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April 20, 2011  |  Artists, Conservation
Conservation and a Different Kind of Guitar God

No matter one’s specialization, there are certain questions that all art conservators are asked, including:

Aren’t you scared to do what you do? The answer to this question is sort of a bluff: Our training and experience greatly inform our decision-making about conservation interventions, which are preceded by extensive testing. Nonetheless, some treatments are still a little scary. Read more

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April 13, 2011  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Seth Price’s Riff on New Jack Swing

Seth Price. 2002. From Sound Collector Audio Review magazine, issue #3

If Robert Smithson saw the world as a museum, artists of Seth Price’s generation see the “www” as theirs. For them, the gallery can be anything: they project a film and play music in a gallery, so the question of where in that jumble of everything they want to make their work is a difficult one. The Web is both a cabinet of curiosities and a studio where viewers are invited in to see their latest endeavors. Read more

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Living Art: MoMA Teens Collaborate with Artist Paula Hayes

Paula Hayes and the Art and Science teens working on our living sculptures

What does it mean to own an artwork that will never look the same from one month to the next? And how does an ever-changing, living sculpture tweak our preconceptions of what it means to conserve an artwork for posterity? Read more

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Contemporary Artists on Abstract Expressionist New York

Artist Amy Sillman as she begins her talk in the Abstract Expressionist New York exhibition.

When we visit MoMA we expect to see works of art made by artists, but seldom do we hear firsthand from the artists themselves about the works on display—while we stand directly in front of them! The recently concluded series Abstract Expressionist New York: Artist-Led Gallery Talks offered MoMA visitors this unique opportunity. Read more

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In the Artist’s Space: Helen Mirren on Vasily Kandinsky

While Dame Helen Mirren was in New York to film her movie Arthur—a remake of the 1981 Dudley Moore classic—she graciously agreed to do a video interview at The Museum of Modern Art. Truth be told, I’m a huge fan of the dame. In addition to being a fantastic actor, she’s beautiful, smart, and completely unpretentious. She’s an art lover, and she is especially enamored of the pioneering abstract paintings of Vasily Kandinsky, whose work is represented in MoMA’s collection and whose “Four Seasons” were very fortuitously on view on the day of her visit (and they still are). Read more

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Nightclubbing

Nation. 1992. USA. Directed by Tom Kalin. On left: Trash; on right: Julie Tolentino

I never visited the Warehouse, the Chicago club where legendary Frankie Knuckles was DJ (and where the moniker “House Music” was born), but I was lucky enough to dance all night at the Power Plant, the club he opened there in the early 1980s. Later, during a visit to NYC in the summer of 1983 (before I moved here in 1987), my friends took me out for a delirious pilgrimage to hear the mighty sounds of Larry Levan at Paradise Garage. This former garage at 84 King Street was a place of few words. Dance was the message. Read more

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March 25, 2011  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Interactivity

Looking at Music 3.0 invites interaction. Visitors select songs to hear (and dance to), videos to watch, and zines to read. Three digital art projects go one step further, allowing user and machine to take an active role. Laurie Anderson, The Residents, and Perry Hoberman harnessed what in the 1990s were the latest digital tools to make truly interactive works. Read more

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March 24, 2011  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Body Language

Two recent acquisitions on view in the exhibition I Am Still Alive: Politics and Everyday Life in Contemporary Drawing, which just opened in the Drawings Galleries, prove that text-based art need not be disembodied. While On Kawara‘s series of telegrams sent to his Dutch gallerist—one of which lent the show its title—used neutral typewriting, modest scale, and the simplest of phrases to attest to a human presence, works by Fiona Banner and Paul Chan assert corporeality through scrawled handwriting, imposing size, and thick, evocative diction. This is art that describes the body at the same time that it re-creates it. Read more

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March 22, 2011  |  Artists, Events & Programs, Fluxus, Viewpoints
Flux This!

Like my uncles, my father, and many other fathers, Fluxus is a stroller, meaning all are peripatetic, funny, unreliable, enigmatic, and angry.

My father strolled, my uncles strolled, and so does Fluxus. The word “stroller” is not my own. I heard it at my uncle’s funeral. A strange woman said it. I did not know her. I suppose my uncle did. He knew a lot of people. When it came time for folks to say a few words about the deceased, the woman stood up and said, “He was a stroller.” Everyone laughed. At first I thought she was calling him a baby carriage but I knew what she meant. Read more

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March 10, 2011  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Adam Pendleton and Mark Manders: Looking at Language in Two Recent Acquisitions

Mark Manders. Fox/Mouse/Belt. 1992. Painted bronze, belt. The Museum of Modern Art. Gift of the artist

As a student of art history, one of my favorite parts of exams was the slide comparison, looking at two works of art in relation to each other. Yes, perhaps it is a bit nerdy of me to admit, but what I found fascinating about this exercise was that it opened up a range of possible connections between the works that I might not normally explore. Read more