A new Guggenheim?
Guggenheim museums (locations in Venice, Berlin, Las Vegas, Bilbao, and New York) are about to have an interesting encounter with the Islamic world. It has recently been announced that Frank Gehry will design a new sturcture, which is tentatively set to open in 2011 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emerates.
So what? The UAE is known for its toursim, but not necessarily for its cutting-edge adherence to the principles of contemporary art. Early speculations predict a very difficult and uneasy future of ultra-conservative Islamic self-censorship (or evident disgust at what hostile matter manages public exhibition) clashing with some art and artists who labor with sexual issues. The structure will probably not house works by, say, Francis Bacon or Cindy Sherman. But can it be continent with work entirely within the Islamic decorative tradition, or failing just that, abstract/non-representational works without enough form to offend? The goal is apparently to foster "cultural exchange," but as recent events in the Netherlands show, that desire is slightly harder to attain than to talk about. If the museum attracts enough of an international, (rich), and demanding clientele, then perhaps it will provide a chance to test the meddle of both east and west.
More can be found here:No nudes in world's biggest Guggenheim?