Seeing Through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection to Open

Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama
Infinity Mirrored Room—Filled with the Brilliance of Life, 2011
Mirror-paneled installation with LED lights and water
Edition 2/3, 300 x 617.5 x 645.5 cm
Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

The exhibition in Abu Dhabi will feature artworks by 18 international artists from the 1960s to today exploring the theme of light

Exhibition: Seeing Through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection
Venue: Manarat Al Saadiyat Cultural District, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Dates: November 5, 2014–January 19, 2015

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s pre-opening exhibition at Manarat Al Saadiyat will introduce the future museum’s curatorial vision through a theme-based collection presentation. This vision endeavours to foster a transcultural perspective on the history of art, intended to encompass various legacies of modernism and the emergence of contemporary cultural thought in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world.

Angela Bulloch

Angela Bulloch
6 Chains: Permutation B (52:4—White), 2002
LanBox-LCX controller; 21 DMX modules of lacquered birch plywood with diffusion-foiled glass, aluminum panels, cables, and RGB lighting system; six black boxes of lacquered birch plywood, aluminum panels, and cables, 50 x 50 x 50 cm each
Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

Comprised of sixteen artworks acquired specifically for Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection, as well as two key loans from its partner institution, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Seeing Through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection examines the theme of light as a primary aesthetic principle in art. This unifying thesis offers many avenues for interpretation, whether natural or artificial, directed or reflected, interior or exterior, transcendent or celestial. The theme’s richness and flexibility also has particular relevance across cultures and time periods.

Robert Irwin

Robert Irwin
Untitled, 1967–68
Acrylic lacquer on formed acrylic plastic, 116.8 cm diameter

HE Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi) said: “Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s inaugural exhibition introduces the public to the collection of Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and illuminates not only the fabric of the museum itself but also its cultural direction and broader role in the region’s international art scene. TCA Abu Dhabi has created a cultural platform, through various community and education programmes, to inspire artistic experiences and education that contributes to creating a unique cultural destination for residents and visitors”.

YZ Kami

Y. Z. Kami
Endless Prayers XIII, 2008
Cut-and-pasted printed paper on canvas, 177.8 x 195.6 cm
Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

The exhibition unfolds through five sections that examine light in various iterations: Activated, Celestial, Perceptual, Reflected, and Transcendent. While the exhibition begins chronologically in the 1960s (which aligns with the start date for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection), it quickly blends time and mixes established and mid-career artists, as well as assembling a diversity of media within each section. From immersive environments that visitors can move around in and even through to video, painting and sculpture, one will be able to experience light in all of its spatial, sensory and perceptual phenomena. Some of the artists included are Angela Bulloch, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Robert Irwin, Y.Z. Kami, Bharti Kher, Rachid Koraïchi, Yayoi Kusama, Otto Piene, and Douglas Wheeler.

Otto Piene

Otto Piene
Hängende Lichtkugel (Hanging Light Ball), 1972
Perforated and chromium-plated brass sphere, chromium-plated brass spheres, light bulbs, and electric motor, 223.5 x 68 cm
Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

With its poetic references to the start of a new era, Seeing Through Light is fitting for a premiere exhibition of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s collection. This group of artworks illuminates the creative vision of the future museum, offers the first glimpse of what is to come, and represents a significant milestone in the evolution of the new museum. The diverse and popular theme of light presented in the exhibition is just one narrative that may be more fully explored in Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s future museum designed by Frank Gehry, itself a monument to light whose glass-covered cones are guaranteed to become beacons on the cultural landscape of Abu Dhabi.

Seeing through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection is curated by Susan Davidson, Senior Curator, Collections and Exhibitions, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, with Sasha Kalter-Wasserman, Assistant Curator, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and Maisa Al Qassimi, Programmes Manager, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.

http://www.guggenheim.org