The Fullness of Color: 1960s Painting, December 18, 2019–August 2020, Tower Gallery 5
The title of this exhibition was inspired by Systemic Painting, the 1966 Guggenheim exhibition where curator Lawrence Alloway pointed to the emergence of an artistic style that “combined economy of form and neatness of surface with fullness of color.” The Fullness of Color presents artists whose style embodied Alloway’s description. Helen Frankenthaler had pioneered in 1952 the “soak stain” technique, whereby she manipulated thinned acrylic washes into the unprimed cotton fabric of the canvas to produce rich, saturated surfaces. Those who followed over the next decade similarly handled paint as a dye that penetrates the fibers of the canvas rather than as a topical layer brushed over it. Morris Louis and Jules Olitski poured, soaked, or sprayed the paint onto canvases, thus eliminating the gestural stroke that had been central to Abstract Expressionism. Figure and ground became one and the same, united through color. Painters in the 1960s likewise approached relationships between form and color through geometric languages, as shown in works by Kenneth Noland and Paul Feeley. The Fullness of Color is a reflection of the Guggenheim’s historical engagement with this period, highlighting the varied and complex course abstraction followed in the twentieth century through examples of works now characterized as Color Field, geometric abstraction, hard-edge, or systemic painting. This presentation is organized by Megan Fontanella, Curator, Modern Art and Provenance, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Marking Time: Process in Minimal Abstraction, December 18, 2019–July 2020, Tower Gallery 7
During the 1960s and 70s, many artists working with abstraction turned toward minimal approaches. As some of them pared compositional, chromatic, and virtuosic flourishes from their work, a singular emphasis on their physical engagement with materials emerged. The pieces they created—whether characterized by interlocking brush strokes, a pencil moved through wet paint, or a pin repeatedly pushed through paper—call on viewers to imaginatively reenact aspects of the creative process. It is a distinctly empathetic mode of engagement that relies on an awareness of one’s own body, as inhabited and inhabiting time, and, perhaps even more important, a consciousness of the embodied experiences of others. Featuring an international array of paintings and works on paper by Agnes Martin, Roman Opałka, Park Seo-bo, and others, this presentation selected from the Guggenheim Museum’s collection explores this tendency, while considering its rise in multiple milieus and how artists used it to individualized ends. This exhibition is organized by David Horowitz, Assistant Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Countryside, The Future, February 20–August 14, 2020, Rotunda
Countryside, The Future, is an exhibition addressing urgent environmental, political, and socioeconomic issues through the lens of architect and urbanist Rem Koolhaas and Samir Bantal Director of AMO, the think tank of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA). A unique exhibition for the Guggenheim Museum, Countryside, The Future will explore radical changes in the rural, remote, and wild territories collectively identified here as “countryside,” or the 98% of the earth’s surface not occupied by cities, with a full rotunda installation premised on original research. The project presents investigations by AMO, Koolhaas, with students at the Harvard Graduate School of Design; the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing; Wageningen University, Netherlands; and the University of Nairobi. The exhibition will examine the modern conception of leisure, large scale planning by political forces, climate change, migration, human- and non-human ecosystems, market driven preservation, artificial and organic coexistence and other forms of radical experimentation that are altering the landscapes across the world. Countryside, The Future is organized by Troy Conrad Therrien, Curator of Architecture and Digital Initiatives, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, in collaboration with Rem Koolhaas and Samir Bantal, Rita Varjabedian, Anne Schneider, Aleksander Zinovev, Sebastian Bernardy, Yotam Ben Hur, Valentin Bansac, with Ashley Mendelsohn, Assistant Curator, Architecture and Digital Initiatives, at the Guggenheim. Key collaborators include Niklas Maak, Stephan Petermann, Irma Boom, Janna Bystrykh, Clemens Driessen, Lenora Ditzler, Kayoko Ota, Linda Nkatha, Etta Mideva Madete, Keigo Kobayashi, Federico Martelli, Ingo Niermann, James Westcott, Jiang Jun, Alexandra Kharitonova, Sebastien Marot, Fatma al Sahlawi and Vivian Song.
