In the summer of 2006, I studied abroad in Rome while taking weekend trips to other parts of Italy. During one weekend, I visited Venice. On Sunday, before we traveled back to Rome, my group went to the Guggenheim. Before that visit, my pilgrimage was plentiful with a seemingly endless parade of architectural and artistic marvels from eras such as Renaissance, Baroque, Gothic, and of course, the Roman Empire. While I did see some Modern and Contemporary art here and there (such as a Vatican exhibition and the Square Colosseum), seeing works by Old Masters in person would overshadow those recent works of art.
After numerous days of gazing upon sculptures and paintings of Biblical figures, ancient gods and goddesses, going to the Guggenheim struck me as refreshing with its Modern art exhibition. Looking at art by the Dada group, Yoko Ono, and Matthew Barney, I found myself appreciating abstract art after seeing so many depictions of putti, robed people looking up at the heavens (or looking down), and the theatrical grandeur of Rome, Pompeii, and Naples.