The Syllabus

The Syllabus: The Guggenheim International

The Guggenheim Museum has a long tradition of juried competitions and awards. That lineage continues today with the Hugo Boss Prize, but the first was the Guggenheim International Award. Established in 1956 to survey artistic developments from around the globe, the award honored an artist selected from an international shortlist. In its early years, entries from such far-flung locales as Egypt, South Africa, and Yugoslavia mingled with the more usual suspects from the United States and Europe. Through the tumultuous sixties, the exhibition changed form many times, and so did the dominant artistic styles represented—reflecting that decade's rapid shift in tastes from abstract expressionism's descendents to Post-Minimalism and Conceptual art. The catalogue grew in tandem, from the lightly illustrated (though still quite handsome) checklist of 1958 to the elaborate, experimental boxed edition of 1971.

The 1971 Guggenheim International Exhibition was to be its last. (The switch from Award to Exhibition came four years earlier.) This final installment gained notoriety when a work by artist Daniel Buren was removed from the show in response to protests from other participating artists. In 2005, thirty-four years later, Buren produced a site-specific installation filling the museum's rotunda. The accompanying exhibition catalogue examined the 1971 controversy through primary documents and reflections by participants and scholars. Designed as a broadsheet that the artist titled "The Buren Times" ("All the Work That's Fit to Exhibit"), this catalogue was a whimsical one-of-a-kind document and a fitting complement to designer Malcolm Grear's innovative and conceptual 1971 "GIE" edition.

Installation views: Guggenheim International Exhibition, 1971, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, February 12–April 11, 1971. Photos: Robert E. Mates © The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

Required Reading

Guggenheim International Exhibition 1967

Contributions by Edward J. Fry and Thomas M. Messer
Published in 1967
154 pages

Guggenheim International Award 1964

Lawrence Alloway
Published in 1964
128 pages

Guggenheim International Exhibition, 1971

Contributions by Edward J. Fry and Diane Waldman
Published in 1971
44 pages , fully illustrated

Guggenheim International Award 1958

James Johnson Sweeney
Published in 1958
30 pages , fully illustrated

Guggenheim International Award 1960

Published in 1960
36 pages , fully illustrated

More From the Museum

Eye of the Storm: Works in Situ by Daniel Buren microsite

Marxz Rosado, The Process for Attaining the Signature of Pedro Albizu Campos in Neon Lights (Proceso para conseguir la firma de Pedro Albizu Campos en luces de neón), 1977–2002

Guggenheim Blogs

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Frank Lloyd Wright

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Jackson Pollock, Untitled (Green Silver), ca. 1949

The Collection

Explore the permanent collection of the Guggenheim Museum.