Originally published in The Economist | NEW YORK
A new exhibition focuses on art that was made in or inspired by China between 1989 and 2008
HANGING from the ceiling of the magnificent rotunda that Frank Lloyd Wright created for the Guggenheim Museum in 1959 is an undulating black dragon. Twenty-six metres (85 feet) long, it is made almost entirely of the inner tubes of bicycles. Its head is a sculptural confection of broken cycles, its rear a writhing excrescence of black rubber loops. The visual etymology is obviously and satisfyingly Chinese. Then you notice hundreds of tiny black cars crawling all over its underbelly, like head lice on a schoolchild—symbolic of the moment when the country, in the headlong pursuit of economic growth, swerved from pedal power to petroleum.
Dr. Alexandra Munroe Receives 2017 Japan Foundation Award
Dr. Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator, Asian Art, and Senior Advisor, Global Arts, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, has received the 2017 Japan Foundation Award. Bestowed by the government of Japan, this award recognizes individuals whose academic, artistic, and cultural pursuits have contributed to promoting international friendship and understanding between Japan and the world. Akira Tatehata, President, Tama Art University, Tokyo, and Director, Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, introduced Munroe at the awards ceremony on October 16 in Tokyo. He credited the far-reaching impact of her exhibitions and scholarship for bolstering the field of postwar Japanese art history both in America and in Japan.
Under pressure from online petitions and on-site protests, the Guggenheim Museum last month withdrew or modified three works of art that involved animals from its survey of Chinese contemporary art, called “Art and China After 1989: Theater of the World.” The titular work in the show, a sculptural vitrine, was originally filled with live insects and reptiles, which the museum removed.