All Articles
All Articles

Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum

by CH Contributor
on 12 February 2010

by Anna Carnick

contemplating-last.jpg contemplating-1.jpg

Opening today and capping off a year-long 50th anniversary celebration, the Guggenheim presents Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum. For this salon-style installation, the museum invited nearly 200 artists, designers and architects to submit their dream proposals for interacting with the iconic Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building’s central rotunda, or “void.” The central space, famously encompassed by the circular exhibit hallways, gave these world-renowned and up-and-coming and creatives plenty of space for interpretation, and the resulting exhibit features renderings of their visionary solutions.


Recurring themes include a return to nature, the relationship between light and space, aspirations of climbing the building, and the interplay of diaphanous elements with the concrete structure. The impressive list of contributors includes everyone from architects Zaha Hadid, Greg Lynn FORM, MVRDV and N55; to artists Anish Kapoor, Rachel Whiteread and Doris Salcedo and designers Fernando and Humberto Campana, Joris Laarman Studio, Studio Job and Dror Benshetrit.


Describing his contribution, “Redlining the Guggenheim,” a watercolor painting that depicts a red wall following the building’s circular path, Dror explains, “This was my first request from the Guggenheim, which for me is one of the most special museums in the world. As I am an artist by heart, I couldn’t imagine doing anything other than a hand-painted piece that communicates my vision to erect a wall that spirals in the middle of the climbing floor.”

contemplating-2.jpg contemplating-3.jpg

Ultimately, these eclectic approaches to the space reinforce the potency of the Guggenheim’s organic architecture. Over the years, the building has inspired amazing site-specific installations and exhibition designs by the likes of Matthew Barney, Frank Gehry, Jenny Holzer and others. Considering these latest inventions, the inspirational nature of Wright’s 1959 building seems, if anything, to grow stronger with time.

contemplating-6.jpg contemplating-7.jpg

A complementary exhibition website accompanies the show, documenting each submission and featuring introductory essays by Guggenheim curators Nancy Spector and David van der Leer.

Contemplating the Void runs through 28 April 2010.

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity
Loading More...