A Defining Moment

Peggy and Solomon Guggenheim: The Avant Gardes of Abstraction

“I am very much afraid of definitions, and yet one is almost forced to make them. One must take care, too, not to be inhibited by them.” So wrote painter Robert Delaunay to his fellow artist August Macke in 1912, a time when the art world was having something of an identity crisis, hovering between colorful, cubist figuration and the pure abstraction of later painters such as Piet Mondrian and his De Stijl cohorts. The period—as most of the 20th century’s important art movements—is amply represented in the collection of Peggy and Solomon Guggenheim, which will be plain to see at a new exhibition of early abstract works from the collection, opening February 20 at the imposing Byzantine church of San Marco, Vincelli, Italy.

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