2009 Guggenheim International Gala


Gala Evening Includes Premiere of Levels of Nothingness, a Commissioned Performance Installation Inspired by Kandinsky’s Yellow Sound by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer Featuring Isabella Rossellini

What: 2009 Guggenheim International Gala Benefit
When: Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Time: 7 PM Cocktails
          8 PM Performance
          8:30 PM Dinner
          10 PM Repeat Performance
Where: Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum 1071 Fifth Avenue, New York

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(NEW YORK, NY – August 24, 2009) – On Wednesday, September 16, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will host the 2009 Guggenheim International Gala, its annual fundraising celebration, now in its fifth year. The Gala is chaired by Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum, Maria Baibakova, Isabella and Theodor Dalenson, Danielle Ganek, Art Garfunkel, Sarah Jessica Parker, Amy Phelan, and Jacqueline Sackler. Honorary chairs are Phyllis and William Mack and Jennifer and David Stockman. The Guggenheim will honor Deutsche Bank, its visionary partner, with a special tribute. A starred event among the full year of 50th anniversary programming, the 2009 Guggenheim International Gala will take place within the Guggenheim’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed landmark on Fifth Avenue, where guests will enjoy a preview of the full-scale Kandinsky retrospective that opens to the public on September 18. In addition, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s new performance installation, Levels of Nothingness, commissioned and produced by Works & Process at the Guggenheim, will premiere with two 25-minute performances at 8 pm and 10 pm.

In-kind support for the Gala is provided by Swarovski.

Levels of Nothingness is made possible by Deutsche Bank and Colección/Fundación Jumex.

The evening will begin with cocktails at 7 pm in the rotunda and in the newly opened Cafe 3 space overlooking Central Park. The spiraling ramps will offer a preview of Kandinsky, a major exhibition of almost 100 paintings and more than 60 works on paper by Vasily Kandinsky, a pioneer of abstraction and an artist whose work was collected in depth by Solomon R. Guggenheim. Music will be provided by Dustin O’Halloran, whose piano compositions were featured in Sofia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette, along with a string quartet. Peter Hoffman of the SoHo restaurant Savoy, long recognized for its commitment to sustainable agriculture, is preparing a special menu showcasing seasonal organic ingredients from local farms. A pristine white decor with Swarovski crystals designed by Michael Gabellini of Gabellini Sheppard Associates will provide a backdrop for the bright spectrum of the Kandinsky canvases in the exhibition and the guests’ suggested attire, black tie with colors inspired by Kandinsky.

Before or after dinner, guests are invited to the museum’s Peter B. Lewis Theater for the debut of Levels of Nothingness. Inspired by Kandinsky’s The Yellow Sound (1912), Mexican born Rafael Lozano-Hemmer creates an installation where colors derive automatically from the human voice to generate an interactive light performance. Isabella Rossellini will read seminal philosophical texts on skepticism, color, and perception, while her voice is analyzed by computers that control a full rig of rock-and-roll concert lighting. The audience will have the opportunity to test the color-generating microphone as well.

As a gift from the Guggenheim to its friends and supporters, a limited-edition art object, a miniature organ emitting both music and light by Peter Coffin entitled Clavier à lumières, will be given to all guests. Complementing Kandinsky’s explorations of synaesthesia, the New York-based Coffin’s work reimagines the notion of a unified sensory experience, operating as an instrument of integrated color, light, and sound.

The annual Gala was the recent recipient of three awards at the 2008 New York Event Style Awards for its transformation of a raw parking garage for the 2007 Guggenheim International Gala. Funds raised from the 2009 Gala will support the exhibitions and programming at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

To purchase tickets or for ticketing information, please contact Bronwyn Keenan at bkeenan@guggenheim.org or 212 423 3539.

About the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

Founded in 1937, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation is dedicated to promoting the understanding and appreciation of art, primarily of the modern and contemporary periods, through exhibitions, education programs, research initiatives, and publications. Currently the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation owns and operates the Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue in New York and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal in Venice, and also provides programming and management for two other museums in Europe that bear its name: the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin. In 2012- 2013 the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a 452,000 square foot museum of modern and contemporary art designed by architect Frank Gehry, is scheduled to open.

August 24, 2009

Betsy Ennis, Director, Media and Public Relations
Lauren Van Natten, Senior Publicist
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
212 423 3840
E-mail: pressoffice@guggenheim.org

Marisa Wayne
Rubenstein Communications, Associate Vice President
212 843 9216
E-mail: mwayne@rubenstein.com

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