Tag Archive | Guggenheim Museum

Modern Art Monday Presents: Henri Rousseau, The Football Players

The Football Players
Photo By Gail

A toll clerk by profession, Henri Rousseau only began to paint seriously in his forties. Critics lambasted the untrained artist’s unsentimental images of faraway places (he never traveled outside of France), yet the Parisian avant-garde celebrated his unique style. Executed only two years before he died a pauper, The Football Players (1908) illustrates Rousseau’s quirky attempts to depict modern times with a new sport, rugby. The active, albeit stylized athletes present a rare exception from Rousseau’s largely static compositions.

Photographed in the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.

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Modern Art Monday: Robert Delaunay, Window on the City No. 3

Window on the City No 3
Photo By Gail

Window on the City No 3 (1912) belongs to Robert Delaunay’s series City (La Ville, 1909-11) which helped establish his reputation as a leading avant-garde artist. The painting also marks a fundamental transition in the artist’s oeuvre: while in earlier paintings light was a device used to break up objects, in this work light becomes the subject itself. The patchwork texture, common to his paintings, is transformed into a consistent pattern of triangles and rectangles. A new range of brilliant colors explodes on the canvas surface. Interestingly, the reverse of this painting bears fragments of Carousel of Pigs (1906), which was once thought lost. This unfinished work is characteristic of Delaunay’s previous exploration of Neo-impressionism and includes renderings of people and flowers broken down into brilliant colors, reveling the different ways in which, in painting, light visually constructs all objects.

Photographed in the Guggenheim Museum in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Rudolf Bauer, Invention (Composition 31)

Invention (Composition 31)
Photo By Gail

By the late 1920s, Rudolf Bauer (1889 – 1953) had replaced the lively and organic symphony of shapes that he had developed in his earlier work with a more balanced aesthetic. Invention (Composition 31) (1933)  epitomizes this trend and features flat geometries tightly gravitating toward a dark center, a hazy black shape perhaps symbolizing the ultimate void. Also around this time, museum founder Solomon R. Guggenheim became acquainted with the artist through Bauer’s former companion, Hilla Rebay. Not only was Bauer’s work amassed in depth, but he also played an integral role as Guggenheim’s European agent in the first decade that Guggenheim spent forming his modern art collection.  Invention (Composition 31) was reproduced on the cover of the catalogue Art of Tomorrow, which accompanied the opening exhibition of the Guggenheim Museum’s Non-Objective Painting, New York in June 1939.

Installation View
Installation View

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Amedeo Modigliani, Jeanne Hébuterne with Yellow Sweater

Jeanne Hebuterne with Yellow Sweater
Photo By Gail

Amedeo Modigliani (1884 – 1920) met Jeanne Hébuterne in 1917, when she was 19 and a student in Paris. That same year, they moved into a studio and remained together until their deaths in 1920 (Hébuterne committed suicide the day after Modigliani died of tuberculosis). Hébuterne was the subject of more than 20 portraits that embody the artist’s signature depiction: a dramatically elongated figure with almond-shaped eyes and sensual but firmly closed lips. Hébuterne looks straight ahead, but her eyes are empty, as if caught in a reverie. African masks and early Sienese masters, as well as the concurrent styles of Constantin Brancusi and Pablo Picasso, influenced Modigliani’s work.

Jeanne Hébuterne with Yellow Sweater (1919) was photographed as part of the exhibit, Visionaries: Creating a Modern Guggenheim in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in NYC.

Modern Art Monday Presents: Vasily Kandinsky, Black Lines

Black Lines
Photo By Gail

With its undulating colored ovals traversed by animated brushstrokes, Vasily Kandinsky’s Black Lines (1913), is among the first of his truly nonobjective paintings. The network of thin, agitated lines indicates a graphic, two-dimensional sensibility, while the floating, vibrantly hued forms suggest various spatial depths. By 1913 Kandinsky’s aesthetic theories and aspirations were well developed. He valued painterly abstraction as the most effective stylistic means through which to reveal hidden aspects of the empirical world, express subjective realities, aspire to the metaphysical, and offer a regenerative vision of the future. Kandinsky wanted the evocative power of carefully chosen and dynamically interrelated colors, shapes, and lines to elicit specific responses from viewers of his canvases. The inner vision of an artist, he believed, could thereby be translated into a universally accessible statement.

The artist realized, however, that it would be necessary to develop such a style slowly, in order to foster public acceptance and comprehension. Therefore, in most of his work from this period he retained fragments of recognizable imagery. “We are still firmly bound to the outward appearance of nature and must draw forms from it,” he wrote in his essay Picture with the White Edge, but suggested that there existed a hidden pictorial construction that would “emerge unnoticed from the picture and [would thus be] less suited to the eye than the soul.”

