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MoMA (Museum of Modern Art)

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New Photography at MoMA: Water Everywhere, but Not a Drop to Drink

by Taylor Dafoe
The language of visual information in the digital age has a surprising connection to water: video streams, .wav files, image pools, torrents. All this leads up to the biggest metaphoric aquatic body yet: what the MoMA Department of Photography calls the “Ocean of Images.” Ocean of Images marks the 30th anniversary of MoMA’s New Photography series. It also signals a few changes to the show. Previously an annual event featuring the work of a handful of artists, in its new guise the show will be bigger, broader in scope, and held biannually. John Szarkowski, the first Director of Ph... [more]
Posted by Taylor Dafoe on 11/24/15
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The Immigrant Song

by Bradley Rubenstein
One of the most startling impressions that one takes away from seeing the reunited Migration Series at the Museum of Modern Art is how current the paintings still feel—current in a way that Céline still does, or Christopher Isherwood, or John Steinbeck, documentors of a very specific moment of transition, faithfully recording sensitive observations. Jacob Lawrence’s cycle of sixty paintings on the subject of the Northern Migration is both a landmark work for an artist who was just twenty-three years old when he began it and a work of historical importance in American art of... [more]
Posted by Bradley Rubenstein on 5/27/15
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The Immigrant Song

by Bradley Rubenstein
One of the most startling impressions that one takes away from seeing the reunited Migration Series at the Museum of Modern Art is how current the paintings still feel—in a way that Céline still does, or Christopher Isherwood, or John Steinbeck, documentors of a very specific moment of transition, faithfully recording sensitive observations. Jacob Lawrence’s cycle of 60 paintings on the subject of the Great Migration, during which 6 million African Americans ultimately left the rural South, is both a landmark work for an artist who was just 23 years old when he began it and a... [more]
Posted by Bradley Rubenstein on 5/27/15
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Tick, Tick, Bang: On Painting in The Forever Now

by Bradley Rubenstein
Between 1942 and 1963 Dorothy Canning Miller was the curator of the highly perceptive and ultimately influential Americans shows at the Museum of Modern Art. Beginning with Americans 1942: 18 Artists From 9 States and ending with Americans 1963, Miller presented the work of artists such as Hyman Bloom, Robert Motherwell, Jay DeFeo, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Lee Bontecou, and Frank Stella—artists who would ultimately be the defining contributors to the mid-century American art historical canon. After a gap of nearly a half-century, MoMA once again is reviving this tradition with Laura... [more]
Posted by Bradley Rubenstein on 2/16/15
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Fade Away and Radiate

by Bradley Rubenstein
Keep everything on the surface, even with the knowledge that the surface fades and can’t be held together forever—take advantage before the expiration date appears in the nearing distance. Bret Easton Ellis, Imperial Bedrooms During this test you will be shown a series of inkblot images. Look at each inkblot for a moment then select the appropriate response(s). At the end of the test your responses will be analyzed and scored, and a summary of the test evaluation will be presented to you. Instructions for an online Rorschach Test evaluation, 2014 The Museum of Modern Art is current... [more]
Posted by Bradley Rubenstein on 5/26/14
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You Can't Pin Women Down: Designing Modern Women 1890-1990

by Roslyn Bernstein
Three flat-bottomed brown paper bags, so simple, you could easily pass them by, stand dead center in the Kitchen Transformations section of the Designing Modern Women 1890-1990 exhibit at MoMA. On the adjacent label there are two names, Margaret E. Knight, the woman who patented the machine that made the bags in the 1870s-1880s, and Charles B. Stilwell, who, according to Juliet Kinchin, organizer of the exhibit and curator in the Department of Architecture and Design, made “subtle modifications” to the design. Labels play an important role in this show, sorting out the often messy a... [more]
Posted by Roslyn Bernstein on 1/13/14
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One Gal, Many Guises

by Taylor Ruby
As an artist, Cindy Sherman is a woman of many guises. She simultaneously performs as photographer, model, stylist, set designer, and makeup artist–creating evocative, detailed worlds in which a collective contemporary identity is both faintly revealed and starkly exposed. Through the medium of the portrait, Sherman has spent the past thirty-five years mirroring the social and, often, sexual tropes inherent in a modern, media-based culture. Acting the varying roles of vamp, housewife, girl-next-door, victim, ingénue, villain, aging beauty, and demon, she has audaciously shown us the clichés, ster... [more]
Posted by Taylor Ruby on 4/1/12
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Cindy Sherman and Eugene Atget at MoMA: Photography vs. Reality

