Nam June Paik
Joris Laarman Studio
Alvaro Siza Vieira Arquitecto
Bjarke Ingels Group
Greg Lynn Form
Toyo Ito & Associates
David van der Leer
Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum. For the building's 50th anniversary, the museum invited more than 200 artists, architects, and designers to imagine their dream interventions in the space. The exhibition features renderings of these visionary projects in a salon-style installation that will emphasize the rich and diverse range of the proposals received. In this show of ideal projects, certain themes emerge, including the return to nature in its primordial state, the desire to climb the building, the interplay of light and space, the interest in diaphanous effects as a counterpoint to the concrete structure, and the impact of sound on the environment.
Since its opening in 1959, the Frank Lloyd Wright–designed Guggenheim building has served as an inspiration for invention, challenging artists
and architects to react to its eccentric, organic design. The central void of the rotunda has
elicited many unique responses over the years, which have been manifested in both site-
specific solo shows and memorable exhibition designs. For the building’s 50th anniversary,
the Guggenheim Museum invited more than two hundred artists, architects, and designers to
imagine their dream interventions in the space for the exhibition Contemplating the Void:
Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum. Organized by Nancy Spector, Deputy Director and
Chief Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and David van der Leer, Assistant
Curator for Architecture and Design, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the exhibition will
feature renderings of these visionary projects in a salon-style installation that will emphasize
the rich and diverse range of the proposals received. Contemplating the Void: Interventions in
the Guggenheim Museum will be on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum from
February 12 to April 28, 2010.
Aristotle famously pronounced that nature abhors a vacuum, an idea that still resonates in art today. In designing the Guggenheim Museum, Wright flaunted the notion of the void, leaving the center tantalizingly (or threateningly) empty. Over the years, when creating site-specific installations or exhibition designs for the building, artists and architects have imbued the space with their presences, inspiring unforgettable works by Matthew Barney, Cai Guo-Qiang, Frank Gehry, Jenny Holzer, and Nam June Paik, among others. For the building’s 50th anniversary, the Guggenheim invited scores of artists to leave practicality or even reality behind in conjuring their proposals for the space. In this exhibition of ideal projects, certain themes emerge, including the return to nature in its primordial state, the desire to climb the building, the interplay of light and space, the interest in diaphanous effects as a counterpoint to the concrete structure, and the impact of sound on the environment. Conceived as both a commemoration and a self-reflexive folly, Contemplating the Void confirms how truly catalytic the architecture of the Guggenheim can be.
Submissions were received from all over the world from a wide range of artists, designers, and architects, including emerging as well as established practitioners. Among the many works in the exhibition are projects by artists Alice Aycock, FAKE DESIGN (Ai Weiwei), Anish Kapoor, Sarah Morris, Wangechi Mutu, Mike Nelson, Paul Pfeiffer, Doris Salcedo, Lawrence Weiner, and Rachel Whiteread; designers such as Fernando and Humberto Campana, Martí Guixé, Joris Laarman Studio, and Studio Job; and architects such as Álvaro Siza Vieira Arquitecto, BIG (Bjarke Ingels Group), Greg Lynn FORM, junya.ishigami+associates, MVRDV, N55, Philippe Rahm, Snøhetta, Studio Daniel Libeskind, Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects, and West 8.
In addition to the exhibition in the Thannhauser and Annex Level 4 galleries, Contemplating the Void will be accompanied by a comprehensive exhibition Web site, which will document each submission and feature introductory essays texts by Nancy Spector and David van der Leer.
Thursday, March 11, 6:30 and 8:30 pm
In conjunction with the exhibition, Works & Process at the Guggenheim presents Hypermusic: Ascension. Harvard physicist Lisa Randall, Spanish composer Hèctor Parra, and artist Matthew Ritchie collaborate on this new site-specific monodrama in the rotunda, which inverts and reinvigorates the genre of opera with an experimental score suggesting the expanding reality of a fifth dimension.
For more information about this program, contact Duke Dang, General Manager of Works & Process at the Guggenheim at firstname.lastname@example.org or 212 758 0024.
$30; $25 Guggenheim Members; $10 Students (25 and under with valid student ID).
For tickets, call the Box Office at 212 423 3587, Monday–Friday, 1–5 pm, or visit http://www.worksandprocess.org
Image: Doug Aitken (b. 1968, Redondo Beach, California), Untitled, 2009. Two digital prints, 96.5 x 68.6 cm and 97.8 x 68.6 cm Artwork © Doug Aitken
Betsy Ennis, Director of Media and Public Relations
Claire Laporte, Publicist 212 423 3840 email@example.com
Preview: Friday, February 12, 2010, 9–11 am
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 Fifth Avenue, New York
Museum Hours: Sun–Wed 10 am–5:45 pm, Fri 10 am–5:45 pm, Sat 10 am–7:45 pm, closed Thurs. On Saturdays, beginning at 5:45 pm, the museum hosts Pay What You Wish.
Admission: Adults $18, students/seniors (65+) $15, members and children under 12 free.
Admission includes audio-guide tour.