press release

Ever since its inauguration in 1939 as the Museum of Non-Objective Painting, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has presented and interpreted contemporary art for a diverse international audience. Storylines: Contemporary Art at the Guggenheim continues this tradition and is the latest in a series of thematic exhibition to draw on the permanent collection to elucidate the art of our time. Filling the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright–designed rotunda, it features the work of forty-eight artists from recent generations whose work investigates or regenerates notions of storytelling across a variety of mediums. Storylines grew out of an organic and collective curatorial investigation, which began with the museum’s recent collecting history. In considering what stories these diverse works might tell, the curators decided to focus on the idea of narrative itself as the subject of the exhibition. Highlighting individual experience and interpretation over a single, authoritative perspective, the project allows for expanded communication and connection between the artwork and our visitors, and facilitates a unique interdisciplinary dialogue by inviting novelists and poets to contribute responses to the works on view.

The curatorial team—Katherine Brinson, Curator, Contemporary Art; Carmen Hermo, Assistant Curator, Collections; Nancy Spector, Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator; Nat Trotman, Associate Curator; and Joan Young, Director, Curatorial Affairs—ably combined and configured the many works in Storylines into a cohesive whole. The collaborative structure of this exhibition extends to the essential contributions made by other stellar staff members at the Guggenheim across multiple departments, who are acknowledged with gratitude below as the Storylines Project Team. Of course, many thanks are also due to the forty-eight artists and thirty-one authors whose voices and stories inspired this exhibition, and continue to inspire our visitors.

We are indebted to the gracious supporters of the exhibition, notably and the Juliet Lea Hillman Simonds Foundation. The members of the Storylines Leadership Committee should likewise be praised for their generosity, including Rachel and Jean-Pierre Lehmann and Chair Roberta Amon, Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson, Katherine Farley and Jerry I. Speyer, Gladstone Gallery, Greene Naftali Gallery, Michael S. Lee, Nancy and Woody Ostrow, Sarah Arison, Gavin Brown’s enterprise, Denise LeFrak Calicchio and John Calicchio, Linda and Gregory Fischbach, Courtney and Scott Taylor, and the International Director’s Council. We are thankful for the additional funding provided by the New York State Council on the Arts and The Polish Cultural Institute New York.

Richard Armstrong  

Director Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation