Designed by original starchitect Frank Lloyd Wright, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is arguably the only New York museum that shows art inside a work of art. The Gugg’s famed nautilus-shaped home on Fifth Avenue sets it apart from other NYC art institutions, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum Modern Art (MoMA) and the Brooklyn Museum, but what truly makes the building a global icon is its stunning interior rotunda and oculus. There, along its ascending ramps, you’ll find a world-class collection, as well a full slate of temporary shows as noted in our complete list of the best exhibitions, current and upcoming, at the Guggenheim Museum.
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Current and upcoming Guggenheim exhibits
An offshoot of Minimalist abstraction, Process Art emerged during the 1960s and ’70s with the notion that the ways in which artworks were produced (i.e. their process) could serve as subject matter. This exhibition focuses on a group of painters, including Agnes Martin, Roman Opałka and Park Seo-Bo, who laid out pencil or brush marks, pinholes—and even numbers—in a systemic fashion that made their methods obvious for viewers to see.
By the late 1950s Abstract Expressionism had run its course, while its core tenet—that painting through gestural brushwork constituted a kind of existential theater with the artist as star—had hardened into orthodoxy. Representational styles like Pop Art emerged in reaction, but there remained a group of painters committed to abstraction who looked for a fresh approach. They found it through an emphasis on color achieved by soaking thinned pigments into the canvas instead of slathering it on the surface. Variously called Lyrical Expressionism or Color Field painting, the style was championed by New York art critic Clement Greenberg (whose previous writings on Pollock, De Kooning, et al. were instrumental in boosting AbEx) though its impact was largely confined the early 1960s. This exhibition revisits that period with works by key figures of the time such as and Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Jules Olitski.
Presented as an ongoing exhibition, The Guggenheim’s core collection of 19th- and early-20th Century European art comprises works by Manet, Matisse, Gauguin and Picasso, to name just a very few. It was permanently gifted to the museum in 1978 by the family of eponymous benefactor Justin K. Thannhauser, whose father Louis was a pioneering modern art dealer in Munich during the early 1900s.
Friend and colleague to Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger and Amedeo Modigliani, among others, Constantin Brancusi (1876–1957) was one of the seminal figures of modern sculpture. His marriage of folk motifs from his native Romania with abstract forms produce some of the masterpieces of 20th-century art. The Guggenheim dusts off it’s considerable holdings of Brancusi’s work for this show, which include the photos he shot of his own sculptures and studio surroundings—images that are as sublime as the sculpture for which he’s celebrated.