Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A taste of home: The Guggenheim comes to Rome

Grrrrrrrrrrr!! Roy Lichtenstein, 1965. Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York

If you're getting a bit ODed on Italian art, if Caravaggio, Tintoretto, Guercino and all the Renaissance masters are getting you down, if you're an American, like me, living in Rome and trying to make sense of this crazy country, and just need a little bit of home so that things will make sense again, then have I got an exhibit for you! (There's always something on in Rome to solve any problem!)

Untitled (Green Silver), Jackson Pollock, 1949. Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York

60 works from the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice are on display at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni. And even though Italian art could never, ever get me down, and even though Abstract Expressionism will never make things make sense to me, I enjoyed the exhibit nonetheless.

Untitled, Mark Rothko, 1947. Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York
As post-war American art is really not my forte, I will not pretend to wax philosophical about it, but I will offer a couple of words about the exhibit. It covers 5 major genres of 20th century art: Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Post-Minimalism/Conceptual Art and Photorealism. The first three exhibition rooms are dedicated to Abstract Expressionism, and thereafter there is one room dedicated to each genre.

Untitled, Mark Rothko, 1942. Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York

The works on display date from 1945 to 1980 and the exhibit seeks to fully explore the artistic movements of the American Avant-guard during a time in which the United States became one of the most important centers for the creation and promotion of new art.
Orange Disaster no. 5, Andy Warhol, 1963. Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York
I must admit I liked the Pop Art and the Photorealism works well and above the rest. That probably says something about my lack of imagination or education, or both I expect! This gumball one fascinates me. Why? I don't know. Maybe because I had a gumball machine (a real one that you had to put pennies in) when I was a little girl, and it must take me back. I just want to dive right in to all its colorful, sugary goodness. I was fascinated by how realistic these paintings are, how much some of them look like photographs. Not this one nearly as much as some of the others.

Gum Ball no. 10: "Sugar Daddy", Charles Bell, 1975. Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York

If you're American and a bit starved for some home-cooked art, or if like me American Avant-guard art is anything but familiar, either way, you'll enjoy this visually stunning and thought provoking exhibit. See my Exhibits on Now page for the whens and wheres.

All images provided courtesy of Azienda Speciale Palaexpo
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