Away from the Easel: Jackson Pollock’s Mural, March 28, 2020–February 28, 2021, Thannhauser Gallery 4
This focused exhibition is dedicated to Jackson Pollock’s 1943 Mural, the artist’s first large-scale painting. Mural has not been on view in New York in over twenty years, and this occasion marks its debut at the Guggenheim since the extensive research and restoration project undertaken by the Getty Conservation Institute and the J. Paul Getty Museum. Visionary collector Peggy Guggenheim commissioned Mural for the first floor entrance hall of her Manhattan townhouse, prior to Pollock’s first solo exhibition at her museum-gallery Art of This Century later that same year. Guggenheim’s early support of Pollock’s work arguably established his career. The year 1943 likewise represents a pivotal moment in the evolution of Pollock’s artistic style; though not yet working on the floor and from all sides, the artist began to challenge traditional notions of painting, combining the technique of easel painting with that of mural production, all while further experimenting with abstraction. Away from the Easel: Jackson Pollock’s Mural is organized by Megan Fontanella, Curator, Modern Art and Provenance. Generous funding for Away from the Easel: Jackson Pollock’s Mural is provided in part by Mnuchin Gallery.
Knotted, Torn, Scattered: Sculpture after Abstraction Expressionism, March 28, 2020–February 28, 2021, Robert Mapplethorpe Gallery/Tower 4
In the spring of 2020, the Guggenheim will include Jackson Pollock’s groundbreaking, large-scale painting Mural (1943) in the exhibition Away from the Easel: Jackson Pollock’s Mural. In conjunction with this presentation, Knotted, Torn, Scattered: Sculpture after Abstraction Expressionism will consider the legacy of Pollock’s influential painting through work by Guggenheim collection artists from the 1960s and early 1970s, including Lynda Benglis, Robert Morris, Senga Nengudi, Richard Serra, and Tony Smith. The exhibition offers a unique opportunity to view sculptures and installations by a generation of artists who saw in Pollock’s visionary practice urgent questions about scale, materials, process, and environment. This exhibition is organized by Lauren Hinkson, Associate Curator, Collections.
Gego: The Emancipated Line, October 9, 2020–March 21, 2021, Rotunda
In fall 2020, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will present the first major New York museum retrospective devoted to the work of Gertrud Goldschmidt, also known as Gego (b. 1912, Hamburg, Germany; d.1994, Caracas, Venezuela). The exhibition within the first five ramps of the rotunda will chart the evolution of the artist’s distinctive approach to abstraction through her organic forms, linear structures, and systematic, spatial investigations. This chronological and thematic survey will include approximately 200 works of historical significance from the early 1950s to the early 1990s, including sculpture, drawings, prints, artist books, and textiles. A trained architect and engineer at the Technische Hochschule of Stuttgart, Gego fled Nazi persecution in 1939 and immigrated to Venezuela, where she remained for the rest of her life. This presentation will showcase her development across multiple disciplines as well as ground her practice within the emerging artistic movements of the second half of the twentieth century. The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue will demonstrate Gego’s significant formal and conceptual contributions to modern and contemporary art, highlighting her intersections with key transnational art movements including Geometric Abstraction and Kinetic Art in the 1950-60s, and Minimalism and Post-minimalism in the 1960-70s. The Guggenheim Museum has a distinguished history of presenting groundbreaking solo exhibitions of modern and contemporary artists whose work aligns with the founding mission championing abstract art, including Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin and James Turrell. Expanding upon this legacy, the presentation aims to advance the understanding and appreciation of Gego’s work within the larger global context of twentieth century modernism. Gego: The Emancipated Line is organized by Pablo León de la Barra, Curator at Large, Latin America, and Geaninne Gutiérrez-Guimarães, Associate Curator, with the support of Kyung An, Assistant Curator, Asian Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Sarah Sze, October 9, 2020–March 21, 2021, Rotunda Ramp 6 and Tower Gallery 7
In fall 2020, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will present a special exhibition by Sarah Sze (b. 1969, Boston) that will immerse visitors in today’s generative proliferation of images through painting, sculpture, print, sound, video and photography. Beginning on the sixth ramp of the rotunda, a site-specific installation of works created by the artist will trace the museum’s architecture and culminate at the apex of the Frank Lloyd Wright building in Tower 7, with the New York premiere of Timekeeper (2016), from the museum’s collection. Monumental, multisensory, and kaleidoscopic, Timekeeper combines everyday objects—a table from the artist’s studio, scraps of paper, shards of mirrored glass, potted plants—with whirling video projections of things in motion—a bird in flight, churning waves, a running cheetah. Embedded in this living scaffolding of experience and memory are digital clocks indicating time from around the world, underscoring the multiple simultaneities of human existence. This presentation brings together the diverse elements that embody the artist’s meditation on the various ways in which the passage of time is experienced and attests to Sze’s unprecedented approach to materials and space. With this exhibition, the museum builds upon its distinguished history of championing the visionary engagements of living artists with Frank Lloyd Wright’s unique architecture. This presentation is organized by Nancy Spector, Artistic Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator with Kyung An, Assistant Curator, Asian Art.Continue reading