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Purchase the Gutai: Splendid Playground exhibition catalogue.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Collection of Non-Objective Paintings
Contributions by Yarnell Abbott and Hilla Rebay
Published in 1937
88 pages, fully illustrated
Published in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Collection of Non-Objective Paintings captures an illuminating glimpse into Solomon R. Guggenheim's collection of non-objective painting in its naissance, before the Museum of Non-Objective Painting opened in 1939. The exhibition of 199 works was presented at the Philadelphia Art Alliance in 1937 and marks the first time the collection was exhibited in its entirety. The museum's first curator, Hilla Rebay, contributed the catalogue essay which introduces the collection as the one of the most complete collections of non-objective painting in the world and unfolds the early thought processes of understanding the importance of non-objective painting. With black-and-white and color reproductions of the paintings, the catalogue captures a pivotal moment in modern art history as well as the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum's own history.
Non-objective pictures being worlds of their own, have no meaning, and represent nothing. They are lovely or unpleasant to our eyes as music is lovely or disagreeable to our ears. People react differently to the appeal of motifs and melodies. It is as difficult to get acquainted with many non-objective paintings at one time, as it would be to hear all Beethoven's nine symphonies in succession for the first time. But to a connoisseur, this treat would bring new enjoyment by comparing details and different variations of motives in different keys.