— Nancy Spector

Photographed in the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan

Eye On Design: Maurizio Cattelan, America

America 1
All Photos By Gail

Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan’s bold, irreverent work, America, skewers social complacencies and re-imagines cultural icons. On the occasion of the artist’s 2011 – 2012 retrospective at the Guggenhiem, which featured virtually every work he had ever made suspended from the oculus of the rotunda, Cattelan announced his retirements from art making.

Bathroom with Golden Toilet

Five years later, he returns from his self-imposed exile with a new, ongoing project at the Guggenheim Museum. For America (2016), Cattelan replaced the Toilet in one of the museum’s unisex restrooms with a fully functional replica cast in 18K Gold, making available to the public an extravagant luxury product seemingly intended for the 1 percent.

Golden Toilet Overhead View
The Seat Is Dry, Even Though It Appears to be Wet

Its participatory nature, in which viewers are invited to make use of the fixture individually and privately, allows for an experience of unprecedented intimacy with a work of art. Cattelan’s Golden Toilet offers a wink to the excesses of the art market, but also evokes the American dream of opportunity for all — its utility ultimately reminding us of the inescapable physical realities of our shared humanity.

 

Golden Toilet

Photographed in the Guggenheim Museum, Level 4 Restroom in the Rotunda, NYC.

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Moholy-Nagy: Future Present at the Guggenheim NY

Moholy-Nagy Three Globes
All Photos By Gail. All Text By The Guggenheim Museum

László Moholy-Nagy (b. 1895, Borsód, Austria-Hungary; d. 1946, Chicago) believed in the potential of art as a vehicle for social transformation, working hand in hand with technology for the betterment of humanity. A restless innovator, Moholy-Nagy experimented with a wide variety of mediums, moving fluidly between the fine and applied arts in pursuit of his quest to illuminate the interrelatedness of life, art, and technology. An artist, educator, and writer who defied categorization, he expressed his theories in numerous influential writings that continue to inspire artists and designers today.

Moholy-Nagy 4 Pictures

Moholy-Nagy Plastic Form

Walter Gropius invited him to join the faculty at the Bauhaus school of art and design, where Moholy-Nagy taught in Weimar and Dessau in the 1920s. In 1937, he was appointed to head the New Bauhaus in Chicago; he later opened his own School of Design there (subsequently renamed the Institute of Design), which today is part of the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Moholy-Nagy

Moholy-NagyAmong Moholy-Nagy’s radical innovations were his experiments with camera-less photographs (which he dubbed photograms); his unconventional use of industrial materials in painting and sculpture; experiments with light, transparency, space, and motion across mediums; and his work at the forefront of abstraction, as he strove to reshape the role of the artist in the modern world. Moholy-Nagy: Future Present features paintings, sculptures, collages, drawings, prints, films, photograms, photographs, photomontages, projections, documentation, and examples of graphic, advertising, and stage design drawn from public and private collections across Europe and the United States.

Manifesto

Room of The Present

On display in the museum’s High Gallery is Room of the Present (Raum der Gegenwart), a contemporary fabrication of an exhibition space conceived of by Moholy-Nagy in 1930, but not realized in his lifetime.

Room of The Present

Light Prop for an Electric Stage
Light Prop for an Electric Stage

On view for the first time in the United States, the large-scale work contains photographic reproductions and design replicas as well as his kinetic Light Prop for an Electric Stage (Lichtrequisit einer elektrischen Bühne, 1930; recreated 2006). Room of the Present illustrates Moholy-Nagy’s belief in the power of images and the significance of the various means with which to view and disseminate them — a highly relevant paradigm in today’s constantly shifting and evolving technological world.

Room of The Present

Interior Elevation

This is a massive retrospective with lots to see and learn about the genius of László Moholy-Nagy. Here are a few more photos from this must-see show!

Three Pictures Black Backgrounds

Two Pictures

Ad From London Underground
Ad For The London Underground Circa 1936 – 37

Moholy-Nagy

Moholy-Nagy Pins Detail
Detail from Above Work

Moholy-Nagy

László Moholy-Nagy is a central figure in the history of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. In 1929, Solomon R. Guggenheim and his advisor, German-born artist Hilla Rebay, began collecting his paintings, works on paper, and sculpture in depth for the Guggenheim’s growing collection of nonobjective art. His work held a special place at the Museum of Non-Objective Painting — the forerunner of the Guggenheim Museum — where a memorial exhibition was presented shortly after his untimely death in 1946.

Moholy-Nagy

Moholy-Nagy: Future Present Runs Through September 7th, 2016 at the Guggenheim Museum, Located at 1071 Fifth Ave at 89th Street, NYC.

Moholy Nagy Gift Shop