Orianna Cacchione

Assistant Director and Curator of Exhibitions

Office Location

Arts Bldg 1626


Orianna Cacchione is the Assistant Director and Curator of Exhibitions at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum at University of California, Santa Barbara. Her curatorial practice is committed to expanding the canon of contemporary art to respond to the global circulations of art and ideas. Previously she was Curator of Global Contemporary Art at the Smart Museum of Art and a lecturer in the Department of Art History at University of Chicago. At the Smart Museum, she curated major exhibitions, including: Monochrome Multitudes (with Professor Christine Mehring) to reconsider the “monochrome” materially, conceptually, and globally; The Allure of Matter: Material Art from China (with Professor Wu Hung), which interrogated how materiality informs contemporary Chinese art; Samson Young: Silver moon or golden star, which will buy of me?, the first solo exhibition of the Hong Kong-based sound artist in the United States; and Tang Chang: The Painting that Is Painted with Poetry Is Profoundly Beautiful, the first solo presentation of the pioneering abstract artist’s work outside of Thailand; and organized the Smart’s presentation of Bob Thompson: This House is Mine(with Jennifer Carty). 

Prior to joining the Smart Museum, Cacchione was Curatorial Fellow for East Asian Contemporary Art in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago, where she was responsible for expanding the museum’s collection of contemporary art from East Asia. Her work led to transformative acquisitions of artworks from China, Japan, South Korea, and Thailand. She also curated the exhibition, Zhang Peili: Record. Repeat., the first major presentation of the Chinese video artist at an American museum. 

A specialist in contemporary Chinese art, Cacchione holds a Ph.D in Art History, Theory and Criticism from the University of California, San Diego. Her scholarly research explores the transnational, cross-geographic flows of art and art history that characterize the global art world often using contemporary Chinese art as a case study. Her writing has been published in Les Cahiers du musée national d’art modern, The Journal of Art HistoriographyYishu, and theJournal of Contemporary Chinese Art. She has presented her research at the Hammer Museum, Centre Pompidou, the Guggenheim Museum, OCAT Xi’an, the Asia Society Hong Kong, the College Art Association, Freie University, Academia Sinica, the Association of Asian Studies, and the World History Association. She has taught art history courses at the University of Chicago; the University of California, San Diego; and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.