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Guggenheim Museum and UBS Announce Cross Cultural Project

Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, and Jürg Zeltner, CEO of UBS Wealth Management, today announced an ambitious, five-year collaboration to chart creative activity and contemporary art from around the world. Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative will identify and support a network of art, artists and curators from South and Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa in a comprehensive program involving curatorial residencies, acquisitions for the Guggenheim’s collection, international touring exhibitions, and far-reaching educational activities. Unprecedented in its areas of concentration and approach, Guggenheim UBS MAP will catalyze creative exchange and help broaden the geographic outreach for the Guggenheim and other institutions around the world by fostering lasting professional relationships among curators, artists, and educators on regional and global levels.

Over its five-year period, the project will focus successively on the selected regions, beginning with South and Southeast Asia. The Guggenheim will invite one curator from each of the regions to participate in overlapping two-year residencies in New York, during which they will work in concert with the Guggenheim staff to identify new and recent artworks, that reflect a range of each region’s most salient cultural practices and intellectual discourses.

Works selected for the Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative will be presented in traveling exhibitions, each of which will be inaugurated at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, and will enter the museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition will then be presented in the focus regions and in a major city elsewhere in the world. The first exhibition, focusing on South and Southeast Asia, will travel to two venues following the opening exhibition in New York. Both Singapore and Hong Kong are target cities where discussions are underway. In total, three exhibitions will travel to three venues each for a total of nine presentations. Each exhibition will be accompanied by a dynamic and customized suite of audience-driven educational opportunities for the public, both at the exhibition venues and online.

“To a great degree, our view of art history remains Western-centric. Through this collaboration with UBS, we hope to challenge that view, and extend the art world to the real world’s horizons,” Guggenheim Director Richard Armstrong stated. “Having long admired UBS’s involvement with contemporary visual art, we are grateful to the company for joining us in this project, which will forge and foster critical links among artists, audiences and diverse cultural communities including the Guggenheim itself. From the time of our founding, we have been committed to seeking out the most advanced contemporary art without regard to borders. Guggenheim UBS MAP will enable us to carry this mission forward as we learn from the inspirational artists and curators who are at the heart of this initiative and who will chart the course for our expanded thinking.”

Guggenheim UBS MAP builds upon and reflects the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation’s distinguished history of internationalism, as manifest today in its global network of museums and wide-ranging art programs that promote the research, acquisition, and exhibition of non-Western art and transnational studies.

“UBS and its clients share a passion for art, and we are proud to be working with an organization with the reputation and stature of the Guggenheim,” said CEO of UBS Wealth Management Jürg Zeltner. “As long-time patrons of contemporary art, we look forward to a collaboration that will support creative talent in many dynamic regions around the world. This powerful and timely project will promote professional and cultural exchange, bring contemporary art to a wider audience and encourage the acquisition and exhibition of artworks that open important new perspectives locally and internationally.”

Throughout its 150-year history UBS has actively supported cultural and artistic endeavors across the world, with a focus on promotion, collection and educational activities in the world of contemporary art. Longstanding commitments to the internationally renowned art fairs Art Basel and Art Basel Miami Beach, the UBS Art Collection and the UBS Art Competence Center offer a comprehensive and varied platform for art enthusiasts, students and UBS clients to participate in the art world. Regional partnerships with organizations such as the Swiss Institute in New York, the Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, the Fondation Beyeler in Switzerland and The Art Gallery of New South Wales in Sydney, and numerous exhibition sponsorships at leading museums around the world, testify to the passion for contemporary art which UBS shares with its clients.


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