Peggy’s first time words by Francesca Molteni
70 years down the line, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection remembers the first exhibition held by their founder at the Venice Biennale. And at the same time it’s hosting a new Josef Albers exhibition
The American collector Peggy Guggenheim was unknown in Italy until 1948, when she exhibited her art collection at the Venice Biennale. A collection like this, of “non- objective works of art” had never been seen before. Cubism, Futurism, Dadaism, Surrealism, Abstract expressionism. The art of her time. Seventy years later, the exhibition “1948: the Biennale of Peggy Guggenheim” celebrates that revolutionary event inside her Venice home, now the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, in the spaces of the Project Rooms. In 1948, Peggy’s collection was a private collection on exhibition to the public for the first time, after the closure of her New York gallery and her move to Europe. There were 136 works in the exhibition, including some Italian artists, but above all the great abstract and surrealist artists and many American artists. It was an enormous success. This exhibition recreates that atmosphere through documents, photographs, letters and a model of the pavilion. Alongside this remarkable collection, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is also hosting the ‘ Josef Albers in Mexico’ exhibition, which explores the relationship between the great artist’s abstract work and the pre- Columbian architecture which he visited from the 1930s onwards, thus offering a new interpretation of his best known abstract paintings. Once more, great art is the guest of honour in Peggy’s home. ‘ 1948: the Biennale of Peggy Guggenheim’, 25/ 5 - 25/ 11; ‘ Josef Albers in Mexico’, 19/ 5 - 3/ 9/ 18. Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venezia.