Honoring the prescience of Ileana Sonnabend, one of the late twentieth century’s most influential dealers and collectors of contemporary art, Robert Rauschenberg said, “I’ve never finished a painting without wondering what Ileana would think of it.” The Sonnabend Galleries have been both catalyst and incubator for the cultural avant-garde, launching and supporting the brilliance of such artists as Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenberg and James Rosenquist. Featuring approximately one hundred works by more than forty-five artists, From Pop to Now offers the most comprehensive survey to date — and the first in more than fifteen years — of works collected by international gallery owners Ileana and Michael Sonnabend. The works have been shown at the Sonnabend galleries in Paris from 1962 to 1973 and in New York from 1970 to the present; a select few have been acquired by the couple and never before shown. The Sonnabends earned a reputation for consistently showing works other dealers might dismiss as difficult or impossible to sell. Taking one of Andy Warhol’s famous Campbell’s soup-can paintings as its starting point, From Pop to Now explored Ileana Sonnabend’s aesthetic for the demanding and incomprehensible, featuring such movements as Pop art, Minimalism, performance art, Arte Povera, video, Conceptualism and Postmodernism.
The Sonnabend collection is about change, redefinition, experimentation and an ever-expanding notion of what constitutes the avant-garde.
Artists in this exhibition included Giovanni Anselmo, Vito Acconci, Arman, John Baldessari, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Lawrence Beck, Ashley Bickerton, Mel Bochner, Christian Boltanski, Marcel Broodthaers, Christo, Wim Delvoye, Jim Dine, Elger Esser, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Dan Flavin, Gilbert and George, Candida Höfer, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Anselm Kiefer, Jeff Koons, Barry Le Va, Sol LeWitt, Roy Lichtenstein, John MacCraken, Mario Merz, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Claes Oldenburg, Giulio Paolini, Anne and Patrick Poirier, Rona Pondick, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Clifford Ross, Keith Sonnier, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, William Wegman, Matthew Weinstein, Tom Wesselmann, Robert Yarber and Gilberto Zorio.
A 191-page catalogue featuring an introductory essay by Charles Stainback and texts by Rachel Haidu is available.