April 30, 2010  |  Do You Know Your MoMA?
Do You Know Your MoMA? 04/30/2010

How well do you know your MoMA? Above are images of works from the MoMA collection that are currently on view in the Architecture and Design Galleries. If you think you can identify the artist and title of each work, please submit your answers by leaving a comment on this post. We’ll provide the answers—along with some information about each work—next Friday, along with the next Do You Know Your MoMA? challenge.


Well, I said I’d try to stump you last week, and stump you I did. Many of you were able to correctly identify the first two works, but the third proved to be the most challenging, and we don’t have a winner this week. Honorable mention to Candice White for identifying Constantin Brancusi as the artist, but alas, it is Young Bird, not Blond Negress, II, in the photo clue.

Clues for the Do You Know Your MoMA? challenge, 4/23/10

1 . Pablo Picasso. Girl Before a Mirror. March 1932

2. Frida Kahlo. Fulang-Chang and I. 1937 (assembled after 1939)

3. Constantin Brancusi. Young Bird. 1933

April 30, 2010  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions, Tech
Marina Abramović: A Gallery of Portraits

If you happen to witness—or, for the intrepid, participate in—Marina Abramović‘s new work The Artist Is Present, you may notice a well-equipped photographer quietly documenting each daily performance. The artist has asked photographer Marco Anelli to take portraits of every visitor who participates in the piece. The results, as you can see below and on the exhibition website, are captivating.

Check back frequently, as the images are updated regularly. At this point there are over eight hundred portraits!

April 29, 2010  |  Behind the Scenes
MoMA Offsite: European Stay-cation?

Chris Ofili. Prince amongst Thieves. 1999

Much of the dust—er, ash—has settled in Europe, and those marooned there by Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano are trickling back home. Nonetheless, when airspace was finally cleared mid–last week, there were reports of half-empty planes returning from some of the most afflicted cities, such as Zurich and London. I know a handful of people whose airlines will not honor tickets at their original prices until April 29 or later, so perhaps this in part explains the sparsely populated jets. But one must also consider the Europeans who may have canceled trips and vacations to the States completely. How many of those people will therefore miss a planned trip to MoMA, I wonder?!? It is with this concern in mind that I drafted this MoMA Offsite entry. Perhaps it’s too rash to predict for Europe the trend of the “stay-cation” (which swept our nation last year due to factors altogether different, of course), but nonetheless I’d like our members, friends, and supporters there to know that many MoMA works are on view in Europe at this time. Read more

April 28, 2010  |  Rising Currents
Rising Currents: Promise of a Park

West 8/Rogers Marvel Architects/Diller Scofidio + Renfro/Mathews Nielsen/Urban Design +

The Universal Magic of New York Harbor

The chosen place, Governors Island, as a granite island in the middle of New York Harbor, has an amazing context. This natural bay where the Hudson and East rivers meet and the moon drives the waters of the Atlantic through the Verrazano Narrows, causing the tides to swirl around the navel of the world, Manhattan, is without compare. Here is where generations came ashore to build America, fusing their collective cultures together to form a peerless metropolis. The water was the center. New York was built on the shores, so that its magnificent silhouette would be reflected by the waves. Tunnels and athletic bridges labor to connect all its boroughs. Like the Bosporus and the Bay at Rio de Janeiro, New York Harbor has a seemingly universal magic. God created a place, which every civilization would choose for its own. Every morning, Manhattan is born again out of briny fogs. With Ellis Island and Liberty Island, Governors Island has been elected to share this bay. Together they have witnessed an intense history, or have themselves become the symbols of it. Read more

April 27, 2010  |  An Auteurist History of Film
Vsevolod I. Pudovkin
Storm over Asia. 1928. USSR. Directed by V. I. Pudovkin

Storm over Asia. 1928. USSR. Directed by V. I. Pudovkin

These notes accompany the Vsevolod I. Pudovkin program, screening April 28, 29, and 30 in Theater 3.

Vsevolod Illarionovitch Pudovkin (1893–1953) was, like Sergei Eisenstein, a pupil of Lev Kuleshov (1899–1970), and all three of them were heavily influenced by the work of D. W. Griffith, particularly his mastery of editing. All three also wrote copiously on film theory, finding intellectual justification for the choices they made in creating their movies. Few American filmmakers made much effort to convey their thought processes, and most seemed happy to leave the impression that their work was largely intuitive. When Peter Bogdanovich asked John Ford how he did a particular shot, Ford replied soberly, “With a camera.” Read more

April 26, 2010  |  Behind the Scenes, Viewpoints
Art/Work: MoMA’s Creative Minds: Claire Corey

Left: Claire Ellen Corey. Cove. 2009. Archival inkjet on canvas. © Claire Ellen Corey. Right: Claude Monet. Water Lilies. 1914-26. Oil on canvas, three panels, each 6′ 6 3/4″ x 13′ 11 1/4″ (200 x 424.8 cm), overall 6′ 6 3/4″ x 41′ 10 3/8″ (200 x 1276 cm). The Museum of Modern Art. Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund

Many of MoMA’s employees aren’t just guardians of the Museum’s collection: they are artists in their own right, and have found inspiration for their own work through their engagement with artwork shown at MoMA. Our jobs do sometimes force us to hurry by breathtaking works, with no time to let their power wash over us.  But at other moments—whether retouching a paint job, placing a wall label, or installing a work of art—we find ourselves alone, in empty galleries, confronted with some of the greatest works of art made in the last century. This new series of blog posts will focus on a few of MoMA’s many employee/artists, and will address the ways in which they have incorporated their daily work experiences into their own artistic processes.

