Romy Golan

  • View of “Jannis Kounellis,” 2016–17. Photo: Manolis Baboussis.

    Jannis Kounellis

    Be’er Sheva, although Israel’s fourth-largest city, stands relatively neglected at the edge of the Negev, in the nation’s so-called periphery. Jannis Kounellis arrived in Be’er Sheva with, in his own phrase, his hands in his pockets—that is to say, without a project. One can well understand why Kounellis would be lured by the desert, for he was one of the leading figures of Arte Povera, once described by the critic Germano Celant as “a nomadism of action.”

    Kounellis’s working materials typically vary in response to the locale he finds himself in. His concept for this exhibition is that Israel

  • View of “Picasso Black and White,” 2012–13. Left: Le Baiser (The Kiss), 1969. Right: Le Baiser (The Kiss), 1969. Photo: David Heald.

    “Picasso Black and White”

    “PICASSO BLACK AND WHITE” is formalist with a vengeance. Curated by Carmen Giménez, the show is not thesis-driven; rather, it distills Picasso’s art to its essentials, skillfully enlisting the museum’s architecture to aid in this process. Indeed, few curators have matched Giménez’s ability to tailor exhibitions to Frank Lloyd Wright’s rotunda. As she did twenty years ago with “Picasso and the Age of Iron”—also at the Guggenheim and similarly premised on a single formal idea from start to finish—the curator uses the idiosyncratic spaces between the ramps and along the spiral as blank

  • View of “Michelangelo Pistoletto: From One to Many, 1956–1974,” 2010, Philadelphia Museum of Art. From left: Biennale 66, 1966; No all’aumento del tram (No to the Raise of the Tram Fare), 1965.

    Michelangelo Pistoletto

    IN 1962, the young Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto began his “Quadri specchianti,” or “Mirror Paintings,” affixing silhouettes of friends, colleagues, and mundane objects onto highly polished stainless steel. These were works structurally devised to be completed by viewers, in accordance with Umberto Eco’s contemporaneous definition of the “open work.” Virtually everything about them confounds pictorial and viewing space: the diminutive nature of the tissue-paper cutouts (which need to be smaller than life-size to be of more or less the same proportions as us, as we stand back from them);

  • Julius Bisser, Sculptor with Self-Portrait (Bildhauer mit Selbstbildnis), 1928, oil on canvas, 30 1/3 x 24".

    Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy, and Germany 1918-1936

    Returning to classicism was one of the ways artists responded to the rupture of World War I.

    Returning to classicism was one of the ways artists responded to the rupture of World War I. This was, however, an ambiguous move—speaking on one hand to a dream of a timeless ideal body while embracing on the other such functionalist projects as the New Man and the machine aesthetic—and that ambiguity challenges simple teleological models of the succession of avant-gardes. This exhibition is the first in the United States to look at the sway classicism held in the interwar years over the imaginations of painters, sculptors, architects, designers, and filmmakers in

  • “Il Modo Italiano”

    SINCE WORLD WAR II no country has been more thoroughly identified with the lure of design than Italy. Curatorial attempts to consider the historical relationship between Italian design and art, however, have often proved disappointing. For example, the last North American treatment of the subject, Germano Celant’s “The Italian Metamorphosis, 1943–1968” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1994, was perhaps most memorable for its Ferragamo shoes and mannequins in Valentino evening gowns. By contrast, “Il Modo Italiano: Italian Design and Avant-Garde in the 20th Century,” co-organized