Sunday, February 11, 2007

ART IN AMERICA opened last night


Co-organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the Terra
Foundation for American Art

Tour: Beijing: National Art Museum of China
February 10–April 5, 2007
Shanghai: Shanghai Museum, jointly with Museum of Contemporary Art
May 1–June 30, 2007

(New York, NY – December 5, 2006) The Solomon R. Guggenheim
Foundation, New York, in partnership with the Terra Foundation for
American Art, Chicago, has organized the first survey of American art
to be presented in the People's Republic of China. Art in America:
Three Hundred Years of Innovation will feature approximately 130
important works of American art spanning the Colonial period to the
present age, focusing on painting drawn from major U.S. and European
collections, including the Terra Foundation and Guggenheim Foundation.
The exhibition will premiere in Beijing at the National Art Museum of
China, from February 10 through April 5, 2007, and will travel to
Shanghai where it will be co-presented by the Shanghai Museum and the
Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai, from May 1 to June 30, 2007.

"The Guggenheim's commitment to China has been central to its identity
and strategy as a global cultural institution," said Thomas Krens,
Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. "We are pleased to work
with our museum partners in Beijing and Shanghai to realize Art in
America, the first historical survey of American art ever presented in
China. The exhibition offers an extraordinary view of our nation's
cultural and historical developments and bold creative principles. This
project promises to increase understanding of American history and
culture among the Chinese public, and hopefully can be an inspirational
threshold for greater dialogue between the peoples and cultures of
America and China."

"An international lens informs all that we do at the Terra
Foundation," said Elizabeth Glassman, president and CEO, Terra
Foundation for American Art. "In the largest sense, our goal for Art in
America is to expand and enrich knowledge of American art among Chinese
audiences. By revealing the complexities of our nation's history and
artistic heritage, we seek to distinguish our own culture while
simultaneously forging new and enduring connections with the Chinese.
We are pleased to partner with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in
this historic exhibition and extend our thanks to all the lenders for
sharing their treasurers with the world."

Alcoa Foundation is pleased to support another important Guggenheim
cultural exchange, Art in America: 300 Years of Innovation, and we look
forward to sharing these rich representations of the American
experience with the Chinese people, particularly the opportunity to
bring this history to a variety of regional audiences through the
educational program," said Alain Belda, Chairman and CEO of Alcoa. "We
congratulate the Guggenheim for assembling this impressive set of

"It was in 1998 that the Guggenheim first approached the Henry Luce
Foundation with the exciting idea for the exhibition and catalogue Art
in America," said the foundation's president, Michael Gilligan. "Given
our longstanding commitment to promoting better understanding between
America and China and to bringing the work of American artists to more
widespread attention, this is a natural fit. We are honored to assist
in this important undertaking to bring 300 years of American art to
China, and we look forward to sharing this artistic heritage with the
Chinese people, who have long shared theirs with us."

Exhibition Overview
Divided into six historical periods, Art in America: Three Hundred
Years of Innovation demonstrates how the art of each era both reflected
and contributed to a complex visual narrative of the nation during
times of discovery, growth, and experimentation. The exhibition
explores issues of identity, creation, innovation, and
scale—characteristics integral to the American consciousness and
derived in part from the variety and vastness of the cultural,
political, ethnic, economic, and natural landscapes of the United
States. The six sections, each marking significant phases of the
country's development, are: Colonization and Rebellion (1700–1830);
Expansion and Fragmentation (1830–1880); Cosmopolitanism and
Nationalism (1880–1915); Modernism and Regionalism (1915–1945);
Prosperity and Disillusionment (1945–1980); and Multiculturalism and
Globalization (1980–present).

The exhibition features approximately 120 artists from the early 18th
century to the present and includes: John Singleton Copley; Benjamin
West; Charles Willson Peale; Gilbert Stuart; George Catlin; Frederic
Edwin Church; Edward Hicks; Winslow Homer; Martin Johnson Heade; John
Singer Sargent; Albert Bierstadt; Mary Cassatt; Childe Hassam;
Frederick Remington; Marsden Hartley; Robert Henri; George Bellows;
Charles Demuth; Georgia O'Keeffe; Stuart Davis; Thomas Hart Benton;
Grant Wood; Norman Rockwell; Jackson Pollock; Willem de Kooning; Mark
Rothko; Robert Motherwell; Robert Rauschenberg; Jasper Johns; Andy
Warhol; Roy Lichtenstein; Donald Judd, Dan Flavin; Brice Marden; Chuck
Close; Lawrence Weiner; Richard Prince; Keith Haring; Jean-Michel
Basquiat; Jeff Koons; Felix Gonzalez-Torres; Kara Walker; and Matthew
Barney, among many others.

