Guggenheim

This gallery draws together a diverse selection of mostly abstract artworks that span over fifty years that are inventive in their methods and materials. Technique is an important strategy for these artists who played crucial roles in reinvigorating their mediums through innovative new approaches or by embracing nontraditional materials, such as newsprint, books, pottery, blackboard, and chalk. Viewers are invited to contemplate the critical choices made by artists through their systematic approaches and processes, which inevitably lend themselves to different artistic possibilities.

Many of the artists represented in this room experimented with the physicality of paint investigating depth, density, texture, scale, and color. Miquel Barceló, represented here with two works, is one of the foremost representatives of Spanish Neo-Expressionism and is known for the thick layers of materials he incorporates into his canvases painted on the floor. Barceló employs unusual elements such as marine algae, volcanic ash, food, and cigarette butts resulting in incredibly textured and complex surfaces. Similarly, Prudencio Irazabal's luminous Untitled #767 (1996) provides a later example of painterly experimentation. In this work, the artist used a runny liquid polymer that he thickened with gel before adding small amounts of liquid pigment yielding varying degrees of translucency. Traces of brushwork are visual reminders of his artistic process of building up a surface atop the canvas.