moma

Opening night of Diego Rivera at MoMA

Opening night of Diego Rivera at MoMA

I felt lucky to attend the opening night party for the Diego Rivera exhibition “Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art” last Tuesday. The (always welcomed) open bar aside, I was excited to get a preview of some of the works of an icon like Rivera, an artist for whom I also have a sort of nostalgic attachment; his relationship with Frida Kahlo was the focus of one of my earliest group projects as a freshman at Brown. In tribute to their mercurial relationship, I tried to convince my friend to show up with a unibrow. Alas, she refused…

Marina Abramovic: the video game experience

Marina Abramovic: the video game experience

In the overlapping center of a Venn diagram between the art and video game world is this 8-bit side-scrolling online game adaptation developed by Pippin Barr of Marina Abramović’s live installation, “The Artist Is Present,” which was presented earlier this year at MoMA. In one of the more buzzed about art exhibits this year, Abramović sat silent and still in the atrium of the MoMA, where visitors lined up for the opportunity to sit across from her, thus “becoming participants in the artwork.”

Helix, a card game based on your DNA

Helix, a card game based on your DNA

Among the many ooh and ahh-inducing technological wonders on display in MoMA’s current “Talk to Me” exhibition is the card game, Helix, or rather its prototype. Why does a card game need a prototype, you ask? Because Helix is unlike any other game you’ve ever seen – seriously. For starters, it requires your DNA. Yep, before you can begin the game players send a swab of their saliva to a lab to be analyzed. From that data, the game’s designers create a customized 50-card deck based on the traits and tendencies revealed by your DNA. One card might be for obesity, another for depression and another for curly hair. The game begins when each player lays their cards on the table and engage in duels that “reward strategy and decision making but are limited by genetic reality.”

Warm Up all summer long at MoMA/P.S.1

Warm Up all summer long at MoMA/P.S.1

It’s been four months since we announced the winner of P.S.1/MoMA’s Young Architects Program. Now that summer is officially upon us, the museum has opened up its courtyard and unveiled Interboro Partner’s winning design, “Holding Pattern,” which will play host to the annual Warm Up party series. One of the first things you notice when you enter the space, aside from the fact that it seems to be undergoing some last minute construction, are the bright yellow tags on nearly every item in the courtyard (pictured below). They read “Hold For” and are stuck to the chairs, benches, planters, trees, chess boards and ping pong tables. The tags are marked with the names of local businesses and organizations who will receive the tagged item after Warm Up closes in September. When Interboro Partners was conducting their initial research they went out into the neighborhood and asked people, “Is there something you need that we could design and use in the courtyard and then donate in the Fall?” The community seems to have answered eclectically. In addition to seating, there’s a sandbox, foosball table, lifeguard chair and even a self-misting modular stage for breakdancing performances.

Cy Twombly as sculptor

Cy Twombly as sculptor

Though Cy Twombly is best known, perhaps even exclusively so, for his paintings -those ferociously scribbled masterpieces – it’s his sculpture – seven pieces of it – that MoMA has recently acquired and put on exhibition. Almost all of Twombly’s sculptures are made from found materials, scrap wood and plaster that are assembled into composites and then covered in white paint, “unifying the various humble materials and giving them an ethereal presence.” Sure, or he whitewashed them right into the gallery walls and they stand out only because they’re mounted on a pedestal. Yes, his sculptural work possesses an undeniable textural quality – the variations in the monochromatic pieces of wood and fabric are quite lovely up close. From further back, however, they’re about as emotionally exciting as their color palette is varied.

I went to MoMA and…

I went to MoMA and…

Quoting Duchamp who once said “It is the spectators who make the pictures,” MoMA decided to engage the 3 million people who walk through their museum with a project called “I went to MoMA and…” where visitors could fill out a note card finishing that sentence and share their experience with the museum and public.…

Remembering the Whole Earth Catalog

Remembering the Whole Earth Catalog

In 1968 Stewart Brand founded the singular publication the Whole Earth Catalog, a compendium of useful resources for designing and building with the ‘whole earth’ in mind. Heavily influenced by the work of Buckminster Fuller, the catalog “developed into an extensive reference tool for designing the environment, living spaces and new media practices.” Far from being just a collection of products and prices, the Whole Earth Catalog is the only catalog to win a National Book Award for its eschewing of politics and a move towards grassroots change. “At a time when New Age hippies were deploring the intellectual world of arid abstractions, Whole Earth pushed science, intellectual endeavor and new technology as well as old.”

