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Originality and a Radical Desire to Experiment - Visions of Modernity at the Deutsche Guggenheim
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Originality and a Radical Desire to Experiment
Visions of Modernity at the Deutsche Guggenheim


The Deutsche Guggenheim first opened in 1997 with “Visions of Paris: Robert Delaunay’s Series.” Now, the exhibition space is once again showing Delaunay – together with contemporaries such as Cézanne, Kandinsky, and Picasso. To conclude the 15-year partnership with Deutsche Bank, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation present masterpieces from its collections in the show “Visions of Modernity”.


Claude Monet, one of Impressionism’s seminal figures, revolutionized painting, yet even when he became an established artist he continued to take risks on new ideas. This can be seen in the three-dozen paintings that he created in 1908 in Venice—paintings like The Palazzo Ducale, Seen from San Giorgio Maggiore, one of the highlights of Visions of Modernity. When Monet’s Venice series was shown for the first time, even the most progressive art critics were deeply impressed. Guillaume Apollinaire, one of the ground breakers of Cubism, praised its “truthfulness.” The paintings departed from every convention in traditional ways of representing the city of lagoons. Never before had Venice been so radically demystified, reduced to an interplay between rock, light, water, and fog, between color and atmosphere.

The other artists in Visions of Modernity also stand for “originality and a radical desire to experiment,” as curator Megan Fontanella describes. Ranging from the Cubist paintings of Picasso and Gris and abstractions by Kandinsky, Schwitters, and Mondrian to Modigliani’s nudes and Calder’s mobiles, the exhibition’s works document the unremitting creative power of these masterpieces. At the same time, the show also relates the history behind the collection of the Guggenheim Foundation. Ever since it was founded in 1937, it has continuously expanded through numerous gifts and acquisitions. And it was these works that helped make the Guggenheim Museum and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection into flagships for modern art.

Museum founders Solomon R. Guggenheim and Hilla Rebay, the visionary art collectors Katherine S. Dreier and Peggy Guggenheim, and the influential gallery dealers Karl Nierendorf and Justin K. Thannhauser were all pioneers; they collected the avant-garde of the late 19th and early 20th centuries with great prescience. For the concluding exhibition at the Deutsche Guggenheim, Visions of Modernity – Impressionism and Classical Modernism in the Collections of the Guggenheim Foundation, highlights from the collections of these six art lovers are brought together to tell the story of pioneering artistic innovations.  

Visions of Modernity:
Impressionism and Classical Modernism in the Collections of the Guggenheim Foundation

11/15/2012 — 2/17/2013
Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin




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