Posts tagged with "Guggenheim":
If Frank Lloyd Wright were still alive, June 8 would be his 150th birthday. Sadly, the architect who is one of America's most renowned is no longer with us, but the occasion can still be celebrated. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, one of Wright's best works, is putting on a series of events to mark the date.
The activities will be about the museum building itself and Frank Loyd Wright's involvement with it. June 8 will kick off with a special open day, starting at 10 a.m. and running through to 5.45 p.m. Admission will be reduced to $1.50 in reference to architect's would-be age. The Guggenheim’s newly renovated Cafe 3 will display large rare photographs of the museum during its construction phase. A special birthday cake will also be on the day's menu.
Between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m., an actor-historian will be walking around playing the role of Frank Lloyd Wright. (Hopefully, he will not emulate all of the architect's traits—one of which was to be often aloof and a no-show.)
In case you miss it, further activities will be put on throughout the month including architecture-specific tours of the museum as part of the Art in the Round program, sketch workshops such as Drawing the Guggenheim, and a variety of family programs. In addition to this, the Guggenheim Store will also be selling new Wright-related merchandise, and the museum’s website will feature new content about the architect.
In the city, it can be hard to find places of total quiet. A new exhibition at the Guggenheim, though, tries to tone down loud New York, at least for a couple of minutes.
Artist Doug Wheeler has created expansive works with luminous materials since the 1960s. His latest piece, PSAD Synthetic Desert III, creates the impression of infinite space as it plunges visitors into almost complete silence. With help from what are essentially large Magic Erasers, Wheeler transformed a regular museum gallery into an almost totally silent space meant to evoke the northern Arizona desert.
Wheeler first conceived of Synthetic Desert in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but this is the first time his installation has been realized. Tucked away on an upper floor of the Guggenheim, visitors pass through three sound-cushioned antechambers before entering the installation on a carpeted gangway.
Save for a recording of the desert, the luminous purple-gray space is so soundless you can hear a whole constellation of funny bodily noises that are typically unhearable in everyday life. While sound in a quiet room registers at 30 decibels, in Wheeler's semi-anechoic chamber, noise levels check in at about 10 to 15 decibels.
To achieve this super-quiet, the museum used 1,000 pieces of sound-absorbing melamine foam on one side of the room and on the floor. 600 grey foam wedges line the walls, and 400 pyramids of the same material fill space below the platform where visitors sit and take it all in. The Guggenheim worked closely with Arup sound designers Raj Patel and Joseph Digerness to realize the exhibition, and BASF, the company that created the foam, is an exhibition sponsor.
PSAD Synthetic Desert III is on view through August 2 at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. More information about reservations and walk-in tickets can be found on the museum's website.
Now on display at the Guggenheim is Tales of Our Time, an exhibition that opens up a discourse on the concepts of geography and nation-state. The exhibition's artists are primarily East Asian (Chia-En Jao, Kan Xuan, Sun Xun, Sun Yuan & Peng Yu, Tsang Kin-Wah, Yangjiang Group, and Zhou Tao) and their work has a site-specific focus that ranges from their homeland to remote border areas and untouched islands. Within this spectrum, notions such as territory, boundaries, and utopia crop up and are used to question the traditional understanding of place.
Tales of Our Time draws on renowned Chinese author Lu Xun's Gushi xin bian (Old Tales Retold, 1936). In this story, ancient Chinese legends critique society, reimagine history, and shed light on contemporary issues. The line between reality and fiction is blurred by artists in the tale, thus causing disruption, drawing up new borders, demolishing old ones, and dividing communities, regions, nations, and continents in the process.
The artworks from the aforementioned artists are all new commissions. However, they don't focus solely on China and its art scene. Social and political tensions found across the globe manifest in the works through themes such as individual and collective memory, migration and urbanization, cultural inclusion and exclusion, and technological development. "The tales told in this exhibition consider our seemingly more connected, globalized world as one that is still filled with fractured land, fragmented history, and upended traditions, but, at the same time, they also propose ways to imagine culture differently," says the museum.
If you have ever wanted to use a toilet cast in 18-karat gold, now is your chance.
Starting on Friday, September 16, Maurizio Cattelan's America opens at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. One of the public toilets in the museum will be replaced by a fully-functional gold replica. The super luxury product serves as social commentary on today's America by allowing the public to participate and giving them a very private, individual experience with the artwork. Cattelan is also taking aim at the art market and its extravagance as well as the American Dream (if your personal American Dream is to sit on a solid gold toilet). It's a signifier of wealth beyond what is comprehensible: Extreme luxury is coupled with a utilitarian bath product.
The toilet references Marcel Duchamp’s Fountain (1917) but with a new twist. Rather than provoking the way art is made and its meaning, Catelan assigns a new function to the toilet as an object of opulence and financial speculation. Additionally, he puts the toilet back in the realm of function, acting as an "artistic transgression." The piece also references Piero Manzoni’s Artist’s Shit (1961) in which Manzoni allegedly canned his own excrement and sold each container at a price equal to its weight in gold. A comment on the value of labor and celebrity in the art market.
For more on the piece and Cattelan's cheeky sense of humor, see this interview on the Guggenheim website.