Venice’s Guggenheim Foundation Acquires Post-War Art Collection

Thu, 10/18/2012 - 05:30

words by Carol King

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in Venice has acquired 83 works of Italian, European and American art created since 1945. Their arrival extends the reach of Peggy Guggenheim Collection to the late 20th century.

The pieces are the bequest of Hannelore B. Schulhof, who collected the works with her late husband Rudolph B. Schulhof. According to an agreement drawn up by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection and Hannelore, the gift of paintings, sculptures and works on paper will reside permanently at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice, the Italian branch of the Foundation.

The German-Czech couple formed a friendship with Peggy Guggenheim after they met her at the Venice Biennale in 1954. Rudolph was a trustee of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation from 1993 until his death in 1999; his wife was a Charter (Founding) Member of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Advisory Board in 1980 until her death in February 2012.

Ten works of outdoor sculpture have been installed in the gallery’s gardens including Italian artist Pericle Fazzini’s ‘Large Seated Woman (Sibilla)’ (1947, cast in 1956). Other sculptures on display are by Anthony Caro, Isamu Noguchi, Eduardo Chillida, Anish Kapoor, Barbara Hepworth, Alexander Calder, Ellsworth Kelly, Sol Lewitt and Jenny Holzer.

Among the paintings and photographs in the collection are ‘Flowers’ (1964) by American Pop Artist Andy Warhol, ‘Framework Houses’ (1988) by the German Typological photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher, and ‘Spatial Concept’ (1957) by the Italian founder of Spatialism, Lucio Fontana. Some 35 works are on view to the public and the Schulhof Collection will be on display in its entirety for several months in 2013.

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is among the most important museums in Italy for European and American art of the first half of the 20th century. It is located in Peggy Guggenheim’s former home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, on the Grand Canal in Venice. The addition of the Schulhof Collection to the Cubist, abstract, Surrealist and early American Abstract Expressionist art in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection along with Peggy Guggenheim’s own purchases of post-war art, means that the gallery’s scope extends into the 1990s.