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Ivan Albright Paintings at the Art Institute of Chicago


Ivan Albright Catalogue Cover

The Art Institute of Chicago, 2019

Access this free online catalogue

Renowned as the “master of the macabre,” Chicago native Ivan Albright (1897–1983) is famous for richly detailed paintings of ghoulish subjects including Into the World There Came a Soul Called Ida and Picture of Dorian Gray. This catalogue brings together fresh perspectives on the artist: professor emerita of art history Sarah Burns reveals Albright’s fascination with popular culture, and curator John P. Murphy explores his philosophy of ugliness. Painting conservator Kelly Keegan examines the artist’s process and details how he achieved his unique painterly effects.

A plate section of the 44 oil paintings in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, reproduced in high resolution to enable close looking, documents Albright’s portrayal of the body’s vulnerability to age, disease, and death. This includes a haunting series of self-portraits, one of which the artist made in his hospital bed three days before he died.

Edited by Sarah Kelly Oehler, with an introduction by Sarah Kelly Oehler and essays by Sarah Burns, Kelly Keegan, and John P. Murphy

This publication follows the exhibition Flesh: Ivan Albright at the Art Institute of Chicago (May 4–Aug. 4, 2018).

The publication is free and has received generous funding from the Northwestern University Department of Art History Warnock Publication Fund.


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