Joy of Museums Virtual Tours

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Guggenheim – Virtual Tour

The Guggenheim

The Guggenheim – Virtual Tour

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum often called The Guggenheim, has an impressive collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, early Modern, and contemporary art.

The Guggenheim building is a landmark work of 20th-century architecture, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, it was conceived as a “temple of the spirit.” 

The museum’s collection is shared with the museum’s sister museums in Bilbao, Spain, and elsewhere.

A Virtual Tour of the Guggenheim

Highlights Tour of the Guggenheim

“Nude” by Amedeo Modigliani

“Seated Nude” by Amedeo Modigliani is one of the dozens of nudes created by Modigliani in a modern style characterized by elongation of faces and figures that echo precursors such as Titian, Goya, and Velázquez.

However, Modigliani’s figures differ significantly in the level of raw sensuality they transmit.

Unlike depictions of female nudes from the Renaissance to the nineteenth century, in which female nudity is couched in mythology or allegory, this series of paintings are without any such context, highlighting the painting’s eroticism. 

In this painting, the woman’s elongated face and highly simplified features derive Modigliani’s study of Egyptian, African, and Oceanic sculpture.

“Blue Painting” by Vasily Kandinsky

“Blue Painting” by Vasily Kandinsky was produced during his Bauhaus period, in Germany. It was during a period when Kandinsky taught basic design and advanced color theory and where he also conducted painting classes.

His examinations of the effects of forces on straight lines led to his contrasting tones on curved and angled lines. Geometrical elements took on increasing importance, particularly the circle, half-circle, the angle, straight lines, and curves.

Kandinsky augmented his color theory with the elements of visual psychology and Gestalt psychologist research, which had an influenced on him. 

In the study of perception, Gestalt psychologists stipulate that impressions are the products of complex interactions among various stimuli.

“Improvisation 28 (2nd version)” by Vasily Kandinsky

“Improvisation 28 (2nd version)” by Vasily Kandinsky (also spelled Wassily) is an expressive abstract that is independent of forms and lines. 

Music was an essential catalyst for early abstract art, and Kandinsky used musical terms to identify his works. He called his spontaneous paintings “improvisations” and described elaborate works as “compositions.” 

In many of Kandinsky’s works, the identification of the forms and the masses present on the canvas require a more involved analysis.

The inner reality of the art requires a more profound observation of the relationship of all the elements and their harmony.

Landscape with Factory Chimney by Wassily Kandinsky

“Landscape with Factory Chimney” by Wassily Kandinsky (also spelled Vasily) is an abstract landscape with a factory chimney. In many of Kandinsky’s works, the identification of the forms and the masses presented on the canvas require elaborate analysis.

The inner reality of the art requires more profound observations of the relationship of all the elements and their harmony.

Wassily Kandinsky is credited with painting one of the first recognized purely abstract works.

Composition 8 by Kandinsky

“Composition 8” by Vasily Kandinsky (also spelled Wassily) is a composition of geometric elements with erratic and unpredictable positions and colors.

Kandinsky has restricted himself to paint geometric shapes, with larger objects dominating the left side of the canvas, and on the right, the smaller forms clash and overlap with each other.

The shades of color are all different from each other, and the geometric patterns consist of only critical components like circles, semicircles, angles, rectangles, and lines.

Composition 8 was created, during Kandinsky’s Bauhaus era, when he had moved from the Soviet Union to the Weimar Republic because of the increasing restrictions on artistic freedom in the Soviet Union.

“The Yellow Cow” by Franz Marc

“The Yellow Cow” by Franz Marc is one of Marc’s several depictions of animals in the Expressionist style. The painting depicts a yellow jumping cow, surrounded by a colorful, structured landscape.

The picture is a contrast between the dynamic yellow frolicking cow and a natural world filled with hidden forms. A back-to-nature movement that swept the artistic communities in the early years of the twentieth century greatly influenced Franz Marc.

