Guggenheim Museum Collects China


New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has announced a new program promoting contemporary Chinese art. Funded by a $10-million grant from the Hong Kong-based Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation, the new initiative will allow the museum to commission work by artists born in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Macau. In addition, the funding will establish an endowed position for curator of Chinese art to be named after the foundation.

At least three artists or groups of artists will participate in the project. The commissioned works will be exhibited at the museum in three exhibitions from 2014 through 2017, and will enter the Guggenheim’s permanent collection. Thomas J. Berghuis, currently deputy director of the Australian Centre for Asian Art and Archeology, has been appointed to the new curatorial post, and will help identify artists and organize the commissions and related events and exhibitions.

The Guggenheim has been increasingly involved in global programming in recent years, notably introducing an Asian Art Program, led by senior curator of Asian art Alexandra Munroe, in 2006. The institution has also expanded global arts initiatives for Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa. The new focus on China follows two previous exhibitions at the Guggenheim, both supported or sponsored by the foundation: “Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want to Believe” (2008) and “The Third Mind: American Artists Contemplate Asia, 1860-1989″ (2009).