Guggenheim. Photo: David Heald

Cecilia Vicuña: Spin Spin Triangulene
May 27–September 5, 2022

Cecilia Vicuña, Autobiografía (Autobiography), 1971. Oil on canvas, 23 1/2 × 25 1/4 in. (59.7 × 64.1 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Museum purchase, Elizabeth W. Russell Foundation Fund, 2019.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presents an exhibition devoted to Chilean artist, poet, activist, and filmmaker Cecilia Vicuña (b. 1948, Santiago), who has been based in New York for the last 40 years. Showcasing Vicuña’s artistic production from the late 1960s to today, this focused exhibition will feature the breadth of her multidisciplinary practice, including paintings, works on paper, textiles, films, a site-specific Quipu (Knot) installation, and a one-time performance of a “living” Quipu, commissioned by the museum’s Latin American Circle. The exhibition will also include new paintings and works on paper created specifically for this presentation. The title, Spin Spin Triangulene, is a poetic creation based on new scientific discoveries the artist relates to the Guggenheim’s spiral rotunda and the quipu, to stress the connection between science and Indigenous knowledge Vicuña has observed since her early encounter with cybernetics as a young student in Chile. Long anticipated, this is the first solo exhibition of Vicuña’s work in a New York museum and will bring renewed and overdue national and international attention to a pioneering contemporary Latin American artist.

Vicuña explores themes of memory, language, science, and Indigenous spirituality and knowledge across her practice. Her early figurative paintings in this exhibition were conceived as a decolonizing act to subvert the oil tradition imposed on Indigenous culture by the European conquest. These works interweave her biography with the story of the rise of socialism. Following the 1973 Chilean military coup that ushered in the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, Vicuña self-exiled in London. As the political activism of her art intensified, revolutionary icons and influences—ranging from Karl Marx and Chilean folk singer and social activist Violeta Parra to Andean popular art, animism, and Indigeneity, which had long been her subjects—became poignant symbols of what was under attack. Also on view in textiles, film, and works on paper will be Vicuña’s language-based Palabrarmas, or “word weapons,” which are politically engaged, metaphorical riddles and poems displaying her conception of language as a living entity.

In the mid-1960s Vicuña began her Quipu series, soft sculptures made of suspended strands of knotted and unspun wool sometimes combined with found objects. The khipu (knot) was knotting made of colored threads to convey complex narrative and numerical information, a system created in the Andes in South America and later abolished by European colonizers. Vicuña reimagines her Quipus as a poetic response against cultural, ecological, and economic disparities. As part of this exhibition, the artist will premiere a three-part Quipu installation, Quipu del Exterminio / Extermination Quipu (2022), representing life, death, and resurrection as a call to action to stop the extinction of earth’s species and the loss of biocultural diversity. The artist’s “living” Quipu performance is a participatory collective healing ceremony connecting ancient memory and contemporary culture, inviting visitors to become active in the poetic and political change of our world.

Cecilia Vicuña: Spin Spin Triangulene is organized by Pablo León de la Barra, Curator at Large, Latin America, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, and Geaninne Gutiérrez-Guimarães, Associate Curator, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation.

Eva Hesse: Expanded Expansion
July 8–October 16, 2022

Eva Hesse in her Bowery studio, New York, ca. 1966. Photo: SRGF © The Estate of Eva Hesse, courtesy Hauser & Wirth

Accompanying Expanded Expansion is a group of small experimental works, arranged in a manner similar to the artist’s worktable, that reveal Hesse’s hand and visceral manipulation of materials. Unedited archival video and audio—the artist in her studio captured on film by Dorothy Beskind, and an interview by art historian and feminist activist Cindy Nemser—allow for open interpretations of the artist’s words and a rare look into her working and living space.

A short, Guggenheim-produced documentary covers the extensive research, dialogue, and complex conservation treatment that were carried out to resuscitate the work. Hesse was well aware of the fragility of her materials, but ambivalent about the inherent demise of her works. Despite material changes, Expanded Expansion still holds tremendous power and is a testament to the pioneering artist who, despite her untimely death in 1970, left a body of work that pushed sculpture beyond Minimalism and Abstract Expressionism, and has deeply influenced the work of younger artists.

Eva Hesse: Expanded Expansion is curated by Lena Stringari, Deputy Director and Andrew W. Mellon Chief Conservator, with the collaboration of Richard Armstrong, Director, and Esther Chao, Objects Conservator.

