Guggenheim Collection: The American Avant-Garde 1945-1980 On View in Rome, Italy


Exhibition Presents Major Trends in Postwar American Art from Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art, to Minimalism, Conceptual Art, and Photorealism

Exhibition:         Guggenheim Collection: The American Avant-Garde

                          (Il Guggenheim. L’avanguardia americana 1945–1980)
Venue:               Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Via Nazionale, 194, Rome
Dates:                February 7 – May 6, 2012

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(NEW YORK, NY – December 16, 2011) –– From February 7 through May 6, 2012, the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, Italy, will present Guggenheim Collection: The American Avant-Garde 1945–1980, an exhibition of some 60 iconic works from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s permanent collection. Showcasing the museum’s superb holdings of Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Post-Minimalism, Conceptual Art, and Photorealism, the exhibition will examine a period marked by radical challenges to established tradition. Comprising paintings, sculptures, photographs, and installations, the works included in this exhibition represent key moments in the history of American art, from the 1940s through the 1970s, and were culled from the Guggenheim’s global network of museums, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Venice, and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

In the period represented by the works in this exhibition, the Guggenheim developed from its roots as a small, distinctive showcase focused on European abstract painting into an international center for contemporary art. Through forward-thinking exhibitions and bold collecting practices, the Guggenheim, along with its main supporters and patrons, not only acquired important contemporary artworks for posterity, but also actively fostered some of the most innovative—and frequently controversial— aesthetic movements of the second half of the 20th century.

According to Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, “It is fitting that this exhibition takes place in Italy, home to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s Peggy Guggenheim Collection, which has provided many of the works in this presentation. As an institution of cultural excellence in Italy, the Palazzo delle Esposizioni is an ideal location for an exhibition of avant-garde art of the American postwar years. With its classical galleries and magnificent vistas, the Palazzo offers a new context and unique setting for experiencing iconic works by artists such as Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, and Chuck Close, among others. We hope that Guggenheim Collection: The American Avant-Garde 1945–1980, provides audiences with new insight into one of the most intriguing periods in the history of American art. ”

The exhibition is organized by Lauren Hinkson, Assistant Curator, Collections, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, in collaboration with the staffs of the Palazzo delle Esposizioni and Azienda Speciale Palexpo, and in particular, Mario De Simoni, Director General of Azienda Speciale Palexpo, and Matteo Lafranconi, Head of Cultural Programs at the Palazzo delle Espozioni.

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 provides programming and management for the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. The Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin is the result of a collaboration, begun in 1997, between the Guggenheim Foundation and Deutsche Bank. The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, a museum of modern and contemporary art designed by Frank Gehry on Saadiyat Island and adjacent to the main island of Abu Dhabi city, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is currently in progress. More information about the foundation can be found at

December 16, 2011


Piergiorgio Paris
Palazzo delle Esposizioni
06 48 94 12 06

Betsy Ennis, Director, Media and Public Relations
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
212 423 3840

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