The Museum of Modern Art is host to two significant exhibitions, both of which explore Photography’s relationship to reality. Cindy Sherman’s 6th floor mid-career retrospective and Eugene Atget’s “Documents pour artistes”, hidden away in the Photography 3rd floor galleries, represent diametrically opposed positions. First some notes on the Sherman retrospective, which is the big draw. The first room held a couple of revealing images. Revealing to me at least, because I had never considered Sherman in the context of Warhol, and his influence on her early work seems so obvious in retrospect. I... [more]
Posted by Christopher Giglio on 4/24/12
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The Sum of Days

by James Patrick Benn
The City of Lights.  The Eternal City.  Le Big Apple.  Not so poetic, an American twist.  More to the point,  I’m in the City that Never Sleeps… and I’m in sensory overdrive.  I need a break.  I need to find some beauty to quiet the commotion.  I’m thinking with all the senses pounding in my head, and now, just now, I’m thinking about Art ?  Yes, just one sense ; the visual, to rest my eyes on just one thing, and to let the other senses altogether, rest.  I came to MOMA.  The Matisse I wanted to see is visiting Atlanta.  Les Demoiselles d’Avignon took my breath away – but then I breathed aga... [more]
Posted by James Patrick Benn on 12/11/11
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Camera as Co-Conspirator

by Natalie Hegert
MoMA's "The Original Copy: Photography and Sculpture" in a way feels more like a free-for-all mash-up of associations and juxtapositions than a focused thesis, a stream of consciousness collection of various intersections of photography and sculpture.  There is a remarkable absence of a prescribed formulation to follow, and the subject is explored rather through various themes and practices, stirring groupings and somewhat abrupt shifts of logic.  This lack results not in a confused or incoherent exhibition, but instead promotes a series of inarticulated but compelling resonances bet... [more]
Posted by Natalie Hegert on 8/15/10
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"Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917" at New York MOMA

"Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917" at New York MOMA My next stop during my recent New York trip, after Guggenheim Museum, Frick Collection, and Morgan Library & Museum was The Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). The main attraction during the time was the special exhibit: Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913–1917, which runs from July 18 to October 11, 2010. MOMA sits informed us thus: In the time between Henri Matisse's (1869–1954) return from Morocco in 1913 and his departure for Nice in 1917, the artist produced some of the most demanding, experimental, and enigmatic works of his ca... [more]
Posted by Matthew Felix Sun on 9/23/10
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Photography's Second Kill

by Charlie Schultz
    At the turn of the last century everybody was saying photography killed painting. Now it seems photography has killed itself in an effort to be more like painting. The first time around the killing was all about representation and which medium was better suited to depict the physical world. Painting lost and went abstract. The second killing is all about process, and if there was blood to be shed, it would be all over the Robert and Joyce Menschel Photography Gallery where New Photography is on view. Photography, in traditional terms, is a subtractive medium. Every snap of the shutter... [more]
Posted by Charlie Schultz on 1/4/10
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Thin Men, Strong Women -- Looking at Music: Side 2

    Thin Men, Strong Women--Looking at Music: Side 2exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art Julie Ashcraft A.K.A. Jigsawnovich NEW YORK--In early 80's New York, kids who covered subway cars with their names could attract museum curators, art students would begin to reach the stature of rock stars, and a blonde white lady from Jersey would top the charts with a rap record.Artistic experimentation was possible in part because practice space, studio space and apartment rent were incredibly cheap. A six room apartment on Rivington Street, with views of the Empire State Building and the World Trade... [more]
Posted by Julie Jigsawnovich on 11/29/09
Childs

Classic Rock

by Yaelle Amir
Looking at Music was borne from the recognition that music has served as a creative nucleus from which other forms of art have evolved and prospered. The exhibition presents works created between the early 1960s and the mid 1970s, which employ music as a compositional device, inspiration, and material. Comprised of objects solely from the MoMA’s collection, the broad selection of works includes music videos, artist books, storyboards, audio recordings, drawings, and manipulated everyday objects by renowned musicians, performance and visual artists. Aptly positioned at the start of the exhibit... [more]
Posted by Yaelle Amir on 12/21/08
Berlin

Kirchner and the City

by John Daquino
It's amazing that it took nearly one hundred years to round up all of German Expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's Berlin street scene paintings in one glorious exhibit. Organized by in-house curator Deborah Wye, Kirchner and the Berlin Street brings together seven of these masterpieces, along with approximately sixty works on paper that highlight Kirchner's interdisciplinary working methods. One of the founding members of the youthful Die Brücke collective, Kirchner moved to the newly bustling metropolis of Berlin in 1911 after spending most of his days in the quieter city of Dresden. Two ye... [more]
Posted by John Daquino on 8/31/08
Marcks

Wunderkammer!

James Ensor, whose work appears in the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition Wunderkammer: A Century of Curiosities, described the attic over his parent’s souvenir shop in Belgium as “dark and frightening … full of horrible spiders, curios, seashells, plants and animals from distant seas, beautiful chinaware, rust and blood-colored effects, red and white coral, monkeys, turtles, and dried mermaids”. Ensor drew a lasting inspiration from these stashed-away objects, and eventually moved his whole studio into the attic. Wunderkammer, organized by MoMA’s Sarah Suzuki, explores the pull that such pervers... [more]
Posted by Trong Gia Nguyen on 10/5/08