Corner of Fifth Avenue and 89th Street New York City
The Museum was originally established in 1939 as the Museum of Non-Objective Painting. It was renamed after its founder upon his death: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. In 1959 the museum moved from a rented space to its current building that was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.
The collection includes Impressionist, Post-impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art and the museum hosts special exhibitions.
Artistic License: Six Takes on the Guggenheim Museum
For the building’s 60th Anniversary, six past artists that had exhibited a one-person show at the Guggenheim over the years were asked individually to go into the Guggenheim’s storerooms and pull together presentations of modern and early contemporary art (1900 to 1980) that has not been seen by the public for many years if at all. Artist’s choices can “underscore gaps or inherent biases in collecting processes, whether intended as institutional critique or simply as a more autonomous approach to curatorial selection. In the process, artists can uncover buried treasures, yet-to-be fully appreciated art…”
Above Photos: The artist Cai Guo-Qiang chose atypical or early works of known artists. Above top row: Cai Guo-Qiang chose and presented about 80 works from the Guggenheim storage archives; Donghu Village by Cai Guo-Qiang, 1978, watercolor on paper; Prades, the Village by Joan Miro, summer 1917, oil on canvas 2nd row: Promenade by Rudolph Bauer, 1909, graphite and pastel on paper; Vase of Flowers by Pablo Picasso, 1905-06, ink on paper; Non-Brand by Cai Guo-Qiang, 2019, gunpowder on glass and mirror 3rd row: 3 by Vasily Kandinsky – Kandinsky is generally credited as the pioneer of abstract art. The Guggenheim has 150 Kandinsky paintings in its collection. All shown here are oil on board Top left: Amsterdam, View from the Window, 1904; Munich, 1901-02; Pond in the Park, 1906
The three photos below are examples of Richard Prince’s choice of art from the storage bins. He “studies the uncannily similar compositions found in abstract art during the 1940’s and 1950’s…”
Above Left Photo: Game No. 2 by Herbert Ferber, 1950, lead, copper, and brass on painted wood base; Drawing No. 14 by Phillip Guston, 1953, ink on paper; Drawing No. 4 by Phillip Guston, 1950, in on Japanese paper Above Center Photo: Movement Left and Right by Perle Fine, 1947, oil on canvas; Untitled by Jack Tworkov, 1948 – 50, watercolor, ink and graphite on paper Above Right Photo: Untitled, Hamburg series, Stuart Sutcliffe, 1961-62, oil on canvas; Untitled, Hamburg series, Stuart Sutcliffe, 1961-62, oil on canvas; Untitled, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva
Do you recognize the name Stuart Sutcliffe? The Scottish-born expressionist painter is better known as the original bass guitarist for the Beatles, with whom he played from 1959 – 1961. While pursuing his master’s degree in Hamburg, Germany Sutcliffe died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 21.
The artist Carrie Mae Weems restricted her storage art choices to predominately black and white art works, “in a metaphoric gesture that alludes to the relatively small number of artists of color from this period in the (Guggenheim) collection”.
Above Top Row Left: Untitled (black felt) by Robert Morris, 1969, felt; Top Row Center Photo: left: No. 2 JB by Yayoi Kusama, 1960, oil and rice blossoms on canvas middle: The Substance of Stars by Jean Dubuffet, December 1959, metal foil on Masonite right: Plant and Animal by Takis, 1956, painted steel on stone base Top Row Right Photo: Left: Untitled (black on gray) by Mark Rothko, 1969/70, acrylic on canvas Middle: Painting No. 7 by Franz Kline, 1952, oil on canvas Right: The Nose by Alberto Giacometti, 1949, Bronze, wire, rope and steel Lower Photo: Spoon Woman by Alberto Giacometti, 1926 – 27, Bronze
The above photos were of the Guggenheim’s permanent collection. Top Row Center: Landscape with Rolling Hills by Vasily Kandinsky, 1910 – 11, oil on board; Top Row Right: Little Accents, Vasily Kandinsky, January 1940, oil on wood panel 2nd Row Left: Jeanne Hebuterne with Yellow Sweater by Amedeo Modigliani, 1918 – 1919, oil on canvas – This was one of my favorite in the museum; 2nd Row Center: Houses in Paris by Juan Gris, 1911, oil on canvas; 2nd Row Right: The Soldier Drinks by Mark Chagall, 1911 – 1912, oil on canvas; 3rd Row Left: The Hermitage at Pontoise by Camille Pissarro, 1867, oil on canvas – This is the oldest painting in the Guggenheim collection; 3rd Row Center: In the Salon by Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, 1893, pastel and oil on paperboard; 3rd Row Right: Lion Hunt by Vasily Kandinsky, 1911, reverse oil painting on glass in artist’s painted frame Lower Row Left: Dancers in Green and Yellow by Edgar Degas, 1903, pastel and charcoal on three pieces of tracing paper, mounted to paperboard; Lower Row Center: Woman Ironing by Pablo Picasso, 1904, oil on canvas: Lower Row Right: Sancta Francisca by Vasily Kandinsky, 1911, reverse oil painting on glass.
One of the side galleries was sculpture by Constantin Brancusi Left Photo: Left Piece: King of Kings, 1938, oak; Middle Piece: The Sorceress, 1916 – 1924, walnut on limestone base sits on top of Watchdog, 1916, oak; Right: Adam and Eve, 1921, chestnut (Adam), oak (Eve) on limestone base Right Photo: Muse by Constantin Brancusi, 1912, marble on oak base, 1920
Simone Leigh’s (born 1967, Chicago) career “has continuously and insistently centered on the black female experience”. This collection, entitled “Loophole of Retreat” was presented on the occasion of Simone Leigh’s winning the 2018 Hugo Boss Prize (honors outstanding achievement in contemporary art).” Leigh merges the human body with domestic vessels or architectural elements that evoke unacknowledged acts of female labor and care.”