Eyes Closed/Eyes Open: Recent Acquisitions in Drawings
This exhibition is culled from the past two years of acquisitions by MoMA's Department of Drawings. Anchored in various explorations of the late 1960s, these works reveal a range of creative, intellectual, and critical impulses—whether serving as an intimate record of the artist’s practice, or purposefully crafted to address an assumed wider audience. German artist Franz Erhard Walther created a suite of “work drawings” to illustrate (both functionally and conceptually) his First Work Series (1963–69), a group of 58 interactive sculptural objects, on display at the Museum for the first time since their original presentation here in 1969. While roughly contemporary, Willem de Kooning’s “Eyes-Closed” drawings of 1966, which were sketched blindly by the artist, offer a counterpoint to Walther’s project and seem to embrace the traditional role of drawing as a tool of private expression, while Martha Rosler’s Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful photomontage series of 1967–72 turns a critical eye to the era’s sociopolitical context and expanding media sphere.