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Dubuffet-install-image-150x150
January 22, 2015  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Jean Dubuffet: Memories from Nature
Installation view of Jean Dubuffet: Soul of the Underground, The Museum of Modern Art, October 18, 2014–April 5, 2015. Photograph by John Wronn

Installation view of Jean Dubuffet: Soul of the Underground, The Museum of Modern Art, October 18, 2014–April 5, 2015. Photograph by John Wronn

In July of 1963 the French artist Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985) declared of his radical lithographs, “Sometimes I took imprints of every chance element that might even suggest something: the ground, walls, stones, old suitcases, any or every sort of object—I even went so far as to do them from the naked skin of a friend’s back—and sometimes I obtained astonishing images…that I had sprinkled with tiny elements such as wires, crumbs, bits of torn paper, and all sorts of debris….” Read more

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Collecting Alvin Lucier’s I Am Sitting in a Room

In 1969 American composer Alvin Lucier first performed his landmark work I Am Sitting in a Room, conceived for voice and electromagnetic tape. Lucier read a text into a microphone. Attempting to smooth out his stutter, he began with the lines, “I am sitting in a room, the same one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice.” As described in the text, his voice was recorded, then played back into the room. This process was repeated, and with each iteration Lucier’s recorded speech grew muddled, sounding distant, and specific sonic frequencies started to dominate the recorded sound. Read more

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January 15, 2015  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Inbox: Christopher Wool

The artist Christopher Wool is never through with a form just because he’s used it before. Rather, in a perpetual cycle of self-appropriation, he runs the visual elements he creates through numerous incarnations, constantly experimenting with shifts in scale and medium. Read more

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January 6, 2015  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Sturtevant’s Double Trouble

“What floor is the copycat exhibition on?” I recently overheard a museum visitor ask this of a security guard, presumably hoping to locate Sturtevant: Double Trouble. At first glance, the exhibition appears to be a group show of 20th-century masterpieces—a Jasper Johns flag painting here, an Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe there—until you realize that these are all by Sturtevant, an American artist best known for making her own versions of the works of her contemporaries, including Joseph Beuys, Marcel Duchamp, Keith Haring, and many others. Read more

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December 24, 2014  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Happy Holidays from MoMA (and Matisse)!
Installation view of Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (October 12, 2014-February 8, 2015). Photo by Jonathan Muzikar. © 2014 The Museum of Modern Art

Installation view of Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs at The Museum of Modern Art, New York (October 12, 2014-February 10, 2015). Photo: Jonathan Muzikar. © 2014 The Museum of Modern Art. Shown (from left): Black Leaf on Green Background. 1952. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted. The Menil Collection, Houston; Nuit de Noël. 1952. Maquette for stained-glass window. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, mounted on board. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Time Inc.; Black Leaf on Red Background. 1952. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted. Private collection; Nuit de Noël. 1952. Stained glass. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Time Inc.; All works by Henri Matisse. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

In 1952 Henri Matisse was commissioned to make a stained-glass window for the Time Life Company.
The window, titled Nuit de Noël, was exhibited at Rockefeller Center during the holiday season, and on December 4, 1952, Matisse wrote to MoMA’s founding director Alfred H. Barr: Read more

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December 5, 2014  |  Artists, Publications
Nicholas Nixon: 40 Years of the Brown Sisters
Cover of Nicholas Nixon. The Brown Sisters. Forty Years, published by The Museum of Modern Art

Cover of Nicholas Nixon: The Brown Sisters. Forty Years, published by The Museum of Modern Art

The Museum of Modern Art first exhibited Nicholas Nixon’s photographs of the Brown Sisters in 1976, as part of his first-ever solo exhibition titled Longer Views: 40 Photographs by Nick Nixon. The series was in its infancy at the time and only two portraits of the sisters existed, Read more

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November 21, 2014  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
“Dear Mr. Szarkowski”: Postcards from Nicholas Nixon

Celebrating the publication and exhibition on the 40th anniversary of Nicholas Nixon’s The Brown Sisters, the Department of Photography wanted to share from its collection a selection of “postcards” by Nixon that the photographer sent to the department’s former director, John Szarkowski. On the back of each of these photographs, one finds letters written by Nixon to Szarkowski. Read more

Decasia-150x150
November 19, 2014  |  Artists, Film
Bill Morrison: Old Films, Contemporary Music, Timeless Themes
The Great Flood. 2013. USA. Directed by Bill Morrison. Courtesy of Bill Morrison

The Great Flood. 2013. USA. Directed by Bill Morrison. Courtesy of Bill Morrison

Music is a central component of the films of Bill Morrison (currently the subject of a mid-career retrospective at MoMA) and his collaborations with contemporary composers reflect his early interest in music as “a soundtrack in [his] life” and are informed by his artistic training as a painter and filmmaker. Read more

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November 18, 2014  |  Artists, MoMA Stores
Marina Abramović: The Artist Will Be Present
Marina Abramović's Portrait with Scorpion (Closed Eyes) (2005), shown reproduced on the limited-edition scarf, with signature

Marina Abramović’s Portrait with Scorpion (Closed Eyes) (2005), shown reproduced on the limited-edition scarf, with signature

On Tuesday, November 25, Marina Abramović will yet again be present at a MoMA-related event, but this time the occasion is an in-store signing at the MoMA Design Store, Soho. The artist has designed a limited-edition silk scarf (shown above) in collaboration with the fashion company Pineda Covalin, and she will be on hand to sign scarves and copies of her 2010 MoMA exhibition catalogue, Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present. Read more

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November 11, 2014  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Matisse: The Same Thing, Different Means
Henri Matisse. Two Dancers (Deux danseurs). 1937–38. Stage curtain design for the ballet Rouge et Noir. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, notebook papers, pencil, and thumbtacks, 31 9/16 x 25 3/8” (80.2 x 64.5 cm). Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de création industrielle, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Dation, 1991. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Henri Matisse. Two Dancers (Deux danseurs). 1937–38. Stage curtain design for the ballet Rouge et Noir. Gouache on paper, cut and pasted, notebook papers, pencil, and thumbtacks, 31 9/16 x 25 3/8” (80.2 x 64.5 cm). Musée national d’art moderne/Centre de création industrielle, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. Dation, 1991. © 2014 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs, currently on view in the Museum’s sixth floor temporary exhibition galleries, looks closely at the works Matisse created in the final decade of his career.  Adopting painted paper as his primary medium, and scissors as his chief implement, he invented a radically new form that came to be called a cut-out. But while this work was utterly new, its concerns were consistent with those that had driven Matisse throughout his entire career. Read more