P.S.1 MoMA's Young Architects Winner

P.S.1 MoMA's Young Architects Winner

Just when the winter blues really starts to get me down, MoMA/P.S.1 announces the winner of the Young Architects Program and summer doesn’t seem quite as far away. That’s because the grand prize is the chance to design P.S.1′s outdoor courtyard, used all summer long for their jam-packed Warm Up parties in Long Island City, Queens. This year’s winner is the Brooklyn-based urban design and planning firm, Interboro Partners, who take a decidedly minimalist approach in all their work. Many past winners have wowed the judges with elaborate conceptual pieces or striking visuals, but Interboro snagged the top prize with a simple overhead canopy made of tautly pulled rope that reaches from one end of the courtyard to the other.

Barbed wire typeface

Barbed wire typeface

Fellow SUNfilterer Perrin Drumm’s recent write up about the MoMA’s acquisition of some typefaces reminded me to post about artist Andrew Effendy’s piece “The Devil’s Rope/Type.” Shaped to look like “sinister” barbed wire, the artist “makes you mull over the role of language and how—especially, in today’s world of information overload—language has the power to…

ART – looking back at Meret Oppenheim's "Object"

ART – looking back at Meret Oppenheim's "Object"

I first encountered Meret Oppenheim’s “Object” in “The Erotic Object” show at MoMA, a 2009 exhibition of Surrealist sculpture. Many of the usual suspects were on display – Giacometti’s “Disagreeable Object,” a wooden phallus with three sharp points on the end as well as a few of Hans Bellmer’s bulbous, flesh-colored deconstructions of the female reproductive system. But resting on a pedestal right in front was Oppenheim’s show-stealing “Object.”

Font geeks, rejoice!

Font geeks, rejoice!

FF Blur by legendary designer Neville Brody
MoMA has been on something of an acquisitions spree of late, following up their recent purchase of artist David Woknarowicz’s controversial “A Fire in My Belly” (that’s the video of ants crawling over Christ’s body that the Smithsonian took down after it ruffled some feathers in the Catholic League) with 23 digital typefaces for its Architecture and Design collection. Before this, Helvetica was the only font in the 30,000-piece collection, but it’s now joined by equally famous brethren like Verdana and Gotham as well as less common fonts like Walker, Template Gothic and even OCR-A, which is used only in bar codes.

Andy Warhol's motion pictures

Andy Warhol's motion pictures

With so many soup cans and Monroe images out there its easy to forget that Andy Warhol was not a one trick pony. The artist was also a prolific filmmaker and a new exhibit at NYC’s MoMA spotlights those films. From MoMA: Among Warhol’s cinematic oeuvre, the black-and-white silent films are the most daring and…

MoMA redefines the line

MoMA redefines the line

Painting, sculpture, drawing – you decide.
“On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century” isn’t MoMA’s first exhibition on drawing and it won’t be its last, but this latest curatorial effort is a much more inventive take on the genre than in previous shows. Connie Butler, the museum’s Chief Curator of Drawings and Catherine de Zegher, former director of The Drawing Center, have amassed a collection of works that span just over a century and include mediums beyond simple graphite on paper. One of the earlier works is a short film of the dancer Loie Fuller from 1897. Fuller experimented with what might be called early versions of ribbon dancing by using lengths of silk to create a sort of moving, visual line. She also sewed pieces bamboo into her skirts to stretch them into flat planes of fabric, and what is a drawing if not a line on a plane?

Jackson Pollock asks "Is this a painting?"

Jackson Pollock asks "Is this a painting?"

I enjoyed this anecdote recounted by Ann Temkin, Chief Curator of MoMA’s Department of Painting and Sculpture about Jackson Pollock who asked his wife the same question that many of us ask when looking at art, especially abstract, modern, or contemporary pieces. When he was at his studio in the Springs in Long Island, he…

Book lovers unite! It's the NY Art Book Fair

Book lovers unite! It's the NY Art Book Fair

Designed by Nieves If you’re one of the minions who’ve sworn an unholy alliance with the Kindle, if you’ve relegated your reading to the smooth, shiny surface of an iPad, read no further. But if you’re a member of the purer sect, those who relish the feel of a page between their thumb and forefinger,…

MoMA's mystery film stills

MoMA's mystery film stills

The MoMA posted on their website ten film stills and are asking their readers to help them identify the stills’ film titles, which the museum can’t quite figure out. The pictures portray scenes taking place in kitchens where “in film as in real life, kitchens are memorable settings for scenes of coziness and chaos, sex…

