Helen Frankenthaler, Canal, 1963, Acrylic on canvas, 205.7 x 146 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Purchased with the aid of funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, in Washington, D.C., a federal agency; matching funds contributed by Evelyn Sharp 76.2225.
Piero Manzoni, Achrome, 1958-59, Fabric and gesso on canvas, 70.5 x 50.2 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, Gift, Estate of Geraldine Spreckels Fuller 2001.14.
Hans Hofmann, The Gate, 1959-60, Oil on canvas, 190.7 x 123.2 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 62.1620, © 2011 Renate, Hans & Maria Hofmann Trust/Artist's Rights Society (ARS), New York.
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
Abandoibarra Et. 2
Painterly Abstraction, 1949-1969:
Selections from the Guggenheim Collections
June 14, 2011-January 8, 2012
Painterly Abstraction, 1949-1969: Selections from the Guggenheim Collections, investigates major trends in U.S. and European art in a singular overview of two decades of creative output, revealing the striking affinities among artists working continents apart, in a period of rapid creative development.
With nearly 80 works by over 60 artists from the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the exhibition explores the similarities among different forms of artistic expression that emerged in Europe and North America. Many paintings on view in the exhibition were acquired by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum during its second director James Johnson Sweeney's tenure (1952-60). Since its inauguration in 1997, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao has used the art of this period as the essential point of departure for its collection.
Through selected works from the collections of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, this exhibition explores major trends in U.S. and European painting in the 1950s and 1960s.
During the Cold War, numerous stylistic approaches to abstract painting emerged. In response to the devastation of World War II and the rise of existential philosophy, European artists turned to hybridization and synthesis in contrast to earlier, utopian and experimental values. Art Informel, or art without form, encompasses a wide array of abstract practices and painterly methods that emerged in this postwar era.
Painting in the United States was simultaneously evolving toward a gesture-based, highly expressive style. Like the creators of Art Informel, the Abstract Expressionists were interested in the process and essentials of making art, as well as tapping into their own unconscious mind or emotional states of mind.
Lucio Fontana, Concetto spaziale, Attese, 1965, Water-based paint on canvas, white, 130 x 97 cm, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Gift, Fondazione Lucio Fontana 88.3590.
Conrad Marca-Relli, Warrior, 1956, Oil and canvas collage on canvas, 215.9 x 127 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 57.1458.
Morris Louis, 1-68, 1962, Acrylic resin on canvas, 212.7 x 106.7 cm, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 67.1846.