Pink Guggenheim

To control SPAM, you must now be a registered user to post to this Message Board.

EFFECTIVE 14 Nov. 2012 PRIVATE MESSAGING HAS BEEN RE-ENABLED. IF YOU RECEIVE A SUSPICIOUS DO NOT CLICK ON ANY LINKS AND PLEASE REPORT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR FOR FURTHER INVESTIGATION.

This is the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy's Message Board. Wright enthusiasts can post questions and comments, and other people visiting the site can respond.

You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening, *-oriented or any other material that may violate any applicable laws. Doing so may lead to you being immediately and permanently banned (and your service provider being informed). The IP address of all posts is recorded to aid in enforcing these conditions. You agree that the webmaster, administrator and moderators of this forum have the right to remove, edit, move or close any topic at any time they see fit.
David
Posts: 149
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 4:01 pm
Location: Madrid, Spain
Contact:

Pink Guggenheim

Post by David »

Once a work of art is finished it is difficult to imagine that at some point in history it could have been different.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/201 ... -moma.html

Reading this article, it is interesting to know that the Guggenheim was not always the bright white color with which we can observe it today, the original color used to be beige, and after the addition of the building that was made in 1992 they decided to change the color of the façade (a decision that is not very respectful with the author of the work, I must say):

Image

Image

I have not found quality color photographs prior to 1992 but doing a little simulation with Photoshop, it should be something like this:

Image

Image

And deepening even more in the other colors that Wright had in mind for this famous museum, it is fun to imagine what the building would be like if Wright had decided to finish it in one of the other colors he studied:

Image

Image

Image

Image

SDR
Posts: 19067
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

That is fun, and entirely harmless. Color is everything---after light itself ?

Having seen the Guggenheim when new, I have a reference, and I have managed to find photos that I believe reflect the original color, which I would have called "sand." It's a warmer and lighter in value than your recreation above.

(We can remind ourselves that the color chart above may have been altered slightly, unintentionally, in the necessary transmission through various media ?)

I too believe it was a remarkable fault to choose a different color for the building, either in the 'nineties or more recently, following the restoration. I just can't imagine how that decision was reached. The cold gray-white color is . . . pick your adjective. Thoughtless, as I see it.


Sorry this image isn't larger . . .

Image

JChoate
Posts: 993
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2016 4:29 pm
Location: Atlanta
Contact:

Post by JChoate »

Thanks for sharing that photo S. It's marvelous. Look at it sitting next to this snapshot I took.

Imagine that.

Image

SDR
Posts: 19067
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Enough could never be said about Mr Wright's sensitivity to material and to color. Sand plaster, sand colored . . . in situ material . . . stone, shingle, board, brick . . . ocher, bronze, copper, steel . . . crushed granite and (red) concrete and clear and colored glass.

S

DRN
Posts: 3931
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:02 am
Location: Cherry Hill, NJ

Post by DRN »

I call this photo of Wright standing on the “monitor� balcony as the rotunda is being painted the original warm color “the smoking gun� proof of what Wright’s intentions were for the museum’s exterior.

https://www.guggenheim-bilbao.eus/en/ex ... -wright-2/

My only question is, was the exterior color ever applied to the interior? Was it the curator’s preference for “modern museum white� on the interior which led to the exterior being repainted to match? Wright’s painted masonry or concrete buildings, at least to my eye, appeared to be painted a consistent color over both the interior and exterior. Was the exterior color change an effort to have the interior and exterior colors of the monolithic structure match?

SDR
Posts: 19067
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

There were two controversies about the interior of the museum, before it opened: director James Sweeney's insistence that paintings should be
exhibited vertically rather than leaning back against the curving walls ("as they are when on the artist's easel," I believe Wright said)---and that the
interior surfaces should be white and not the (exterior) sand color Wright specified. Wright lost both of those arguments, as it turned out; special
brackets were made to support the paintings vertically and away from the walls, and those walls were white when the museum opened.

