Guggenheim gala to mark 50th anniversary with Kandinsky opening
NEW YORK – On Wednesday, Sept. 16, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will host the 2009 Guggenheim International Gala, its annual fundraising celebration, now in its fifth year.
The gala is chaired by Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum; Maria Baibakova, Isabella and Theodor Dalenson; Danielle Ganek, Art Garfunkel, Sarah Jessica Parker, Amy Phelan, and Jacqueline Sackler. Honorary chairs are Phyllis and William Mack; and Jennifer and David Stockman.
The Guggenheim will honor Deutsche Bank, its visionary partner, with a special tribute.
A star-studded event among the full year of 50th anniversary programming, the 2009 Guggenheim International Gala will take place within the Guggenheim’s Frank Lloyd Wright-designed landmark on Fifth Avenue, where guests will enjoy a preview of the full-scale Kandinsky retrospective that opens to the public on Sept. 18. In addition, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer’s new performance installation, Levels of Nothingness, commissioned and produced by Works & Process at the Guggenheim, will premiere with two 25-minute performances at 8 pm and 10 pm.
The evening will begin with cocktails at 7 p.m. in the rotunda and in the newly opened Cafe 3 space overlooking Central Park. The spiraling ramps will offer a preview of Kandinsky, a major exhibition of almost 100 paintings and more than 60 works on paper by Vasily Kandinsky, a pioneer of abstraction and an artist whose work was collected in depth by Solomon R. Guggenheim.
Music will be provided by Dustin O’Halloran, whose piano compositions were featured in Sofia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette, along with a string quartet.
Peter Hoffman of the SoHo restaurant Savoy, long recognized for its commitment to sustainable agriculture, is preparing a special menu showcasing seasonal organic ingredients from local farms.
A pristine white decor with Swarovski crystals designed by Michael Gabellini of Gabellini Sheppard Associates will provide a backdrop for the bright spectrum of the Kandinsky canvases in the exhibition and the guests’ suggested attire, black tie with colors inspired by Kandinsky.
Before or after dinner, guests are invited to the museum’s Peter B. Lewis Theater for the debut of Levels of Nothingness. Inspired by Kandinsky’s The Yellow Sound (1912), Mexican-born Rafael Lozano-Hemmer creates an installation where colors derive automatically from the human voice to generate an interactive light performance. Isabella Rossellini will read seminal philosophical texts on skepticism, color, and perception, as her voice is analyzed by computers that control a full complement of rock-and-roll concert lighting. The audience will have the opportunity to test the color-generating microphone as well.
As a gift from the Guggenheim to its friends and supporters, a limited-edition art object, a miniature organ emitting both music and light by Peter Coffin titled Clavier à lumières, will be given to all guests. In tandem with Kandinsky’s explorations of synaesthesia, the New York-based Coffin’s work reimagines the notion of a unified sensory experience, operating as an instrument of integrated color, light, and sound.
The annual gala was the recent recipient of three awards at the 2008 New York Event Style Awards for its transformation of a raw parking garage for the 2007 Guggenheim International Gala. Funds raised from the 2009 gala will support the exhibitions and programming at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
In-kind support for the Gala is provided by Swarovski. Levels of Nothingness is made possible by Deutsche Bank and Colección/Fundación Jumex.
To purchase tickets or for ticketing information, contact Bronwyn Keenan at email@example.com or call 212-423-3539.