Sensory Poetics: Collecting Abstraction
July 8–October 16, 2022

Stanley Whitney, Untitled, 1997. Oil on linen, 72 3/8 × 85 1/8 in. (183.8 × 216.2 cm). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Purchased with funds donated by the International Director’s Council 2018.39

This presentation brings together highlights from the Guggenheim Museum’s growing collection of contemporary art. Acquired over the past ten years, and shown at the museum for the first time, this selection of artworks reflects developments in painting and sculpture from the late 1960s to today. Installed in open dialogue with one another, the works manifest both expressive and embodied gestures by artists through the manipulation of color, form, and material. Sensory Poetics features a cross section of diverse practices pursued by artists from around the world, including Sonia Gomes, Virginia Jaramillo, Vivian Suter, and Stanley Whitney, and reaffirms the Guggenheim’s commitment to expanding the story of abstraction that is at the core of its history.

Sensory Poetics: Collecting Abstraction is curated by Joan Young, Director, Curatorial Affairs.

Alex Katz: Gathering
October 21, 2022–February 20, 2023

Alex Katz, Yellow Tree 1, 2020. Oil on linen, 72 × 72 in. (182.9 × 182.9 cm). Private Collection, Republic of Korea. © 2022 Alex Katz/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Gladstone Gallery

Emerging as an artist in the mid-20th century, Katz forged a mode of figurative painting that fused the energy of Abstract Expressionist canvases with the American vernaculars of the magazine, billboard, and movie screen. Throughout his practice, he has turned to his surroundings in downtown New York City and coastal Maine as his primary subject matter, documenting an evolving community of poets, artists, critics, dancers, and filmmakers who have animated the cultural avant-garde from the postwar period to the present.

Staged in the city where Katz has lived and worked his entire life, and prepared with the close collaboration of the artist, this retrospective fills the museum’s Frank Lloyd Wright rotunda. Encompassing paintings, oil sketches, collages, drawings, prints, and freestanding “cutout” works, the exhibition begins with the artist’s intimate sketches of riders on the New York City subway from the late 1940s and culminates in the rapturous, immersive landscapes that have dominated his output in recent years.

Alex Katz: Gathering is organized by Katherine Brinson, Daskalopoulos Curator, Contemporary Art, with Terra Warren, Curatorial Assistant.

Nick Cave: Forothermore
November 18, 2022–April 10, 2023

Nick Cave, Soundsuit, 2011. Mixed media. Vintage bunny, safety pin craft baskets, hot pads, fabric, metal, and mannequin, 111 × 36 × 36 in. © Nick Cave. Photo: Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

The most comprehensive survey of Cave’s practice to date, the exhibition reflects the artist’s more than three-decade journey through material experimentation and his concerns for persons who are marginalized. The presentation includes early installations, cast bronze sculptures, tapestries made of sequined garments, color-saturated videos, and other breathtaking works. Displayed against a backdrop of geometric vinyl wallpaper designed with the artist’s partner, Bob Faust, Forothermore traces Cave’s artistic themes and evolving survival strategies against social injustice.

This retrospectivefeatures over a dozen of Cave’s iconic Soundsuits—elaborate sculptures that meld costume and performance—and the debut of his new series, Soundsuits 9:29. The head-to-toe garments are constructed with a mélange of materials, among them beads, pearls, wire, feather, sequins, synthetic hair, and twigs. Although extravagant, these pieces nevertheless conjure an ominous darkness lurking under their carnivalesque veneer. Originally created in response to the beating of Rodney King by police in 1992, the Soundsuits continue toaddress today’s heightened social unrest and reckoning for racial justice in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Accompanying the series, a video program in the Guggenheim’s New Media Theater shows a selection of Cave’s moving-image works, from early sartorial theatrics to newer surrealistic creations, greeting visitors with mysterious creatures and patterns.

With Forothermore, Cave looks back over the development of his singular art practice and, more important, interrogates the promises—fulfilled and emptied—that the late-twentieth and early twenty-first centuries offered to the “other.”

Nick Cave: Forothermore is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. The exhibition is curated by Naomi Beckwith, Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, New York, and former Manilow Senior Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, with Jack Schneider, Curatorial Assistant, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation was established in 1937 and is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of modern and contemporary art through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. The international constellation of museums comprises the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; and the future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. An architectural icon and “temple of spirit” where radical art and architecture meet, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is now among a group of eight Frank Lloyd Wright structures in the United States recently designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site.

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