Oddly, none of this history appears readily to an online searcher. The exterior color remained as original for decades, however, and I don't recall
that particular argument being used in defense of the alteration when it finally occurred . . .

S

David
Posts: 149
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 4:01 pm
Location: Madrid, Spain
Contact:

Post by David »

It's a shame, the original color was exquisite and consistent with the palette of earthy tones that Wright habitually used

Image

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10014
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

SDR, that is what I recall about the color controversy as well. I may be wrong about the source, but it could be in the biography of Hilla Rebay. I'll have to dig that up.

James Sweeney may have won both arguments, but he was wrong on both counts.

SDR
Posts: 19067
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

I wish I could agree. An issue associated with the leaning-vs-erect problem is the lighting of the art; didn't Wright intend for natural light to fall on the paintings, in his vision of the display ?
If so, what would be the effect of that---both aesthetically and from a conservation point of view ?

Do you recall---or is there evidence---that the ramp parapet was painted to match the exterior, at least at the beginning ? I don't recall, though I was there for one of the Artists' Openings. If so, when would that have bitten the dust ?

As to the controversies, they were a hot issue at the time and would have received plentiful coverage in the press. I find it odd---disturbing, even---that there is so little that comes to hand now.

S

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10014
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

The community of artists (if ever there was such a thing) were irate with the building before it was built. The white environment was a huge thing to them, afraid, apparently, that their contributions would be overshadowed if the walls exhibited even a hint of any other color.

The perimeter lights were always there, so whether the paintings were vertical or leaning, it wouldn't matter much. Since the walls are curved, even an "easel" configuration would have put the painting somewhat away from the wall. I think those lights were meant simply to mitigate shadows in the display alcoves. What is aggravating is that Sweeney did not even give the idea a try. He might have come around.

SDR
Posts: 19067
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

It would be self-evident to any artist that context (i.e., framing, lighting, background color) would have a direct and meaningful effect on perception of
his work. I chalk it up to Wright's notorious if only occasional ignorance (ignoring) of client requirements in favor of his own vision . . . all arts but his
own being of lesser importance, in the grand scheme of things.

There really are times when we must defer to someone other than Wright---even on these pages.

S

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10014
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

I disagree. The environment beyond the edge of the canvas does not have to be framed, lit or colored in a particular way. Look at the habit of many of the Impressionists who framed their modern images in age-old, florid, gilded frames, or paintings that reside comfortably in private homes with no museum control over the environment at all. It is neither self-evident nor necessary.

It could be argued that Guggenheim shattered that notion for all time. Museums today take on all sorts of configurations without damaging the art on display. For that matter, the background of museums going back to the original (Louvre) were not obliterated by white paint.

SDR
Posts: 19067
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

Ask your painter friends about that . . . !

http://www.psy.ritsumei.ac.jp/~akitaoka ... i2005.html

S

Roderick Grant
Posts: 10014
Joined: Wed Mar 29, 2006 7:48 am

Post by Roderick Grant »

Basically, what your test implies is that if colors are adjacent or overlapping, as opposed to near one another, the quality of the colors might be affected. But if you have Van Gogh's "Sunflowers" encased in a gold frame, set on a puce background, that is quite different. The sunflowers shine unimpaired. If the puce bleeds into the garden, there might be a problem.

If the lighting is fluorescent, the artwork would be affected more than if it was incandescent, so lighting a museum properly is essential. Note that Guggenheim uses (or used) fluorescent lights. Sunlight is best, as long as it does not cast UV rays directly on the art.

There is also the matter of eye color. Blue-eyes perceive color differently from brown eyes. And that is beyond the control of the artist.

SDR
Posts: 19067
Joined: Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:33 pm
Location: San Francisco

Post by SDR »

"Blue-eyes perceive color differently from brown eyes" . . . Now that's one I've never come across . . .

Lighting is crucial, and I suppose museums take more care in that regard than ever. Of course, there is more than one color of fluorescent light, too . . .

S

Post Reply