The Guggenheim Didn’t Sign Off on That Beyoncé Ad

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos: Getty Images

With less than two weeks to go until Beyoncé’s country album drops, signs of its imminent arrival seem to be everywhere you look. On Tuesday night, ads for Cowboy Carter were spotted all around New York City, including projections on the Whitney, Guggenheim, and the New Museum.

Most of the projections included replicas of the cover art featuring Queen B sitting atop a horse. Meanwhile, the projection displayed on the Guggenheim rotunda were the words “This ain’t a country album. This is a ‘Beyoncé’ album” — a reference to a recent Instagram post in which Beyoncé reflected on her entry into the genre.

After an Instagram Story from the singer featured the museum and the Guggenheim’s Instagram account sharing a painting with the caption, “This ain’t Texas,” people began to wonder what the two were plotting. Maybe a special Beyoncé exhibition timed to her album release? But it turns out, the Guggenheim institution had no idea Beyoncé planned to use its façade as advertising. In an email to ArtNews, the museum said it was “not informed about and did not authorize this activation.” Still, no one sounded too upset: “However, we invite the public — including Beyoncé and her devoted fans — to visit the museum May 16–20 when we present projections by artist Jenny Holzer on the façade of our iconic building to celebrate the opening of her major exhibition,” it added. Seems like everyone got a little bit of free promotion in the end.

The Guggenheim Didn’t Sign Off on That Beyoncé Ad