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Ph1_slug_and_egg
November 22, 2010  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Living and Growing at MoMA: Paula Hayes’s Installation in the Museum Lobby

MoMA’s lobby is a site of perpetual flux and frenzy, a public passageway for people to meet, greet, rest, or chat before embarking on their next experience, either inside or outside the Museum’s walls. When asked by Ann Temkin, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture, to think of forms that would visually complement and invigorate the rectangular and column-filled lobby space, Paula Hayes, a New York-based sculptor and landscape designer, who enjoys “knocking something off kilter a bit,” was ready to take up the challenge. Read more

Fom-petersen-56930
November 17, 2010  |  Artists, Behind the Scenes, Library and Archives
Edward Steichen Archive: The 55th Anniversary of The Family of Man

Visitors await entry to The Family of Man, an exhibition organized by The Museum of Modern Art, at the Government Pavilion, Johannesburg, Union of South Africa (on view August 30–September 13, 1958). From The International Council/International Program Exhibition Records. Image courtesy The Museum of Modern Art

This year marked the 55th anniversary of the opening of MoMA’s photography exhibition The Family of Man, a show that was groundbreaking in its extent—503 images by 273 photographers originating in 69 countries—its physical design, and the numbers of people who experienced it. Read more

Slugplants2
November 16, 2010  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions, Viewpoints
Transporting Nature

Slug, from Paula Hayes, Nocturne of the Limax maximus. Installation view in the MoMA lobby, 2010

Joseph Paxton (1803–1865, head gardener at Chatsworth House, the Duke of Devonshire’s large country estate in Derbyshire, England, was also the creator of the prefabricated cast-iron-and-glass Crystal Palace, which was originally erected in London’s Hyde Park to contain the Great Exhibition of 1851, a showcase of the technological wonders of the industrial revolution. Read more

Newprager_despair
November 15, 2010  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Alex Prager in New Photography 2010

Taking her cues from the films of Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, and Douglas Sirk, as well as from the staged photographs of Cindy Sherman and Guy Bourdin, Alex Prager’s pictures focus on cinematic images and mise-en-scène. Sharing personal anecdotes about her life and work, Prager tells us in the video interview above how she came to take her first photographs and make her debut film Despair (2010), which has its U.S. premiere in the New Photography 2010 exhibition. Read more

November 11, 2010  |  Artists, Behind the Scenes
From the Imaging Studio: Reflections on Brancusi’s Newborn

Constantin Brancusi. The Newborn. Version I, 1920 (close to the marble of 1915)

Take a look at this sleek, smooth sculpture by Constantin Brancusi—a shimmering ovoid form seemingly floating in space. Would it ever strike you as one of the most difficult objects in our collection to photograph? Well, it is! Read more

Glass-egg-in-situ-150x150
November 9, 2010  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions, Viewpoints
Life in a Bubble

Glass egg in situ

Working with glassblowers is an interesting process for me because there are technical drawings that communicate the eventual use of the vessel (what size, where is the opening, what are the relationships of the opening to volume in general, aesthetic ideals, etc.), and then there is, for me, a gestural kind of communication—a type of mime: I draw the shape with my entire body through gesture while standing with the glassblower. Read more

Pollock-flickr-150x150
November 8, 2010  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions, Videos
Jackson Pollock Asks: “Is This a Painting?”

Jackson Pollock. One: Number 31, 1950. 1950. Oil and enamel paint on canvas, 8' 10" x 17' 5 5/8" (269.5 x 530.8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art. Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection Fund (by exchange). © 2010 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Pollock at MoMA, uploaded to Flickr on Feburary 11, 2009: http://www.flickr.com/photos/plathfan/3271119503/

In one of the videos we produced for the current Abstract Expressionist New York exhibition, Ann Temkin, Chief Curator of MoMA’s Department of Painting and Sculpture and the organizer of the exhibition, tells this story about Jackson Pollock: Read more

Zarina_hiafp-150x150
November 4, 2010  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
At Home with Zarina

Zarina. Home Is a Foreign Place. 1999. Portfolio of 36 woodcuts and letterpress, mounted on paper. Publisher: the artist, New York. Printer: the artist, New York. Edition: 25. The Museum of Modern Art.

My exposure to architecture can be partially summarized in this way: 1) As a child, my dad, who was once an architect, guided me through drafts of his blueprints; 2) In school, I took a few art history classes that focused on architecture, from the cathedrals of the medieval period to the designs by Frank Lloyd Wright, all of which included copious slides of floor plans; and 3) I live in New York City, where trying to avoid charming Manhattan brownstones, landmark monuments, and skyscrapers-in-development is just downright impossible. But I never considered how any of these experiences relate to my perception of my everyday surroundings until this past summer, when I was reminded of Zarina’s Home Is a Foreign Place (1999) while exploring MoMA’s recent exhibition Mind and Matter: Alternative Abstractions, 1940s to Now. Read more

Eggpedestalcast
November 2, 2010  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions, Viewpoints
Getting to Z (Another Kind of A): “Egg” Acrylic-Casting Process

Egg Pedestal 3-D Screen

Getting my initial epiphany of forms for Nocturne of the Limax maximus, which will be installed in MoMA’s lobby on November 17,  into its physical manifestation was a multilayered process, with each step leading to the next—and in strange ways going backward at times to maximize the potential of the previous step’s efficiency and interconnectedness with the subsequent steps of production. Read more

Tr13592
October 28, 2010  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
The Ordinary and the Monumental: Recent Photography Acquisitions at MoMA

Carleton Watkins. Late George Cling Peaches. 1887–88

I’ve recently had the good fortune to assume the role of cataloguer in MoMA’s Department of Photography. The greatest perk of my position is simply that I get to work with the photographs in the Museum’s collection on a daily basis. One of my first tasks in the department was to catalog a number of important works that recently entered the collection—some by purchase, some by gift. Among my favorites were three photographs by Carleton Watkins, including this awe-inspiring albumen silver print of a crate of peaches; works by Judith Joy Ross and Inge Morath; and a collection of snapshots that came in as the generous gift of New York collector Peter J. Cohen. Read more