Tag Archives: MoMA

At MoMA: Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde

Last November, we went to the opening of the Diego Rivera murals exhibit at MoMA.  The line to get into the exhibit was so long that we didn’t even get to see the art – we just stood around, drinking (free) wine and people-watching.  Not so bad, especially considering the people-watching at these MoMA openings is pretty top-notch, but still kind of a let-down.1

Last Tuesday, we went to a MoMA opening and were actually able to see the art.  (This is not to say that we didn’t enjoy the free wine and the people-watching.  The people-watching was especially great: some guy was going around with a fake flower/tree sprouting out of his jacket shoulder.)

We saw  Tokyo 1955–1970: A New Avant-Garde, which opened to the public yesterday.  It’s a collection of some interesting stuff, but the exhibit itself seems too cramped.  Because so many of the pieces are so intense, I would have liked to see more white (or green, as the case may be) space between them – but pictures were stacked atop each other on the walls, and sculptures were crowded onto the same platform.  Case in point: three separate sculptures/mixed media pieces are displayed on the same platform in such a way that we thought they were all part of the same work.

What I consider to be a sloppy presentation aside, there are some interesting pieces there (including something described as molted human skin), and the exhibit is worth a view.


1 We did make a return trip to see the murals!

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at MoMA: Talk to Me

On Tuesday night, we went to MoMA to preview the upcoming exhibit Talk to Me. The place was packed. We gave up on getting drinks upon arrival and headed straight into the exhibit – which turned out to be a good plan. As we were leaving the exhibit, we saw that a huge line had formed at its entrance.

Talk to Me features “communication between people and things,” and, as you might expect, was very interactive. There were things to smell, things to listen to listen to, things to touch … and even things to vend you working Metrocards! We both agreed that we want to come back and explore the exhibit at a more leisurely pace. On Tuesday night, it was a bit of a madhouse.

We finally squeezed our way out of the crowded gallery and spent the remainder of the evening sipping wine in the sculpture garden.

IMAG0694

night at MoMA

It was a pretty nice little Tuesday night.

… and in New York

I’ve been so busy recapping my trip to Italy that I’ve forgotten to blog about the awesome things Marc and I have been doing in New York!

Last week, we went to the opening of German Expressionism: The Graphic Impulse at MoMA. I knew nothing about German Expressionism before we went, and it was interesting to see the progression of subjects from nudes to prostitutes to war-ravaged skulls. The exhibit runs through July 11, so there’s plenty of time to check it out. The exhibit website provides a great first look, grouping pieces by styles, themes, and techniques.

On Monday night, we went to see a film at BAM. Shortly after we moved into our apartment, we received $20 coupons for BAM as a reward for taking a building-related survey. Our coupons were expiring on March 31, so we decided it was time to finally cash them in. We decided to use them to see Certified Copy, a trip of a film about a French woman and an English man spending an afternoon in the Tuscan countryside. It was certainly a well-done film – the distractingly beautiful lead actress (Juliette Binoche) won Best Actress at Cannes for the role, and much of the camera work was interesting – but I spent so much of the film trying to figure out precisely what was going on that I think I’ll need to see it again. Every time I thought I had a handle on what was happening, something would happen to make me question my interpretation. It was particularly interesting for me, having just returned from a trip to Italy myself.

Last night, we were able to visit Pompeii: Life and Death in the Shadow of Vesuvius at Discovery Times Square. We really weren’t sure what to expect, but it was really neat. I imagined it would be a gallery-style presentation, with artifacts displayed, but it was much more like a museum. The exhibit was laid out in five basic parts: (1) a short introductory film, (2) artwork, (3) a film about the eruption of Vesuvius complete with a vibrating floor and flashing lights, (4) casts of the bodies from Pompeii, and (5) miscellaneous objects from daily life. The artwork was my favorite part: the frescoes were so colorful and spirited, and I loved the small bronze household gods. The price tag for the exhibit is pretty steep, but there’s a lot of really interesting stuff in there, and it’s all presented with enough context to make it really captivating.

Motion Pictures at MoMA

This post is more than a bit delayed, but I got busy with holiday preparation, and then the holidays, and then the snow, and … well, you see the pattern.

