press release

This exhibition features a selection of contemporary sculpture that has entered the Guggenheim's permanent collection since 2000 through the support of the museum's International Director's Council and the generosity of individual patrons. Though the works were all acquired independently of one another, their presentation here reveals certain common traits that reflect trends in recent sculptural practices. For instance, a narrative impulse informs all of the sculptures on view, which range from Robert Gober's haunting wicker basket pierced by a culvert pipe to Maurizio Cattelan's witty self-portrait. In contrast to the abstract, reductivist vocabulary of Minimalism, these works are infused with content. Like fragments of a literary plot, they allude to stories, reference ideas, and create meaning. Formally, a number of the sculptures suggest domestic-scale architecture or furniture: a bureau, a bookshelf, a desk, a laundry basket. In addition, they share a very specific materiality—a certain kind of tactile, hand-wrought look—as opposed to, again, the cool, industrial appearance of Minimalist art. Some of the artists, such as Tom Friedman, Tim Noble, and Sue Webster, use their materials almost alchemically, transforming the most mundane things (Styrofoam and taxidermic rodents) into captivating illusions. The installation may be found in Annex Galleries 5 and 7.


Recent Acqisitions: Contemporary Sculpture

mit Robert Gober, Maurizio Cattelan, Tom Friedman, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, u.a.