were made. From the perspective of thirty years, these experimental acquisitions strike the viewer as confident and wise.
This particular exhibition includes only a few paintings, yet the Pilavin Collection now numbers nearly seventy-five works of art in all media, dating from the beginning of the twentieth century through the mid-1980s. The collection traces the triumphant development of American art from Abstract Expressionism and Color-Field painting to Pop, Minimalism, Photo-Realism, and beyond. More painting and sculpture from the Pilavin collection is on view in the Museum's twentieth-century gallery (D-Floor, Radeke Building).
The Pilavin Collection was first exhibited at the Museum in 1969. Pilavin objects have been fundamental to permanent installations and changing exhibitions ever since. The outstanding quality of the collection, its depth and breadth, stand as a memorial not only to Albert Pilavin, but also to Selma Pilavin Robinson, who passed away in February, 1996.