The Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art presents a major exhibition devoted to the Sonnabend Collection. At a time when the Serralves Museum is devoting increasing attention to its Collection of Portuguese and international art, the Sonnabend Collection has a particular relevance. Works from this Collection formed part of the Museum’s inaugural exhibition, ‘Circa 1968’ in 1999, several of which have remained on long-term deposit at Serralves.
Created by the influential art dealer Ileana Sonnabend, the Sonnabend Collection is considered one of the most important collections of American and European art of the second half of the twentieth century, representing some of the most influential western art movements of our time. While known for her support of the prime artistic protagonists of pop art, minimalism, arte povera, post-minimalism and conceptual art, Sonnabend’s engagement continued up to her death in 2007. A reflection of the support for and astute understanding of the artists with whom Sonnabend worked in her galleries in Paris and New York, the exhibition reveals the remarkable clarity of her choices over more than five decades, and their lasting legacy.
The exhibition includes 61 paintings, sculptures and installations, dating from 1956 to the present, by 44 artists, the majority of whom are presented for the first time in Portugal. Many of the artists represented in the exhibition are essential references for the Serralves Collection. Among the large-scale works included is the Sol LeWitt wall drawing Arc from Four Corners, realized with the collaboration of the Estate of Sol LeWitt and the participation of students from the School of Fine Arts in Porto. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with information on the works presented and an interview between António Homem and Suzanne Cotter, Director of the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art.
‘The Sonnabend Collection. Half a Century of American and European Art. Part I’ is organized by the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, Porto, in association with the Fondazione Musei Civici Venezia (MUVE), Ca’ Pesaro in Venice, and the Sonnabend Collection Foundation, New York. The exhibition is curated by António Homem, Director of the Sonnabend Gallery, assisted by Serralves curator Isabel Sousa Braga.
Giovanni Anselmo, Arman, Richard Artschwager, John Baldessari, Larry Bell, Mel Bochner, Pier Paolo Calzolari, John Chamberlain, Christo, Jim Dine, Carroll Dunham, Robert Feintuch, Fischli & Weiss, Peter Halley, Jörg Immendorff, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Clay Ketter, Anselm Kiefer, Jannis Kounellis, Barry Le Va, Sol LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein, John McCracken, Mario Merz, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Claes Oldenburg, Guilio Paolini, A. R. Penck, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Rona Pondick, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, George Segal, Richard Serra, Mario Schifano, Keith Sonnier, Andy Warhol, Robert Watts, Tom Wesselmann, Terry Winter, Gilberto Zorio.
Image: Roy Lichtenstein, Wall Explosion II, (detail) 1965. Enamel on steel. Courtesy Sonnabend Foundation Collection. © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein, ADAGP, 2015