Posts in ‘Artists’
What Is a Print? An Interactive Website is Now a Book

Cover of What is a Print? publication

What Is a Print? (2011), by Sarah Suzuki, Associate Curator in the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books, is a publication that grew out of The Museum of Modern Art’s interactive website of the same name. Read more

A Way of Seeing

Willem de Kooning in his studio. Photo © 2012 Tom Ferrara. Artwork © 2012 The Willem de Kooning Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

After meeting Bill de Kooning, one thing that first became apparent was that he had amazing skills of observation. Not only was he more visually active than everyone else but he also appeared to enjoy the act of seeing more than anyone. Read more

December 23, 2011  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions, Videos
Sanja Iveković: Personal Cuts

In 1982 Sanja Iveković presented Personal Cuts on prime-time Yugoslavian national television, on TV Zagreb’s 3, 2, 1 – Action! This video is now on view in MoMA’s retrospective Sanja Iveković: Sweet Violence, and I am most grateful to Sanja for giving us the opportunity to present this work on our blog. Read more

December 13, 2011  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Tim Burton Takes Flight in the Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade winds through New York City with B.

This past Thanksgiving I had the privilege of taking part in a time-honored New York City tradition, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Read more

December 9, 2011  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions, Fluxus
Case Study: Anna Ostoya Interprets Fluxkit

There was a hint of prank and play in the air at The Museum of Modern Art on November 1. Had you been walking in the Museum’s Marron Atrium that day, you may have gotten caught in a flurry of white cards descending from above. Read more

December 1, 2011  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Sanja Iveković: Lady Rosa of Luxembourg

Sanja Iveković. Lady Rosa of Luxembourg, installation view, Luxembourg, 2001

Opening on December 18, Sanja Iveković: Sweet Violence is the first museum retrospective in the United States of the groundbreaking feminist, activist, video, and performance pioneer Sanja Iveković (b. 1949, Zagreb) Read more

November 22, 2011  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Other Skies Tell Other Stories

Female pilgrims at the tomb of Bahadur Al-Naqshband, Bukhara, Uzbekistan, 2011. Photo courtesy Slavs and Tatars

Slavs and Tatars is an international collective of artists, designers, and writers, founded in 2005. Through their printed work, installations, and performance lectures, they investigate the spheres of cultural influence at work in the vastly complex regions east of the former Berlin Wall and west of the Great Wall of China. Read more

November 1, 2011  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Sum of Days

Sum of Days was initially exhibited at the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo between August and November 2010. The invitation from MoMA to make a new version of the piece in the Marron Atrium was a great honor and a chance to reflect on the way the work exists independently of its setting, by seeing what would remain the same and what would be transformed in the new location. Read more

Installing Twombly at MoMA

Twombly lobby

Installation view of The Agnes Gund Garden Lobby, The Museum of Modern Art, Fall, 2011. Photo: Jonathan Muzikar

Have you ever wondered what it takes to get a 21-foot-wide painting up onto a museum wall? More than a hammer and nails, to be sure! We recently installed Cy Twombly‘s monumental Untitled (1970) in MoMA’s main lobby Read more

October 21, 2011  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions, Fluxus
Case Study: Mieko Shiomi Interprets Fluxkit

Fluxkit. 1965. Fluxus Edition announced 1964. The Museum of Modern Art. The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift

The opening of Thing/Thought: Fluxus Editions, 1962-1978 did not end on the evening of September 21, 2011. As part of the exhibition (on display in The Paul J Sachs Prints and Illustrated Books Galleries through January 16, 2012), six artists have been invited to participate in the exhibition’s organization by “unpacking” and arranging two Fluxkits—the signature compilation of objects by many Fluxus artists stored in black suitcases assembled by George Maciunas, a central organizer and participant. At different points throughout the run of the show, new artists will pull from the kits’ bounty—from posters to lentil beans—and have a hand in the making of this ever-evolving exhibition.

Of the line-up, which includes Alison Knowles, Dora Maurer, Anna Ostoya, Cory Arcangel, and William Pope.L, the first to put the kit to task is one who knows its form well: Mieko Shiomi. The Japanese-born composer and visual artist spent the early years of her career challenging her training as a classical musician. Exploring new possibilities of sound and composition, Shiomi famously made music with instruments’ unused parts. After rubbing shoulders with Tokyo-based artists who had spent time abroad in the early 1960s, including Nam June Paik, Yoko Ono, and Toshi Ichiyanagi, Shiomi left her native Japan, and joined the growing contingent of Fluxus artists in New York. Of the works that Shiomi created while working with Maciunas in New York, three (Endless Box, Events and Games, and Water Music) are components of the kits on display.

Left: Mieko Shiomi’s arrangement of Fluxkit; right: Installation view of Thing/Thought: Fluxus Editions 1962–1978

Although Shiomi’s stay with the Fluxus community in New York was short-lived, she has always overcome the limitations of her locality by embracing the mail service as a means for collaboration and artistic production. True to her ways, Shiomi sent the plans for her current arrangement for the Fluxkit to us from her home in Osaka via the U.S. postal service. Upon unfolding the long, scroll-like plan, my colleagues and I stood in admiration at the painstaking effort she put into the placement of each work. Shiomi’s masterful arrangement fills the cases entirely, and is ordered according to a system of grid-lines that distinguish each artist’s work from the next, while embedding them in a myriad of constellatory relations. While Shiomi certainly did not empty the Fluxkit suitcase entirely (and thus did prioritize certain works over others), the lyrical arrangement of the kit’s contents appears non-hierarchical—making one wonder what, in particular, Shiomi’s discerning hand adds to our understanding of the works before us.

Mieko Shiomi's plan for her arrangement of Fluxkit. © 2011 Mieko Shiomi

Mieko Shiomi. Piece for a Small Puddle from Events and Games. 1964. Fluxus Edition announced 1963. The Museum of Modern Art. The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection Gift. © 2011 Mieko Shiomi

If meaning does not pop out blatantly before our eyes we may need to linger, look, and listen a little differently. We may even need to follow the artist’s lead. The instruction card shown on the right—from Shiomi’s Events and Games, which is on display in the kit—may shed some light on her approach to arranging the kit.

If nothing else, perhaps what we may glean from Shiomi’s display is the particular rhythm of its form—the way she peered upon the “puddle” of papers, cans, and cards. Like the event itself, Shiomi’s process concerns looking both intently and with multiple perspectives.