The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989

January 30 - April 19, 2009



 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Asia

For over a decade, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's engagement with Asia has included a wide range of special exhibitions, traveling exhibitions, and programs, beginning in 1994 when the Guggenheim presented Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against the Sky, a pioneering exhibition organized by Alexandra Munroe. Since then the Guggenheim has presented numerous exhibitions of Asian art and culture, including China: 5,000 Years - Innovation and Transformation in the Arts; Dawn: Early Chinese Cinema; and A Century in Crisis: Modernity and Tradition in the Art of Twentieth-Century China, in 1998, as well as retrospectives of important contemporary Asian-born artists, among them the Korean-born Nam June Paik in 2000; the Japanese conceptual photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto in 2001; and Chinese-born Cai Guo-Qiang in 2008.

Since the inception of the Hugo Boss Prize, a biennial award administered by the Guggenheim Foundation, the award finalists have included three Chinese artists: Cai Guo-Qiang (1996), Huang Yong Ping (1998), and Yang Fudong (2004); two Japanese artists: Yasumasa Morimura (1996) and Hachiya Kazuhiko (2002); two South Korean artists: Lee Bul (1998) and Koo Jeong-a (2002); as well as the 2004 winner, Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija (2004).

In addition, the Guggenheim has organized exhibitions from its permanent collections that have traveled extensively throughout Asia, including venues in Tokyo, Singapore, Seoul, Beijing, and Shanghai.

In 2006, the Guggenheim appointed its first curator of Asian art, Alexandra Munroe, and formalized its commitment to Asia as a vital area of curatorial expertise, program activity, and cultural exchange. The appointment came at a transformational moment for the emerging field of modern and contemporary Asian art as it was rapidly gaining international recognition. Ms. Munroe's appointment also allows the Guggenheim to expand its holdings in modern and contemporary Asian art within its permanent collection. In 2007, Ms. Munroe established the Asian Arts Council to help steer the Guggenheim's Asian art activities, including exhibitions, publications, and educational programs. The Guggenheim is uniquely positioned to play a critical role in defining the relevance for Asian art within today's curatorial establishment.

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