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"The Global Guggenheim: Selections from the Extended Collection"
2001-02-09 until 2001-04-22
Guggenheim Museum
New York, NY, USA

The Global Guggenheim: Selections from the Extended Collection is the first full museum presentation of the Guggenheim Foundation’s permanent collection since 1992. The exhibition brings together a highly select group of approximately 200 paintings, works on paper, and sculptures, representing Impressionism and early Modernism through Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, and Pop Art, from the foundation’s extended collection. This constellation of museums, partner institutions, and private trusts includes the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice; Guggenheim Museum Bilbao; Deutsche Guggenheim Berlin; State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg; the Gianni Mattioli Collection; and the collection of Robert Rauschenberg. Drawing from this rich array of sources, The Global Guggenheim celebrates the felicitous nature of collecting and the fortuitous circumstances that brought these works of art together. The Global Guggenheim is on view from February 9 to April 22, 2001.

This exhibition is sponsored by Fireman's Fund Insurance Company and Delta Air Lines. The permanent collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation constitutes the very core of the institution, said Thomas Krens, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Assembled over the past seventy years—and still a work-in-progress—the collection embodies the museum's own unique history, which has consistently represented and, on occasion, catalyzed the history of twentieth-century art.

Over the past ten years, the museum has redefined itself as an international institution, expanding not only architecturally but geographically through alliances with public and private trusts around the world, continued Mr. Krens. We are able to present only a small portion of this 'extended collection' at present, due to architectural constraints. It is my hope that the future growth of the institution will more fully accommodate the collection, making it available to New York and international audiences on a permanent basis.

Our Company has long been recognized as a top national insurer of fine art in private homes, as well as an underwriter of galleries, art dealers and traveling exhibitions, said Dave Pollard, division president of Fireman's Fund Insurance Company. This sponsorship transcends our interest in the financial aspects of fine art and enables the public-at-large to access the enduring aesthetic value of Guggenheim masterpieces.

Delta is proud to sponsor this extensive collection of masterpieces from around the world, said Frederick W. Reid, Delta’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. We look forward to our growing partnership with the Guggenheim and are enthusiastic about the opportunity to bring the inspiration of great art to all walks of life.

The Extended Collection

In recent years, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation has redefined the parameters of acquisition and ownership previously inscribed in the concept of the museum collection. With locations in New York, Venice, Bilbao, Berlin, and Las Vegas, as well as alliances with major international museums and private collections, the Guggenheim Foundation has pioneered the relationships necessary for sharing staff, programming, resources, and—foremost—art across international boundaries. One result of these innovative strategies is the extended collection of the Guggenheim, highlights of which are brought together for the first time in this exhibition. Together, the strengths of the foundation’s collections are complementary and, at the same time, retain the unique character of the institution each represents.

Exhibition Organization and Installation

The Global Guggenheim has been organized by Carmen Giménez, Curator of Twentieth-Century Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, whose mandate was to show the breadth, diversity, and beauty of the collection, rather than a comprehensive exhibition of the museum’s holdings. The exhibition spans 130 years, from 1867 to 1997. The curatorial vision began with identifying a number of artists who are represented in-depth within the museum’s holdings—Kandinsky, Brancusi, Picasso, Mondrian, Klee, Dubuffet—and by anchoring each of the museum’s ramps with works by one of these artists. Recent acquisitions are also featured; however, only a few have been included due to space limitations and the scale of many of the works.

Just as the origins of the Guggenheim Museum were based on the particular vision of Solomon R. Guggenheim and his advisor, Hilla Rebay, this exhibition is also, in many ways, a personal view. The exhibition has been installed to set up dialogues between seemingly unrelated works, and to suggest affinities between others. On the first ramp, Picasso’s Woman Ironing (1904) is paired with Brancusi’s Sorceress (1916-24), in an elegant juxtaposition of curving forms and contours. Further along the same ramp, Picasso’s The Studio (1928) hangs next to Giacometti’s Nose (1947), while on ramp 4, two early paintings by Mondrian, Tableau No. 2 (1913), and Composition (1916), are installed next to a Donald Judd sculpture, Untitled (1968), and a nearby Rothko, Untitled (# 18) (1963). Other combinations include a high cubist Picasso, Accordionist (summer 1911) coupled with Pollock’s Enchanted Forest (1947); and Joan Miró’s Landscape (The Hare) (Autumn 1927) with Francis Bacon’s Three Studies for a Crucifixion (1962).

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