Cities can take varied and fascinating forms when they become the subject of an artwork—transitioning from objective sites of study to creative expressions of places an artist has perhaps never physically experienced. When artists portray an existing city, they often highlight or conceal certain aspects in order to fashion an intentional message about that place. This exhibition examines representations of well-known Western European and U.S. cities in works on paper created from the late fifteenth to the early twentieth century and asks the following questions: Which cities or sections of cities are these artists presenting? Are they emphasizing specific architectural or social elements, and if so, what motivates these choices? What roles do the cities play in advancing the narratives of the overall artworks?
Paper Cities is organized by the Clark Art Institute and curated by Allison Marino, curatorial assistant for works on paper.