Highlights of the exhibition include: Benjamin West's Penn's Treaty
with the Indians (1771–72, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts); Charles
Willson Peale's George Washington (ca. 1780–82, Walton Family
Foundation); Henry Inman's Yoholo-Micco (1832–33, High Museum of Art,
Atlanta); Thomas Cole's Landscape with Figures: A Scene from "The Last
of the Mohicans" (1826, Terra Foundation for American Art); George
Caleb Bingham's Daniel Boone Escorting Settlers Through the Cumberland
Gap (1851–52, Mildred Lane Kemper Museum of Art, Washington University,
St. Louis, Missouri); Asher B. Durand's A Symbol (1856, Hunter Museum
of American Art, Chattanooga, Tennessee); Edward P. Moran's The
Unveiling of the Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World (1886, Museum
of the City of New York); Winslow Homer's Watching the Breakers: A High
Sea (1896, The Arkell Museum at Canajoharie, New York); Walt Kuhn's
Clown with Drum (1942, Terra Foundation for American Art); Marsden
Hartley's Painting No. 50 (1914–15, Terra Foundation for American Art);
Edward Hopper's Corn Hill (Truro, Cape Cod) (1930, Marion Koogler McNay
Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas); Jackson Pollock's The Moon-Woman
(1942, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy); Andy Warhol's Race
Riot (1963, Daros Collection, Zurich, Switzerland); Willem de Kooning's
Composition (1955, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum); Ed Ruscha's Back of
Hollywood (1977, Musée d'art contemporain, Lyon, France); Dan Flavin's
green crossing green (to Piet Mondrian who lacked green) (1966, Solomon
R. Guggenheim Museum, Panza Collection); Jean-Michel Basquiat's Man
from Naples (1982, Guggenheim Bilbao Museoa); Matthew Barney's
Cremaster Cycle (1994–2002, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum); Kara
Walker's Insurrection! (Our Tools Were Rudimentary, Yet We Pressed On)
(2000, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum); and John Currin's Thanksgiving
(2003, Tate Gallery), to name a few.

The curatorial team of the exhibition has been led by Thomas Krens,
Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The following curators of
American art contributed to the exhibition: Susan Davidson, Senior
Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Elizabeth Kennedy, Curator of
the Collection, Terra Foundation for American Art; Nancy Mowll
Matthews, Eugenie Prendergast Senior Curator of 19th-and 20th-Century
Art, Williams College Museum of Art.

The exhibition benefited from the expertise of the following scholars
of American art and modernism: Michael Leja, Professor of Art History,
University of Pennsylvania; Robert Rosenblum, The Stephen and Nan Swid
Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; and John Wilmerding, The
Christopher B. Sarofim Professor of American Art, Princeton University.

A fully illustrated color catalogue published in both English and
Chinese will accompany the exhibition. Michael Leja, Professor of Art
History at the University of Pennsylvania, contributes a main essay
outlining the major movements in American art from the Colonial period
to the present. Additionally, each section contains an overview essay
written by a leading scholar of the period. Margaretta M. Lovell
contributes a text on early American portraiture; David M. Lubin writes
on 19th-century art and material culture; Nancy Mowll Matthews examines
Americans abroad and at home; Justin Wolff investigates the impact of
industrialization on American art; Robert Rosenblum explores America's
rise as a world art power in the postwar period; and Susan Cross
comments on the issues of American art in a global context. Shorter
essays on relevant thematic topics are also included: Patricia Johnson
and Jessica Lanier discuss Chinese influences on early American visual
culture; Anthony Lee contributes an essay on Chinese-American artists
and the Chinese Diaspora in the United States; and Elizabeth Kennedy
addresses the myth of the American cowboy.

Education Program
The educational program for Art in America: Three Hundred Years of
Innovation will involve a dynamic cross-cultural exchange between the
Guggenheim education staff and their curatorial and education
colleagues at the museums in China. The exchange will focus on learning
about the educational philosophies and approaches employed by each
institution and result in the co-development of exhibition-related
public programs relevant to the regional audiences of the host venues.
Two working sessions, one in New York and the other in China, will
ensure that interpretive materials and educational activities prepared
for this exhibition best serve Chinese audiences and reflect a true
exchange between Asian and Western cultures. A full-color brochure will
accompany the exhibition and be available to museum visitors free of

Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to
promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, architecture, and
other manifestations of visual culture, primarily of the modern and
contemporary periods, and to the collection, conservation, and study of
the art of our time. The Foundation realizes this mission through
exceptional exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and
publications, and strives to engage and educate an increasingly diverse
international audience through its unique network of museums and
cultural partnerships. Currently the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation
owns and operates three museums: the Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue,
New York City; the Peggy Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal in
Venice, Italy; and the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas. The
Foundation also provides programming and management for two other
museums in Europe that bear its name, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, and
the Deutsche Guggenheim, in Berlin. Through a unique alliance
agreement, the Guggenheim Foundation shares its collections and
collaborates on programming with the State Hermitage Museum in St.
Petersburg and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.

Dating to 1996, when the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation collection
was shown at the Shanghai Museum as one of the first exhibitions of
modern Western art in China, the Guggenheim's commitment to China has
been central to its identity and strategy as a global cultural
institution. In 1998, the Guggenheim presented China: 5000 Years, an
unprecedented masterpiece survey of Chinese art, archeology, and
culture from ancient to modern periods, drawn from China's major
museums and organized in cooperation with the P.R.C. Ministry of
Culture. Recently, the museum established a curatorial position for
Asian art, the first within a modern and contemporary art museum in the
west. In 2008, the Guggenheim Museum will present the first museum
retrospective of the work of contemporary Chinese artist Cai Guo Qiang.

Terra Foundation for American Art
The Terra Foundation for American Art is committed to fostering
innovative projects that emphasize multinational perspectives and
participation. Throughout its 27-year history, the Terra Foundation has
supported exhibitions, scholarship, and educational programs designed
to engage individuals around the globe in an enriched and enriching
dialogue on American art. The Terra Foundation's collection of American
art spans the colonial era through 1945, and includes more than seven
hundred works. Currently, the Terra Foundation operates the Musée d'Art
Américain Giverny; actively lends works in its collection to national
and international exhibitions that advance American art scholarship;
awards grants to exhibitions and programs that explore American art in
Europe, Canada, Latin America, and now, Asia; and supports scholars
through residential fellowships at the Smithsonian American Art Museum,
as well as through travel grants offered through the Courtauld
Institute of Art in London, the John-F.-Kennedy-Institut für
Nordamerikastudien in Berlin, and l'Institut national d'histoire de
l'art in Paris.

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