The Guggenheim’s All-Male Monopoly on the Rotunda Continues

by Corinna Kirsch on July 8, 2014 Off Our Chest

Installation view of John Chamberlain: Choices (2012) in the Guggenheim rotunda. Photo courtesy of Jacinda Russell.

Installation view of John Chamberlain: Choices (2012) in the Guggenheim rotunda. Photo courtesy of Jacinda Russell.

The dudes win again. Yesterday, the Guggenheim announced its 2015 exhibition schedule, and yet again, no women have solo shows in the rotunda. In 1992, the Village Voice coined the term “Guggen-him,” and this still might be the case; generally speaking, we continue to live in an era when representation for women remains anything but equal, both at museums and galleries. At the Guggenheim, we’ve seen an all-male monopoly in the rotunda gallery over the last several years, with solo showings by Christopher Wool, James Turrell, and Maurizio Cattelan, among others. The very last time we saw a woman in the Guggenheim’s most visible and iconic space was in 2011, when Nicola López’s three-floor installation, “Intervals,” graced the rotunda for 14 days.

Although, by 2015, Carrie Mae Weems, Rineke Dijkstra, and Colombian artist Doris Salcedo will have had their own presentations at the Guggenheim, the rotunda has remained curiously off limits. Women have arrived at the Guggenheim, but what is progress when women have been shoved aside to the annex galleries?

Thankfully, there’s still time to change this unfortunate state of affairs. Why not include Doris Salcedo in the rotunda this time around? Salcedo is nothing but a prime candidate for a rotunda-wide installation; she’s become well known for large-scale installations like “Shibboleth,” a seismic crack that dug into the floors at the Tate Modern. And with over a year until her exhibition debuts, we’re sure a Guggenheim curator can find one of her sculptures to fit in there.

In case you’re curious, here’s the full schedule of the Guggenheim’s 2015 exhibitions. Again, Doris Salcedo is not in the rotunda.

Wang Jianwei: Time Temple, October 31, 2014–February 16, 2015

On Kawara—Silence, February 6–May 3, 2015

The Hugo Boss Prize 2014, March–May 2015

Storylines: Contemporary Art from the Guggenheim Collection (working title), June–September 2015

Doris Salcedo, June–October 2015

Alberto Burri: The Trauma of Painting (working title), October 2015–January 2016

Photo Poetics, November 2015–February 2016

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