Sensory Poetics: Collecting Abstraction
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
July 08 – October 16 2022
The exhibition brings together highlights from the Guggenheim museum’s growing collection of contemporary art. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum presents Sensory Poetics: Collecting Abstraction, an exhibition of works acquired over the past ten years that highlights the institution’s growing collection of contemporary art. On view for the first time at the Guggenheim, from July 8 through October 16, the show’s selection reflects developments in painting, sculpture, and video from the 1960s to today that manifest expressive and embodied gestures through the manipulation of colour, form, and material and as a response to the constraints of Minimalism.
The artworks in this exhibition register an appeal to the human hand, whether through the tactility of the materials or the gestural marks that comprise their compositions. Works on view include Virginia Jaramillo’s sensorial Birth of Venus (1975); a sculpture by self-taught artist Sonia Gomes that blurs the boundaries between art and handicraft; Of-Also (2012-2013), a charged “blank slate” by Jessica Dickinson; and paintings by Caroline Kent and Stanley Whitney incorporating dynamic engagements with colour.
Representing a cross-section of diverse aesthetic approaches, the featured artists – originating from Europe and the Americas – are inspired by organic processes and natural phenomena, pursue paths of liberation through the abstraction of the corporeal form, or engage with other art forms, including jazz music, classical architecture, and poetry. Sensory Poetics reaffirms Guggenheim’s commitment to documenting the expansive legacy of abstraction that is at the core of its history.
At its inception in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation was devoted to the collecting of nonobjective art, a particular stand of abstraction championed by the museum’s founder and his advisor, Hilla Rebay, that attempted to sever ties to the observable world and aspire instead to promoting spiritual and utopian ideals. The museum has since then been dedicated in part to documenting the broadening legacy of abstraction as artists explore new materials and methods, including a turn toward gesture and bodily impressions as a response to Minimalism’s emphasis on the essential elements of line, plane, and geometric form. This exhibition presents a selection of painting, sculpture, and video acquired over the past ten years that reflects such developments in art from the 1960s to today.