Abu Dhabi to Inaugurate the First Exhibition in the Middle East of Masterpieces from Guggenheim Museum

Published November 16th, 2009 - 02:39 GMT

More than fifty masterful paintings from the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, representing the work of over forty of the most important artists of the twentieth century, will be on view in Abu Dhabi from November 17, 2009, to February 4, 2010 in the exhibition The Guggenheim: The Making of a Museum. The exhibition is presented under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.

The Guggenheim: The Making of a Museum will be on view in Gallery One at the Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi. Key works from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum’s collection featured in the exhibition will include Paul Cézanne’s Bend in the Road Through the Forest (1873–75), Willem de Kooning’s Composition (1955), Vasily Kandinsky’s Decisive Rose (1932), Paul Klee’s New Harmony (1936), Piet Mondrian’s Composition 8 (1914), Robert Motherwell’s Elegy to the Spanish Republic, No. 110 (1971), and Jackson Pollock’s Untitled (Green Silver) (ca. 1949).

“This exhibition is an important opportunity to share these legendary works with the people of the UAE, and to provide a flavor of the experience visitors will have at the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum, which will feature the finest examples of modern and contemporary works from around the world,” said His Excellency Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Tourism Development & Investment Company (TDIC).  “The Guggenheim: The Making of a Museum is an important chapter of Abu Dhabi’s ongoing cultural program supporting Abu Dhabi’s long-term vision of establishing the capital of the UAE as an international hub for arts and culture.”

The Guggenheim: The Making of a Museum is the first exhibition to be organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in collaboration with (TDIC) as part of a program of art and cultural development leading up to the opening of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum. Accompanying the exhibition will be a full program of educational presentations.

“The presentation of this exhibition is truly an exceptional event that marks an important historic milestone and looks forward to the future,” said Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum. “We celebrate the past, because this exhibition marks the 50th Anniversary of the opening of the Guggenheim Museum in New York, but we also look ahead toward the opening of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum. This exhibition is one of the first fruits of the Guggenheim’s exciting collaboration with Abu Dhabi and a sign of the tremendous potential of this partnership.”

A rich roster of educational programming accompanies the exhibition, including the panel discussion From Private to Public: Patronage and the Museum in the Modern Era, moderated by Richard Armstrong, and featuring international art world leaders.  Additional programs include: a lecture on the early history of the  Guggenheim Museum with Karole Vail, Assistant Curator, Guggenheim Museum; a conversation with The Guggenheim: The Making of a Museum co-curators Susan Davidson, Senior Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, Guggenheim Museum, and Valerie Hillings, Associate Curator of Collections and Exhibitions, Abu Dhabi Project, Guggenheim Foundation. Also the program will feature a film screening and lecture on the topic of Abstraction in Motion with John G. Hanhardt, Curator, Nam Jun Paik Archive and Consulting Curator of Film and Media Arts, Smithsonian Museum of American Art; a forum and workshop on museum-school partnerships; and a number of programs for children and families.

The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, which will open in 2013 as part of Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island Cultural District, is being founded to fulfill an educational mission centered on the art of today. The museum will be housed in a distinctive building designed by Frank Gehry, one of the world’s most renowned contemporary architects. Like the Guggenheim in New York, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi will build a permanent collection that reflects a specific point of view about the art of our time, namely its essentially global orientation. The new museum will include not only key examples of Western art, but also the rich and diverse fields of African, Asian, South American, and Middle Eastern art in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

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