Artists: Paweł Althamer, Julieta Aranda, Matthew Barney, Kevin Beasley, John Bock, Carol Bove, Ernesto Caivano, Mariana Castillo Deball, Maurizio Cattelan, Trisha Donnelly, Shannon Ebner, Simon Fujiwara, Ellie Ga, Gerard & Kelly, Simryn Gill, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Rachel Harrison, Camille Henrot, Juliana Huxtable, Rashid Johnson, Matt Keegan, Agnieszka Kurant, Mark Leckey, Lee Bul, Zoe Leonard, Glenn Ligon, Sharon Lockhart, Nate Lowman, Mark Manders, Ryan McGinley, Josephine Meckseper, Zanele Muholi, Iván Navarro, Catherine Opie, Gabriel Orozco, Laura Owens, Katie Paterson, R. H. Quaytman, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Xaviera Simmons, Taryn Simon, Alexandre Singh, Agathe Snow, Ryan Trecartin, Danh Vo, Sharif Waked, Jonas Wood, and Haegue Yang.
Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim
June 5 – September 9, 2015
NYC, NY, USA
Visual art has always been closely associated with storytelling. In Western culture, painting and sculpture initially evolved to illuminate narratives of religion, patronage, and power. Over the centuries, genre scenes, still lifes, and portraits—often created as intricate allegories for religious or historical subject matter—became popular as the narrative role of art expanded. In the twentieth century, with the advent of abstraction as a radical break with the past, many artists associated with the avant-garde rejected the figurative and, hence, eliminated explicit narrative content. In the United States and Europe, this tendency culminated during the 1960s and 1970s in Minimal painting and sculpture that foregrounded geometric abstraction and in Post-Minimalism’s examination of process and materiality. The 1980s witnessed a resurgence of figurative art, much of which harked back to expressionistic styles of the 1920s and 1930s.
During the 1990s, a generation of younger artists embraced the concept of storytelling to articulate the politics of identity and difference, investing both abstract and representational forms with narrative content. Storylines opens with key examples from that decade, which serve as thematic anchors and highlight the museum’s own exhibition history. Most of the works on view, however, were created after 2005 and offer an expansive view of the new paradigms for storytelling forged during the past ten years to communicate ideas about race, gender, sexuality, history, and politics, among other trenchant themes.
Bringing together over one hundred works from the Guggenheim’s contemporary collection, Storylines examines the diverse ways in which artists today engage narrative through installation, painting, photography, sculpture, video, and performance. For these artists, storytelling does not necessarily require plots, characters, or settings. Rather, narrative potential lies in everyday objects and materials, and their embedded cultural associations. In projects created through extensive research, acts of appropriation, or performance, the artists in Storylines uncover layers of meaning, turning to individual experience as a means of conveying shared stories, whether real or fictional.
The recent narrative turn in contemporary art cannot be separated from the current age of social media with its reverberating cycles of communication, dissemination, and interpretation. Seemingly every aspect of life is now subject to commentary and circulation via digital text and images. These new narrative frames highlight the roles that each of us can play as both author and reader, foregrounding the fact that meaning is contingent in today’s interconnected and multivalent world. As a means of celebrating this dynamic, the museum has invited writers to contribute reflections—in prose or poetry—on selected works in Storylines. Engaging the rich historical relationship between literature and art, the resulting polyphony signals the diverse interpretive potential that lies within each object on display. Visitors may access these texts using the Guggenheim app or in booklets located throughout the museum.
Artists: Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla, Carlos Amorales, Armando Andrade Tudela, Alexander Apóstol, Tania Bruguera, Luis Camnitzer, Mariana Castillo Deball, Alejandro Cesarco, Donna Conlon and Jonathan Harker, Adriano Costa, Minerva Cuevas, Jonathas de Andrade, Wilson Díaz, Juan Downey, Rafael Ferrer, Regina José Galindo, Mario García Torres, Dominique González-Foerster, Tamar Guimaraes, Federico Herrero, Alfredo Jaar, Claudia Joskowicz, Runo Lagomarsino, David Lamelas, Gilda Mantilla and Raimond Chaves, Marta Minujín, Carlos Motta, Iván Navarro, Rivane Neuenschwander, Gabriel Orozco, Amalia Pica, Wilfredo Prieto, Paul Ramírez Jonas, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Gabriel Sierra, Javier Téllez, Erika Verzutti, and Carla Zaccagnini.
Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today
June 13 – October 1, 2014
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
New York, USA
Under the Same Sun: Art from Latin America Today reconsiders the state of contemporary art in Latin America, investigating the creative responses of artists to complex, shared realities that have been influenced by colonial and modern histories, repressive governments, economic crises, and social inequality, as well as by concurrent periods of regional economic wealth, development, and progress. The exhibition presents contemporary artistic responses to the past and present that are inscribed within this highly nuanced situation, exploring the assertions of alternative futures.
Organized by Pablo León de la Barra, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Latin America, Under the Same Sun features works by 40 artists and collaborative duos from 15 countries. The artworks are organized around five themes: “Conceptualism and its Legacies,” “Tropicologies,” “Political Activism,” “Modernism and its Failures,” and “Participation/Emancipation.”