“Peggy Guggenheim Collection”

Six exhibitions to see in Venice during the Biennale

From 13 May to 26 November, a dense programme has been scheduled at Venice for the 57th Biennale. From Xavier Veilhan’s “Merzbau musical” to Mark Bradford’s social project, we take a little look at the openings not to miss. This year, the Venice Biennale is being steered by a Frenchwoman, Christine Macel, curator of the department of contemporary and prospective creation at the Centre Pompidou. The event’s theme, “Viva Arte Viva”, covers the capacity of artists to “invent their own universes” and “inject vitality into the world we live in”, in the words Paolo Baratta, president of the Venice Biennale foundation. This faith in art and the future is a deliberate choice on Baratta’s part after a beautiful but austere 2015 vintage, curated by Okwui Enwezor (“All the World’s Futures”). The Italian city will be welcoming numerous exhibitions and national pavilions simultaneously. Much to see, to hear, and to reflect on…   French Pavilion: a new-generation recording studio This year, the French Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is being overseen by Xavier Veilhan, and shouldered by curators Lionel Bovier (director of the MAMCO in Geneva) and Christian Marclay (artist and musician). Veilhan, as successor to Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, is setting up a project called “Merzbau musical” which plays on the volumes and decors of the French Pavilion’s space, drawing inspiration from a recording studio. The exhibition’s title is a nod to Kurt Schwitters whose “Merzbau” consisted of a habitable construction of variable dimensions, composed of salvaged objects. Schwitters’ project, initially intended to be named “Cathédrale de la misère érotique” (Cathedral of Erotic Misery), started in Hannover, then continued in Oslo and New York, throughout the artist’s life. In the French Pavilion, Xavier Veilhan places at the public’s disposal all types of musical instruments – some existing, others invented for the...

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Paris High Court rules on Peggy Guggenheim trial

On 2 July 2014, the Paris High Court ruled against suing requests made ​​by the heirs of Peggy Guggenheim against the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York. From 1930 onwards, Peggy Guggenheim (1898-1979) assembled a remarkable collection of 326 modern artworks, featuring pieces by Picasso, Matisse, Kandinsky, Ernst and Mondrian. Following the Second World War, she housed the works at Venice’s Palazzo Venier dei Leoni. In 1979, she bequeathed the rights to her Venetian palazzo and collection to New York’s Solomon Guggenheim Foundation — then directed by her cousin Harry Guggenheim —, on the strict conditions that the entire collection should remain intact and on display in the palazzo. Today, it stands as Italy’s most-visited modern and contemporary art museum, according to the Foundation. Her heirs accused the Foundation of bad political management of the collection, by not respecting the wishes of their grandmother Peggy, and pledged for the will to be retracted. The Guggenheim heirs previously contested the issue in 1996, which was also rejected — the current decision reinforcing the weight of the issue. The Foundation has also cited the fact that there was no termination clause in the will – rendering it ineffective due to poor execution. Finally, the heirs were ordered by the French court to pay €30,000 in legal fees to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The judge rejected the Foundation’s demand of €15,000 in compensation for what they claimed to be abusive legal proceedings. However, the beneficiary — Peggy’s son and heir, Sinbad — supports the position of the Foundation. The family is already planning to appeal the decision....

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For Your Eyes Only at The Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Venice, 16 April 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA). The Guggenheim Venice is to present “For Your Eyes Only: A Private Collection, From Mannerism to Surrealism”, to run between 24 May and 31 August 2014. Curated by Andreas Beyer, the show features a “rich selection” of works from the private collection of Richard and Ulla Dreyfus-Best in Basel. One hundred and twenty paintings, sculptures, drawings and artefacts, dating from the Middle Ages to the present day, represent examples of work by artists including Arnold Böcklin, Victor Brauner, Pieter Brueghel the Elder, Giorgio de Chirico, Francesco Clemente, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Man Ray and Andy Warhol. A short introductory text produced by the Guggenheim for the exhibition describes the collection’s focus not only on originality and quality, but on notions of “artifice”. Following its run at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, the exhibition is to travel to Kunstmuseum Basel, where it is to go on display from 21 September 2014 to 4 January...

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Fernand Léger painting is a fake, thanks to carbon dating

Venice, 12 February 2014, Art Media Agency (AMA). Italian researchers have solved a question which had puzzled art historians for more than forty years, relating to the authenticity of a Fernand Léger painting, identified as belonging to his 1913-1914 Contrasting Forms series. The painting has now been classified as a definitive fake. The Italian scientists used a method which has never before been applied to this type of case, analysing an unpainted part of the canvas. Using a particle accelerator to measure the level of carbon 14, they determined that the painting had been created after 1959, four years after Léger’s death. The findings confirmed scholars’ long-standing doubts about the painting’s authenticity. The painting had been kept in storage at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. It had never been exhibited or displayed, due to a lack of expert...

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Day and night at the Guggenheim in Venice

Venice, 19 November 2013, Art Media Agency (AMA). The Guggenheim Musuem in Venice is to hold an exhibition between 1 February and 14 April 2014 entitled “Themes & Variations. The Empire of Light”. First conceived by Luca Massimo Barbero in 2002, the exhibition is to be presented, for the third time, in 2014. The project is based on the idea of confronting different aspects of postwar art, its affinities and meanings, across the themes of light, twilight and darkness, in an encounter between day and night. Venice’s Guggenheim Museum opened in 1980 and houses the personal collection of wealthy patron and collector Peggy Guggenheim, which was donated by its owner to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in the mid-1970’s. Installed in her former residence — an 18th century palace — the museum has become a major centre for modern and contemporary...

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