Marc found this nature-oriented quest for spiritual redemption an inspiration for his art. He felt that animals possessed a certain godliness that men had lost.

In 1915, during the war, he wrote: “People with their lack of piety, especially men, never touched my true feelings, But animals with their virginal sense of life awakened all that was good in me.”

“Dreaming Horse” by Franz Marc

“Dreaming Horse” by Franz Marc depicts a male horse sleeping. In Marc’s art, blue represents masculinity and spirituality.

The sleeping horse is surrounded by nature depicted geometrically with reds and greens. The use of black and red contrasts with the green, which represents a place of rest, such as grass.

This painting provides us with a sense of the artist’s struggle for peace and tranquillity in what were becoming turbulent times, leading up to World War I.

The motifs in “Dreaming Horse” are characteristic of his love for animals as are the Cubistic and Fauvist styles which influenced Marc’s Art.

“Stables” by Franz Marc

“Stables” by Franz Marc depicts the images of horses and stables as almost indistinguishable. The artist arranged a group of red, blue, and white horses within a framework of parallel and crossing diagonals.

The horses are massed on the picture plane and transformed into flat colored shapes.

The patterns of the horses’ tails and the shifting planes of colors suggest the influence of the Futurists whom Marc had met during a trip to Paris in 1912.

Like Vasily Kandinsky, Franz Marc was searching for ways to reflect inner spiritual and emotional states through art.

“Boats at Saintes-Maries” by Vincent van Gogh

“Boats at Saintes-Maries” by Vincent van Gogh depicts the return of the fishing fleet using a reed pen and ink.

The high horizon plus the boats positioned close to the top edge of the frame, draw the audience into the choppy sea. 

Vincent van Gogh created several “Fishing Boat and Seascape” paintings and drawings at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer in 1888.

When he lived in Arles, he took a 30-mile stagecoach trip to the sea-side fishing village where he made several paintings and drawings of the seascape and town.

“The Neighborhood of Jas de Bouffan” by Paul Cézanne 

“The Neighborhood of Jas de Bouffan” by Paul Cézanne depicts a large foreground tree at one side and a grouping of smaller trees at the other side, to frame a distant view in the center.

Paul Cézanne created about thirty-seven oils and sixteen watercolors of the Jas de Bouffan and its surroundings. In the mid- and late 1880s that Cézanne explored the many motifs offered by the manor and its grounds.

Cézanne’s idyllic period at Jas de Bouffan was temporary. From 1890 until his death, he was beset by troubling events, and he withdrew further into his painting, spending long periods as a virtual recluse.

“Tale of Creation” – “Genesis II” by Franz Marc

“Tale of Creation,” also known as “Genesis II” by Franz Marc, is a colored print from woodcut, illustrating the creation story in the Book of Genesis. Pure and uncorrupted life emerges from a chaotic and dynamic swirl of interlocking forms.

Color for Marc came to embody emotional and spiritual states. Animals were frequent subjects in his paintings, as Marc considered them more spiritual and closer to nature than humans.

Marc, in this woodcut print, was influenced by his studies of early printed Bibles and their woodcut illustrations.

Marc was planned to include this print in an illustrated Bible he was organizing for the Blaue Reiter, the Munich-based artist group he cofounded. 

However, by 1914 at the beginning of World War I, when Franz Marc created Schöpfungsgeschichte II (Genesis II), he had lost his faith that the natural world could provide an antidote to what he viewed as a sick society.

The Guggenheim

  • Name:            The Guggenheim
  • City:                New York City
  • Established:   1937
  • Type:              Art museum
  • Location:       1071 Fifth Avenue at 89th Street, Manhattan, New York City

Guggenheim Museum

A Tour of New York Museums

An Inside Look at New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

The Hermitage at Pontoise by Camille Pissarro

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“The modern world thinks of art as very important: something close to the meaning of life.”
– Alain de Botton

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Photo Credit: By Jean-Christophe BENOIST (Own work) [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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