Curated by Gražina Subelytė and Karole P. B. Vail
In 2012, Hannelore B. Schulhof (1922–2012), who collected with her late husband Rudolph R. Schulhof (1912–1999), bequeathed eighty works of postwar European and American art to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to be housed at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice. This exhibition is an opportunity to view the Schulhof Collection nearly in its entirety. Privileging formal artistic developments, this presentation provides insights into the art movements and styles that evolved and matured towards the end of World War II through to the 1980s. Abstract imagery, as a quest into issues of color, form and space as well as their interrelationships, characterized the postwar decades, becoming the foundation of the Schulhof Collection.
The display reflects this overarching abstract crescendo of minimalism and refinement, opening with works by artists such as Afro Basaldella, Alberto Burri, Willem de Kooning, Lucio Fontana, Hans Hofmann, Joan Mitchell, Mark Rothko and Cy Twombly, proceeding with those by Eduardo Chillida, Jean Dubuffet, Hans Hartung, Anselm Kiefer, Agnes Martin, and eventually arriving at the paintings and sculptures by Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Kenneth Noland, Robert Ryman, Frank Stella and Andy Warhol, among others. The works are grouped and arranged according to style, theme and affinity, exploring notions that include but are not limited to gestural abstraction, materiality, the monochrome, the mark and the grid, hard-edged geometries and elemental form. This exhibition celebrates how, crossing continents and traversing cultures, the Schulhof Collection reflects a multitude of postwar artistic tendencies and a polyphony of voices. Living artists from both sides of the North Atlantic were the focus of these collectors, in the words of Mrs. Schulhof, with “equal commitment, throughout” (letter to James Wilder Green, Director, The American Federation of Arts, New York, April 26, 1984, The Schulhof Collection Archives, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Venice).
The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive illustrated catalogue with texts by Gražina Subelyte.
The exhibition programs of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection are supported by the Institutional Patrons, EFG and Lavazza; by the Guggenheim Intrapresæ; and by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection Advisory Board. The educational programs in conjunction with the exhibition are funded by the Fondazione Araldi Guinetti, Vaduz.