Modern Art in 6 Hours at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) – New York City

An Artsy Afternoon at One of the World’s Best Modern Art Museum 

Welcome to the world of Modern Art. I have been looking forward to seeing the modern art collections at MOMA for so long but never really got to. Figuring that I might not have much time left here in the USA, let alone New York City, I’d better take the chance and dedicate an afternoon at one of the world’s best museums.

Let me say up front here that it is impossible to enjoy MoMA within an afternoon. I did not have enough time to visit the sculpture garden and the sixth floor. I actually had to run through the fifth floor that contains the work of masters like Picasso and Monet… I am so mad at myself for not allocating more time to that floor.

The normal price of the ticket is $25 (adult) but I used my student ID to get it at $14

The Special Exhibition and Contemporary Galleries (80’s til now)

I especially enjoyed this section of the museum as everything that each piece that was created by these contemporary artists either have  great inspiration behind or originate from unique materials. These are some of the pieces that I find quite interesting.

This artwork is a part of the special exhibition “Game Plan” by the tapestry artist Alighiero Boetti. The tapestry shows the name of the rivers along with their length in the ascending order. Boetti worked with his wife to gather the information and found out that it was impossible to register accurate information as different information sources provide different information.

A child is hypnotized by moving pictures, a music video for “Dominatrix sleeps tonight” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XX88XJaJ_bg), a song by an 80’s short-lived synthpop band called Dominatrix. The child has had a glimpse of the darker side of life. Well, he has more than a few years to go still :). As for this piece of art in my 80’s girl perception, there is no better combination than the 80’s synthesized pop, the all-out, extravaganza flashy costume, and that 80’s dance style!

I find this artwork to be quite interesting, it is in the feminist art section. Senga Negundi wants to portray the different shapes of women’s bum by experimenting with nylon pantyhose that has the same elastic property like human skin. It is able to accommodate the elasticity of women’s flesh without restraining the shapes. The pantyhoses are filled with sand to obtain the shapes that are similar to women’s bottom in different postures.

Doris Secaldo is a Colombian female whose artwork is inspired by the wars in Colombia. Her works center around the projection of people’s emotions during wartime. She uses materials she found everywhere including clothing and furnitures. With this piece, she used shoes she found on the roadside to create a sort of remembrance to those lost in the war. These shoes, she said, were not supposed to be where she found them so it made her wonder what happened to those who wore them. This kind of gave me chills. The stitches around the sheepskin also remind me of those they use on sewing over eyes and mouth of bodies in psychedelic thriller movies.

These are a few artifacts from the Design for Fragile Personalities in Anxious Times Projects. As you can see, they are pretty much designed and built to reflect the safety needs of those who are in the dangerous areas. The red inflatable suit (Ralph Borland’s Suited for Subversion) is for those who participate in protests that have the potential to turn violent. The suit is equipped with a pulse detector and a loudspeaker that projects the person’s heartbeat sound that hopefully would deter the soldiers from shooting at him/her.

This is the first time I am being introduced to the work of Quay Brothers. I have always had some interest in surrealism work and the Quay Brothers’ stuff blew my mind away. The museum is currently holding a special exhibition by them and when I was there, attracted a lot of visitors. There were paintings, artifacts, book covers, movies, and puppets by them. I had a little viewing of their puppet short called the Street of Crocodile (The main character shown in the picture). The puppets and the mechanical components that go into the scenes are just plain genius. I actually enjoyed the darkness of their work, what a wild imagination they have had. For more information about them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brothers_Quay

I think this piece of photo montage is quite interesting and brutally honest. This is part of Martha Rosler’s Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful series. She placed the Vietnam war pictures in the House Beautiful magazine pages to reflect the extreme differences between the two worlds. I like the sarcasm, makes me wanna meet her. 

Architecture and Design

Auger and Loizeau explored into the social context of social telepresence technology that is currently only used in military and exploratory purposes. Like the description appeared on the screen. Users can use specific glasses and a microphone to project the videos and sound transmitted from others who are experiencing the moments. So pretty much a shy person can use it to go to a strip club without being exposed. However, I think I would freak out a little bit to see people walking around with these helmets :).

I love this multi-purpose Italian furniture but I don’t know if I want to sleep in this pull-out bed – feels like sleeping in a drawer at a morgue. 

Paintings 

I absolutely have no idea what Jackson Pollock was thinking when he painted this but all I know that the lines he got going on here are just amazing. The light and heavy strokes create different rhythm that creates the strange feeling of delicacy. I heard too many people say that they could also paint like this – I am not so sure about it! This painting is a masterpiece.

This is another famous piece at the museum, the Flag by Jasper Johns. He dreamt he was painting the American flag so when he got up the next morning, he went to buy supplies for this painting. From faraway it looks like an actual flag but when you look at it up close, it is actually three canvases mounted on plywood, newspaper strips, and encaustic paint. 

Andy Warhol worked on this piece the year Marilyn Monroe committed suicide. He always used this Marilyn’s face from the publicity still of her movie, “Niagara” in all his works. 

I actually prefer Roy Lichtenstein work to Andy Warhol’s. I like the old school comic strip feel of it but there is no doubt that Andy’s used more innovative material in his artwork.

This Van Gogh’s masterpiece is probably the most popular painting in MoMa. I always love his work because of the brush strokes, I think there is something sweet and dreamy to them. To me, Van Gogh’s paintings, including this one, give a feeling of warmth and love with a little bit of sad solitude. It’s just too bad that he never received the attention he deserved to receive when he was alive.

Although there is only one Klimt’s painting that I saw here in MoMa and it is not even his famous one, I cannot just bypass without mentioning it. I am a huge fan of Klimt’s work. I was first introduced to his world back when I was in Vienna and I have fallen in love with his work ever since (Tod und Leben and Beethoven Frieze – to name a few!). I always thought if I could have a chance to get a self portrait done by someone in the history, Klimt would definitely be my choice!

The museum of modern art would not be completed without the work of this man – Pablo Picasso. His work has inspired so many people and he was always the avant garde one in the art movement. He introduced different painting techniques including cubism. The prostitutes on the Avignon street in Barcelona served as the theme for this painting. According to the information provided by the museum, here, Picasso was inspired by African art and the style of El Greco. This piece was considered a revolution in art during that time.

Chagall’s paintings are always full of myth and imagination, his works always involves animals and human. Like how I feel about Van Gogh’s paintings, I think his paintings are full of warmth, love, and imagination. I remember seeing his dedicated exhibition at Vienna’s Albertina. The topic involved religions and myths. I think his work in that series is completely magical.

The Red Studio is among one of many of Matisse’s paintings at MoMa. This shows Matisse’s studio with his works and furnitures in his studio. I love how he used lines to control the audience’s line of sight.

I used to see a similar painting in the Empire of the Light series somewhere in Europe (not sure if it’s Paris) and actually bought a postcard of that painting ❤

Overall, I had a great time at the museum that day butI was sad that I did not have more time to fully enjoy what MoMa has to offer. I will have to go back again in the future. It is definitely a must visit place for those who love modern art. 6 hours are not enough unless you plan to whisk through a few exhibitions. As of now, every Friday evening from 4-8 pm, Target hosts a free night to MoMA so for those who just would like to have a quick look without paying for the ticket, it’s a way to go!

Hope you enjoyed the post 🙂 Have a great rest of the week!

XOXO,

Fon

Museum of Modern Art New York
www.moma.org

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