As Production Manager in the Museum’s department of graphic design, Claire Ellen Corey produces various components of many of MoMA’s exhibitions, installations, and marketing campaigns. Outside of her duties at MoMA, she’s also a painter, a practice that has been informed time and again by all she has learned within the Museum. In fact, Corey combines techniques of painting and the tools of graphic design to create her multilayered paintings, ultimately producing her final image on an ink-jet printer. Read more

April 26, 2010  |  Design, Events & Programs
Magnetic MoMA: A Graphic Look at Shape Lab

The yellow shapes are movable magnets, which can be repositioned to fit into the small forest scene at bottom right. Photo by Michael Nagle

When we first met with the educators from MoMA’s Education Department to discuss the Shape Lab installation, we knew instantly that this project had to be FUN for us, the designers—and that FUN needed to be part of the design for the visitors.

Shape Lab is an interactive educational space for families. The educators’ intention for this space is to encourage visitors to interact with the space and explore the different ways artists use shapes in painting and sculpture. The space was filled with interactive tools and furniture, educational toys, art books, and shape learning activities. The original project request was to design an identity for its title wall. Instead, we designed a multifunctional activity wall, which both communicates its message and functions as a fun learning game. Read more

April 23, 2010  |  Do You Know Your MoMA?
Do You Know Your MoMA? 04/23/2010

Clues for the Do You Know Your MoMA? challenge, 4/23/10

How well do you know your MoMA? To the left are images of works from the MoMA collection that are currently on view in the galleries. If you think you can identify the artist, title, and location of each work, please submit your answers by leaving a comment on this post. We’ll provide the answers—along with some information about each work—next Friday, along with the next Do You Know Your MoMA? challenge.

ANSWERS TO LAST WEEK’S CHALLENGE: Too elementary for you? Next week I’ll really try to stump you. Congratulations to Jonathan Janov and Laura Rosa, who tied for first place in last week’s post. Doris Bremm also correctly identified all six works, but alas, she spelled Joan Miró’s first name wrong.

Clues for the Do You Know Your MoMA? challenge, 4/16/10

1. Pablo Picasso. Three Musicians. 1921.
2. Gerald Murphy. Wasp and Pear. 1929
3. René Magritte. The Portrait. 1935
4. Yves Tanguy. The Furniture of Time. 1939
5. Joan Miró. Bather. October 1932
6. Rufino Tamayo. Animals. 1941

Burton Farewell: Installing the Exhibition

Curator Ron Magliozzi and the exhibitions team install Tim Burton

The installation of the Tim Burton show took thirteen days, beginning on October 28, 2009, and ending (save some inevitable last-minute tweaking) on Friday, November 13. As the first institution given the opportunity to exhibit Burton’s unseen work, the urge to present a comprehensive selection was hard to resist. With 716 pieces of framed art, objects, and media to put in place, the pressure was on—especially since we knew that a series of special openings had been scheduled before the general public arrived: Tim’s private opening on November 16 for his friends and collaborators, a Department of Film benefit honoring Tim on November 17, and the opening reception on November 18. The realization that we would soon be hosting Johnny Depp, Danny Elfman, Helena Bonham Carter, Catherine O’Hara, Bo Welch, Glenn Shadix, Diane Wiest, Colleen Atwood, Danny DeVito, Jeffrey Jones, Crispin Glover, and others—not to mention Tim himself—added to the sense of excitement shared by everyone on the MoMA installation team. Read more

April 22, 2010  |  Events & Programs
More Eavesdropping: Art, Poetry, and Everyday Encounters

Did you know that museum visitors spend an average of three seconds looking at a work of art? What can a viewer possibly glean from that brief encounter? When I invited poets Matthew Rohrer and Joshua Beckman to do a reading at MoMA, I knew that they would be able to change that statistic for a lucky few. They know how to encourage diverse audiences to join them in the process not only of composing poems, but of looking at and contemplating art and creating a fresh experience with it. So I challenged them to use MoMA’s public as a resource to write poems about works of art in the collection or about the museum experience in general. In their preliminary field work, they spied on museum goers, listened to their conversations, recorded people’s activities, and trained a group of teens from MoMA’s Teen Voices Project to do the same. Our goal was to bring an assortment of people, art, and poetry together, and to spawn unexpected social interactions. Read more