Seeing Through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection

Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s pre-opening exhibition at Manarat Al Saadiyat will introduce the future museum’s curatorial vision through a theme-based collection presentation.

Art Exhibition previously on at Guggenheim Museum Abu-Dhabi in United Arab Emirates.
From Wednesday 05 November 2014 to Thursday 26 March 2015

Seeing Through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection
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Published by anonymous on Tuesday 16 June 2015.
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This vision endeavors to foster a transcultural perspective on the history of art, intended to encompass various legacies of modernism and the emergence of contemporary cultural thought in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent world.

Comprising 19 artworks acquired specifically for Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection, as well as two key loans from its partner institution, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, Seeing Through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection examines the theme of light as a primary aesthetic principle in art. This unifying thesis offers many avenues for interpretation, whether natural or artificial, directed or reflected, interior or exterior, transcendent or celestial. The theme’s richness and flexibility also has particular relevance across cultures and time periods.

The exhibition unfolds through five sections that examine light in various iterations: Activated, Celestial, Perceptual, Reflected, and Transcendent. While the exhibition begins chronologically in the 1960s (which aligns with the start date for the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection), it quickly blends time and mixes established and mid-career artists, as well as assembling a diversity of media within each section. From immersive environments that visitors can move around in and even through to video, painting, and sculpture, one will be able to experience light in all of its spatial, sensory, and perceptual phenomena. Some of the artists included are Angela Bulloch, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Robert Irwin, Y.Z. Kami, Bharti Kher, Rachid Koraïchi, Yayoi Kusama, Otto Piene, and Douglas Wheeler.

With its poetic references to the start of a new era, Seeing Through Light is fitting for a premiere exhibition of the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s collection. This group of artworks illuminates the creative vision of the future museum, offers the first glimpse of what is to come, and represents a significant milestone in the evolution of the new museum. The diverse and popular theme of light presented here is just one narrative that may be more fully explored in Guggenheim Abu Dhabi’s future building designed by Frank Gehry, itself a monument to light whose glass-covered cones are guaranteed to become beacons on the cultural landscape of Abu Dhabi.

Seeing Through Light: Selections from the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection is organized by Susan Davidson, Senior Curator, Collections and Exhibitions, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, with Sasha Kalter-Wasserman, Assistant Curator, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Project, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and Maisa Al Qassimi, Programmes Manager, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.