New York City, NY
On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the institution will display [...] over 170 modern works from the permanent collections held in New York and Venice. Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim will explore not only avant-garde innovations from the late 19th through mid-20th centuries, but also the radical activities of six patrons who brought to light some of the most significant artists of their day. Foremost is the museum’s founder, Solomon R. Guggenheim (1861–1949), who with support from his trusted advisor, the German-born artist Hilla Rebay (1890–1967), set aside a more traditional collecting focus to become a great champion of nonobjective art—a strand of abstraction with spiritual aims and epitomized by the work of Vasily Kandinsky. Assembled against the backdrop of economic crisis and war in the 1930s and 1940s, Guggenheim’s unparalleled modern holdings formed the basis of his foundation, established in 1937 for the public good.
The Guggenheim Foundation’s formative collection was subsequently shaped through major acquisitions from contemporaries who shared Solomon Guggenheim’s pioneering spirit. These include a group of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, and early School of Paris masterworks from Justin K. Thannhauser (1892–1976); the eclectic Expressionist inventory of émigré art dealer Karl Nierendorf (1889–1947); the incomparable holdings of abstract and Surrealist painting and sculpture from self-proclaimed “art addict” Peggy Guggenheim (1898–1979), Solomon’s niece; and key examples from the estates of artists Katherine S. Dreier (1877–1952) and Rebay, both pivotal figures in promoting modern art in America. Visionaries will feature works by such iconic artists as Alexander Calder, Paul Cezanne, Marc Chagall, Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, and Vincent van Gogh, in addition to treasures by artists less well known today. The six patrons and over 70 artists who comprise Visionaries helped to establish the Guggenheim Foundation’s identity as a forward-looking institution.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.