Artistic License: Six Takes on the Guggenheim Collection

24 May 2019–12 January 2020

Exhibition Overview

Guggenheim Artistic License.jpg

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s painting storage facility, New York.

This full-rotunda exhibition celebrates the institution’s extensive twentieth-century holdings through the intervention of six contemporary artists, all of whom have contributed to shaping the museum’s history with their own pivotal solo shows. Curated by Paul Chan (b. 1973, Hong Kong), Cai Guo-Qiang (b. 1957, Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China), Jenny Holzer (b. 1950, Gallipolis, Ohio), Julie Mehretu (b. 1970, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), Richard Prince (b. 1949, Canal Zone, Panama), and Carrie Mae Weems (b. 1953, Portland, Oregon), this presentation brings together collection highlights and rarely seen works from the turn of the century to 1980 (along with some surprises orchestrated by the artist-curators). Creating unique and critical dialogues with the Guggenheim’s history and the history of modern and contemporary art, these artists will each interpret the collection through their own individual perspectives. The exhibition will include nearly 300 paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and installations that engage with the cultural discourse of their time—from the utopian aspirations of early modernism to the formal explorations of midcentury abstraction to the sociopolitical debates of the 1960s and ’70s, with each curated section providing a distinctive opportunity for new interpretations of the collection. As a whole, the exhibition will provide a refreshing opportunity for the museum to critically reflect on its own history.

(Photo: Kristopher McKay © Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation.)

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