The Guggenheim’s Alexandra Munroe on Why ‘The Theater of the World’ Was Intended to Be Brutal

The curator explains the origins of the exhibition and the thinking behind its most controversial elements. Now well ensconced at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum as its Samsung Senior Curator of Asian Art, Munroe is trying to repeat that feat with recent Chinese art history, working with two co-curators—the widely respected experts Hou Hanru and Phillip Tinari—to […]

Where the Wild Things Are: China’s Art Dreamers at the Guggenheim

BEIJING — The signature work at “Art and China After 1989,” a highly anticipated show that takes over the Guggenheim on Oct. 6, is a simple table with a see-through dome shaped like the back of a tortoise. On the tabletop hundreds of insects and reptiles — gekkos, locusts, crickets, centipedes and cockroaches – mill about under […]

artnet News Critics’ Picks: The Most Memorable Artworks of 2016

While 2016 may have been pretty awful on any number of fronts, we have to admit that it also gave us a lot of pretty great art. Consider Maurizio Cattelan alone, who gave us a solid gold toilet to relieve ourselves on at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, a real life donkey, pooping in the tent […]

Maurizio Cattelan America: New Site-specific Work Unveiled At Guggenheim NY

Maurizio Cattelan’s new, site-specific work opens to the public at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum today September 16, 2016. For “America”, the artist replaces a toilet in one of the museum’s public restrooms with a fully functional replica cast in solid gold. Cattelan is often described as the art world’s resident prankster and provocateur; this installation is the first artwork […]

What Was Abstract Expressionism? A Paint-Splattered Primer on America’s First Major Art Movement

You don’t need to be an art insider to hear the term “Abstract Expressionists” used to describe the inspiration behind all manner of contemporary painting, but what was the original movement all about? Hint: it’s more than just Jackson Pollock drinking and tossing paint on a canvas. In this brief essay from Phaidon’s Art in Time: […]

Do You Have to Be Rich to Make It as an Artist?

Art is a self-starting, entrepreneurial activity, and what is true of entrepreneurs in general is perhaps true of artists. “[T]he most common shared trait among entrepreneurs is access to financial capital—family money, an inheritance, or a pedigree and connections that allow for access to financial stability….,” Quartz recently explained, debunking the cult of the entrepreneur as visionary risk-taker. “When […]

Alberto Burri, a Man of Steel, and Burlap

Alberto Burri’s prescient paintings — in patched, burned and otherwise abused burlap, plastic or wood — form a lavish, beautiful and admirable, if sometimes monotonous retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum. It presents an artist who is impressive less for the profundity of his work than for his consistency and his ideas, which remain very much […]

Hans Haacke on “Gift Horse,” Gulf Labor, and Artist Resale Royalties

Early last March, London’s Conservative mayor Boris Johnson unveiled Hans Haacke’s “Gift Horse,” the tenth commission installed on Trafalgar Square’s Fourth Plinth. Described on the Greater London Authority’s website as a rumination on the “link[s] between power, money, and history,” “Gift Horse” consists of a bronze horse skeleton and a live electronic ticker of the […]

On Kawara, Artist Who Found Elegance in Every Day, Dies at 81

On Kawara, a Conceptual artist who devoted his career to recording the passage of time as factually and self-effacingly as art would allow, died in late June in New York City, where he had worked for 50 years. He was 81. Working in painting, drawing and performance, Mr. Kawara kept himself in the background and […]

Guggenheim Museum Bilbao opens Yoko Ono restrospective

Yoko Ono (B. 1933, Tokyo) has been recognized as one of the most outstanding avant-garde artists for over sixty years. She is a pioneer in many of the artistic fields to which she has dedicated her life, and is considered to be one of the precursors to conceptual art, film and performance art. She is […]

Yoko Ono show at Guggenheim shines light on pioneering conceptual artist

Bilbao exhibition of installations, music and films demonstrates avant-gardiste’s true talents, her reach and influence. ‘The ladder John had to climb up was very high,” recalls Yoko Ono as we chat about one of her most famous works. It is called Ceiling Painting or Yes Painting, and it is one of the classics of conceptual art that […]

Is Futurism’s Time Now? The Guggenheim Takes a Chance On Turbulent History

Famously inspired by a car crash, Futurism burst forth in 1909 with an uncompromising agenda. Its poetics, as decreed by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti in his manifesto, would be “courage, audacity and revolt” nurtured by “fire, hatred, and speed.” Museums had become “cemeteries,” Marinetti wrote, and should be demolished, along with libraries, to deliver Italy from the […]

Testimony of a Cleareyed Witness

Carrie Mae Weems Self portrait 2002

Carrie Mae Weems Charts the Black Experience in Photographs Color and class are still the great divides in American culture, and few artists have surveyed them as subtly and incisively as Carrie Mae Weems, whose traveling 30-year retrospective has arrived at the Guggenheim Museum. From its early candid family photographs, through series of pictures that […]

Painting’s Endgame – Christopher Wool at the Guggenheim

Christopher Wool is one of many painters who have experimented with bringing their medium to extinction. They strip it of familiar attributes like imagery, brushwork or flatness, often ending up with some kind of monochrome that suggests the last painting that could possibly be made. Again and again, these works make viewers ask, in effect: […]