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Guggenheim exhibition of American Avant-Garde to open at the historic Palazzo delle Esposizioni
Jackson Pollock (1912-1956), Untitled (Green Silver), ca. 1949. Enamel and aluminum paint on paper, mounted on canvas, 22 3/4 x 30 3/4 inches (57.8 x 78.1 cm). Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Gift, Sylvia and Joseph Slifka, 2004.

ROME.- The Guggenheim will open a special exhibition at the historic Palazzo delle Esposizioni in the heart of Rome on February 7, 2012. Showcasing more than 60 exemplary works from the museum's permanent collection, Guggenheim Collection: The American Avant-Garde 1945–1980 traces the key upheavals in art during the decades after World War II and highlights the often radical challenges to traditional notions of art and art making that emerged during the period.

Through paintings, sculptures, photographs, and installations, the exhibition examines one of the most important periods in American art, beginning when Abstract Expressionism brought worldwide attention—and sometimes controversy—to a circle of New York artists, including Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. Over the next few decades, the United States remained a global center for modern art as various aesthetic practices took root and proliferated, from Conceptualism and Minimalism to Pop art and Photorealism.

This period also marked a key shift for the Guggenheim, which evolved from being a small showcase for European abstract painting to becoming an international center and advocate for contemporary art. Through its forward-thinking patrons, supporters, and curators, the museum acquired pieces that would later become some of the most iconic artworks of the postwar period, many of which are featured in the exhibition.

Though focused on American art, the exhibition itself has an international reach, drawing on works from the Guggenheim's global network of museums, including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, and the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Organized in partnership with the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, the largest multidisciplinary arts center in downtown Rome, the exhibition reflects the Guggenheim's ongoing efforts to collaborate with international institutions to promote an understanding and appreciation of modern and contemporary art.

"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," says Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation. "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."

Curated by Lauren Hinkson, Assistant Curator of Collections at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Guggenheim Collection: The American Avant-Garde 1945–1980 includes works by Pollock, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Dan Flavin, Robert Bechtle, Richard Estes, and many others. The exhibition runs from February 7 to May 6, 2012. Visit the Palazzo delle Esposizioni for exhibition times and details.

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February 7, 2012

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