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Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated): Art from 1951 to the Present
March 5–May 19, 2004

Singular Forms (Sometimes Repeated): Art from 1951 to the Present examines the impulse toward reduction, restraint, and lucidity in postwar art. Drawn mainly from the Guggenheim permanent collections, Singular Forms explores how parallel strategies—the elimination of all extraneous details to achieve an art of pure, essential form, and attention to issues of perception—were manifest in Minimalist and Conceptual art of the 1960s and 70s. Minimialism's impact on subsequent generations begins with Postminimalism, and what follows are artists schooled in the deconstructive tendencies of Postmodernism, who resuscitated Minimalism as a style, infusing its unitary, nonreferential forms with content to bring to the fore trenchant cultural issues. Singular Forms also presents recent work that shares the look of classic Minimalist art, but uses it to communicate deeply personal, political, or poetic messages.

Allan McCollum, Plaster Surrogates, 1982/84. Enamel on cast Hydrostone.

Seeing Double: Emulation in Theory and Practice
March 18–May 16, 2004

The presentation and preservation of ephemeral artworks is a challenge facing contemporary art museums. Conservators have explored many traditional and experimental strategies for dealing with these works. Among these strategies has emerged a promising way to replicate obsolete or unavailable materials and hardware—emulation. To emulate a work is to devise a way of imitating the original look of the piece through completely different means.

As part of a larger program called the Variable Media Network, the Guggenheim has investigated a series of case studies to formulate creative preservation strategies for endangered works. This exhibition presents selected variable media works side-by-side with their emulated versions, allowing both preservation experts and the public to compare directly the different versions and put emulation to the test.

Grahame Weinbren and Roberta Friedman, The Erl King, 1982–85 (still). Interactive video installation; dimensions vary with installation. Collection of the artist.

Speaking With Hands: Photographs from the Buhl Collection
June 4–September 8, 2004

Drawn from an extensive private collection devoted to the subject of the hand, Speaking With Hands: Photographs from the Buhl Collection spans the history of the photographic medium and encompasses a comprehensive range of photographic practices, with works of scientific, journalistic, and fine-art photography ranging from 19th-century daguerreotypes to contemporary art.

Nadar, Paul Legrand, ca. 1855, Salt print, 8 1/2 x 6 1/4 inches. The Buhl Collection.