MoMA staff recreate art in LEGO versions

MoMA staff recreate art in LEGO versions

Inspired by Christoph Niemann’s (a favorite over here at SUNfiltered) recreations of iconic New York landmarks using LEGO bricks, some of the MoMA staff spent a Friday afternoon made their own LEGO minimalist miniature replicas of pieces from the museum’s collection. Seen above is Richard Serra’s “Equal (Corner Prop Piece)” and “One Ton Prop (House…

The longest photographic exposure

The longest photographic exposure

In 2001 New York City’s Museum of Modern Art invited Michael Wesely, renowned for “inventing and refining techniques for making photographs with unusually long exposures,” to photographically document the comprehensive renovation to the museum’s Midtown building. From the summer of 2001 to the building’s completion in 2004, Wesely’s cameras captured the construction site with their…

The Original Copy at MoMA

The Original Copy at MoMA

Lee Friedlander’s “Mount Rushmore”
For those too impatient to wait the 8 hours for exposure required by Joseph Niepce’s camera obscura, 1839 was a pretty exciting time. It was the year Louis Dageurre perfected his daguerreotype, which didn’t fade and needed less than 30 minutes for exposure. It’s also the starting point of MoMA’s upcoming exhibition “The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to today.” Don’t overlook that tiny preposition of. When the daguerreotype popularized photography, one of its very first subjects were sculptures. It satisfied a dual purpose. One, as sculptures were less mobile (if not entirely immobile) than paintings, sculptors needed their work photographed so it could reach a wider audience. Second, sculptures made ideal subjects. 30 minutes may be a lot less than 8 hours, but it’s still a pretty long time to ask a person to pose without moving.

The Matisse you didn't know, now at MoMA

The Matisse you didn't know, now at MoMA

Though Henri Matisse is one of the most well known artists of all time, widely considered one of the three seminal artists of the 20th century (along with Picasso and Duchamp), the work he produced from 1913-1917 is the least studied and arguably most innovative of his career. 1913 falls several years after his popular fauvist period, a style he would return to later in life, and marks the beginning of an experimental time during which he allowed the mark of the artist or “the means of making” to show in the finished canvas.

Warm Up at P.S.1

Warm Up at P.S.1

The rendering

The real thing
Remember back in January when P.S.1 MoMA announced the Brooklyn-based husband and wife duo SO-IL winner of this year’s Young Architects Program? If you got excited about the renderings for their winning design, the cheekily titled Pole Dance, get even more excited now that the actual space is up and ready for you to play in all summer long. As a refresher: Pole Dance is made of 100 free-moving poles, centrally anchored in a shallow pool and held together by a net that’s only ‘taut enough.’ The interactive structure encourages visitors to engage with the poles, to yank them around and tug on the net that holds up lots of big, bright rubber balls, creating and playing a kind of ‘rule-less’ game.

The silent treatment

The silent treatment

A scene from Ernst Lubitsch’s “So This is Paris,” of which only 10 minutes of films remains.
MoMA has been running a phenomenal program of silent films for the last two years, giving audiences a comprehensive look at the birth of cinema. But in case you missed out on two years of investigating the careers of the era’s most innovative directors, MoMA has put together a ‘best of’ before they switch over to talkies.

Shepard Fairey's new mural in downtown NYC

Shepard Fairey's new mural in downtown NYC

Earlier this week on Tuesday night, Shepard Fairey painted a mural in front of a large crowd in downtown Manhattan, on the corner of Houston and Bowery to be exact. You can see the final result in the photo above. I learned about this that night via the MoMA’s twitter which re-tweeted @hrag’s on-the-scene twitpics…

Every Painting in the MoMA on 10 April 2010

Every Painting in the MoMA on 10 April 2010

One of my favorite art bloggers Hyde or Die shared this ambitious YouTube video titled “Every Painting in the MoMA on 10 April 2010,” which incidentally was the same day I too dropped by my favorite museum in New York City, primarily to view their new Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit (one word review: captivating!). Set to…

Picasso the printmaker

Picasso the printmaker

Picasso’s “Portrait of a Young Lady (After Cranach the Younger)”

Even Picasso’s admirers have to admit that their beloved painter would be nothing without the masters. I don’t mean only as sources of inspiration but as actual source material. Owing his legacy to his famous interpretations of even more famous original paintings like Manet’s “Luncheon on the Grass” and Velazquez’s “Las Meninas,” Picasso is one of the great cover artists of the 20th century. But what he lacked in original composition he more than made up for with a long and prolific career that included nearly every medium available to him. The medium that the new MoMA exhibit is concerned with, however, is printmaking. “Picasso: Themes and Variations” (a real snoozer of a title, unfortunately) showcases 100 of his etchings, lithographs and linocuts, many of which are based on the work of other artists like Rembrandt and Lucas Cranach the Younger (and the Elder too).