Guggenheim Museum and UBS Launch Unprecedented Cross-cultural Project

Guggenheim UBS MAP Global Art Initiative

NEW YORK, April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, and Jurg 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 in winter 2013. 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 initiative, we hope to challenge that view,” 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. From the time of our founding, we have been committed to seeking out the most advanced 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.”

“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 Jurg 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.”

The first phase of the project will focus on the art of South and Southeast Asia, for which June Yap has been selected as Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, South and Southeast Asia. Based in Singapore, Ms. Yap has worked in the curatorial departments of museums of modern and contemporary art, including the Institute of Contemporary Arts in Singapore and the Singapore Art Museum, most recently organizing an exhibition of the work of Ho Tzu Nyen for the Singapore Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2011.

Ms. Yap has begun to work with members of the Guggenheim curatorial staff to identify what constitutes the geographic parameters of her research. Countries under consideration for inclusion in the first phase of Guggenheim UBS MAP are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. New and recent artworks that represent key artists, movements, collaboratives, and creative networks from selected countries will be identified and the works will be proposed for accessioning into the Guggenheim’s permanent collection. They will also form the basis of the traveling exhibition.

The second and third phases of the project will focus on Latin America and the Middle East and North Africa, respectively. Advisory committee members, curators, cities, venues, exhibition tour dates and more specific information about these regions will be announced later in the year.

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CONTACT: Betsy Ennis, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, +1-212-423-3840,; Amy Wentz, Ruder Finn Arts & Communications Counselors, +1-212-715-1551,

SOURCE: Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation

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