A few weeks ago, we went to the preview of the Andy Warhol: Motion Pictures exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art.  The exhibit is primarily composed of twelve of his Screen Tests arranged in one room, and it also includes the silent film Kiss.  It was kind of wacky to stand there and watch these looping films run on huge screens, but it was wacky in a good way.  We had a great time, despite the crushingly long line for drinks.

MoMA has encouraged people to submit their own screen tests through Flickr and is collecting them on its exhibition site.  I, being bored in Illinois one afternoon, did this, and you can see my screen test by visiting the exhibition site, selecting “view all” (by hovering over the current screen), and scrolling until you find me (I seem to be about fourteen rows from the bottom).  The idea is to remain as motionless as possible, but about forty seconds in, I started feeling awfully silly and began giggling.

screen cap of my screen test

The exhibit runs until March 21, so check it out if you get the chance.  It’s pretty cool.

Matisse at MoMA

On Tuesday night, we went to MoMA‘s opening of Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913-1917.1 The exhibit was interesting because it was centered around a period of Matisse’s art that had previously been considered an aberration of the artist’s work. Recent studies, however, have linked the pieces created during this period by the methods of revision that Matisse used. The exhibit thusly focuses on the production and studio practice of what Matisse created during this period, including not only paintings, but sculptures, drawings, and prints.


Bathers by a River, described by Matisse as one of his most pivotal paintings

Two other points of interest for us:
1. This opening actually allowed us to carry our drinks onto the upper floors of the museum (although not, obviously, into the gallery), which was handy because it was too meltingly hot to make use of the garden. Yay!
2. The benches in the lobby have the same pillows as our couch.

Read More:
Interactive Matisse’s “Bathers by the River” [NYT]
MoMA Show Examines Matisse’s Craft [ABC News]
Unsolved Mysteries of Matisse the Austere [NYT]


1 The exhibit was just at the Art Institute of Chicago, so maybe some of my Chicago friends have already seen it.

one hundred hours in NYC: part 4

My mom recently came to NYC for the first time. She arrived on Friday afternoon and left first thing on Wednesday morning; all told, she had just over one hundred hours in this fine city. We covered the city to the best of our ability – this is part 4 of our adventure.

On Monday, we started our day at MoMA. Thankfully, we had purchased our tickets online so we didn’t have to join the queue that had lined up before the museum was even open. I love MoMA, and Mom enjoyed it as well.


that’s me, rummaging about in my purse for lipgloss while looking at art

Mom and I have a tradition of having tea together – we’ve spent many afternoons in Chicago having tea either at the Ritz (which is in Water Tower and has a nice view of the city) or at Russian Tea Time, which has a great house blend of tea. Accordingly, it only seemed right to have tea during this trip, and I made reservations for afternoon tea at the Ritz. It was a lovely tea service. The tea sandwiches were delightful (one in particular was a miniature cheese scone with watercress and was delicious!), the scones were (as promised) phenomenal, and the dessert tray was amazing. I was making my way through taking one bite of each kind of dessert (there were so many, and I wanted to make sure that I tasted them all!), when our friendly server brought us additional (and, if possible, even more delicious) desserts. We were in danger of sugar comas when we left, but, honestly, I just can’t say enough good things about our tea, and I would whole-heartedly recommend the tea service.

After tea, we went home to change into our walking shoes. (I had been wearing a pair of five-inch wedge sandals which, while adorable, are not the kindest of footwear.) We then stopped by Tea Spot so that Mom could stock up on her favorite kind of tea, and then strolled from Washington Square Park up to the Empire State Building. After walking around for a while, we decided to pick up a bottle of wine and have dinner at Angelica Kitchen. Of course, we had to wait about an hour for a table, but, as usual, it was worth it. We needed a healthful counterbalance to that afternoon’s decadence.

Stay tuned for more!

midweek MoMA visit

We finally made it to the Tim Burton exhibit at the MoMA!

We waited so long to see it that we almost missed it, but I’m glad we didn’t! It was a really neat multimedia exhibit – there were sketches, sculptures, costumes, all manner of stuff. My favorite part was the jaws of the sandworm from Beetlejuice.

We also stopped by to see Marina Abramović. (We only had time to see her, not the part with the naked people.) She really does just sit there. We waited until the museum closed to see if she was going to get up … but she doesn’t. She continues to sit there. You have to wonder what she thinks about all day.