The Guggenheim's first-ever artist-curated exhibition, 'Artistic License: Six Takes on the Guggenheim Collection' is inaugurated with Richard Prince as the first artist-curator to select works to show. Invited to explore the Guggenheim's extensive collection, the artists are able to discern their own interpretative strands and themes through the curatorial experience. Of the artists chosen by Prince is Portuguese-born émigré artist Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, whose work is the subject of our current exhibition.
Living in Paris, travelling to New York, Brazil and her native Lisbon, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva was an integral member of the post-war expressive abstract movement, yet was never confined to one singular style. Her nuanced paintings are imbued with geographical and stylistic subtleties, and preserve a liminal status concerning segregating movements. Prince, who has entitled his presentation Four Paintings Looking Right, endeavours to draw out comparable elements in paintings created by Abstract Expressionists between the 1940s and the 1960s, reflecting his perception of an interweaving dialogue which threads through the chosen works. Maria Helena Vieira da Silva is shown alongside Dubuffet, David Hammons and Willem de Kooning, amongst many others. Positioning Maria Helena Vieira da Silva alongside such varied modern and contemporary artists encapsulates how she possessed the ability to diffuse and assimilate varying styles into her own visual vocabulary. In creating an individual style, which both transgresses and utilises multiple facets from differing movements, da Silva's work retains longevity and contemporaneity, her work still resonates strongly with artists today, as well as with viewers.
'Artistic License: Six Takes on the Guggenheim Collection' is on view until January 12th, 2020, at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.
You can see Maria Helena Vieira da Silva's unique paintings on display in our eponymous exhibition until 15th February, 2020.