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CATEGORY: COLLECTION & EXHIBITIONS

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April 1, 2015  |  Collection & Exhibitions
. at MoMA
Artist unknown. .. n.d. The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Artist unknown. . (period). n.d. Here displayed in Times New Roman. The Museum of Modern Art, New York

MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design has acquired the . (aka “period,” “hard stop,” or “baseline dot”) into its collection.

As MoMA has proven with its recent acquisition of the “@” symbol, it is more important to recognize major design innovations than it is to actually, you know, possess them, and few things are more deserving of recognition that our concise little friend the .. Read more

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March 27, 2015  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Design
This Is for Everyone: Free Play
Golan Levin. Free Art and Technology Lab, R. Shawn Sims, Sy-Lab. Free Universal Construction Kit. 2012. Digital CAD files and 80 3-D-printed nylon units. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the Committee on Architecture & Design and Shapeways

Golan Levin. Free Art and Technology Lab, R. Shawn Sims, Sy-Lab. Free Universal Construction Kit. 2012. Digital CAD files and 80 3-D-printed nylon units. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the Committee on Architecture & Design and Shapeways

When the world we live in feels too impossible I find myself imagining the world I want to live in. It’s not just about the major acts of horrific inhumanity that humans bestow upon one another, it’s about the small daily indignities too. In the world I want to live in we’re not senselessly slaughtering each other, and no one throws trash on the ground or holds the entire communal table in the coffee shop hostage with their cell phone conversation, either. And people actually do step aside to let the passengers off the train. In the world I want to live in, it’s understood that we are all in this together. Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I’m convinced that the smallest effort toward compatibility goes a long way. Read more

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March 26, 2015  |  Collection & Exhibitions, MoMA Stores
Future Couture: Nervous System’s Kinematics Dress
Nervous System (est. 2007), Jessica Rosenkrantz (American, b. 1983), Jesse Louis-Rosenberg (American, b. 1986). Kinematics Dress. 2013. Laser-sintered nylon. Image courtesy of Steve Marsel. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Committee on Architecture and Design Funds

Nervous System (est. 2007), Jessica Rosenkrantz (American, b. 1983), Jesse Louis-Rosenberg (American, b. 1986). Kinematics Dress. 2013. Laser-sintered nylon. Image courtesy of Steve Marsel. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Committee on Architecture and Design Funds

One of the most fascinating pieces in the current design exhibition This Is for Everyone: Design Experiments for the Common Good is a pretty dress with a classically feminine silhouette that wouldn’t look out of place at a fashionable cocktail party. But take a closer look at its supple but strangely undulating texture, and you’ll find that this frock is like no garment you have ever seen—because it was created with a printer. Read more

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March 25, 2015  |  Collection & Exhibitions
Layers of Paint, and What Is (or Isn’t) Painted: A Gallery Tour with The Forever Now Artist Dianna Molzan
Dianna Molzan in the galleries. Shown, from left: Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906). Still Life with Apples. 1895–98. Oil on canvas, 27 x 36 1/2" (68.6 x 92.7 cm). Lillie P. Bliss Collection; Georges-Pierre Seurat (French, 1859–1891). Evening, Honfleur. 1886. Oil on canvas, with painted wood frame, 30 3/4 x 37" (78.3 x 94 cm) including frame. Gift of Mrs. David M. Levy

Dianna Molzan in the galleries. Shown, from left: Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906). Still Life with Apples. 1895–98. Oil on canvas, 27 x 36 1/2″ (68.6 x 92.7 cm). Lillie P. Bliss Collection; Georges-Pierre Seurat (French, 1859–1891). Evening, Honfleur. 1886. Oil on canvas, with painted wood frame, 30 3/4 x 37″ (78.3 x 94 cm) including frame. Gift of Mrs. David M. Levy

Over the past few months, we’ve asked artists represented in the exhibition The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World to share their thoughts on certain works in MoMA’s collection. I have been lucky enough to tour the Museum’s galleries with three different artists to find out which pieces they found most thought-provoking, and why. (Be sure to read about the previous gallery tours.) Read more

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March 20, 2015  |  Do You Know Your MoMA?
Do You Know Your MoMA? 3/13/15

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How well do you know your MoMA? If you think you can identify the artist and title of each of these works from MoMA’s collection—all currently on view throughout the Museum—please submit your answers by leaving a comment on this post. We’ll provide the answers next month (on Friday, April 10). Read more

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March 18, 2015  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Jean Dubuffet: Textures, Patterns, and Beards
Jean Dubuffet. Textural Transcription I (Transcription texturologique I). 1958. Ink on paper, mounted on board, 9 x 14 1/4" (22.9 x 36.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Joan and Lester Avnet Collection, 1978. Photograph by John Wronn

Jean Dubuffet. Textural Transcription I (Transcription texturologique I). 1958. Ink on paper, mounted on board, 9 x 14 1/4″ (22.9 x 36.2 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. The Joan and Lester Avnet Collection, 1978. Photograph by John Wronn. © 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris

Jean Dubuffet (French, 1901–1985) dedicated years to exploring and recording the natural textures he encountered in his daily life, from the mountainous, rocky landscapes of Vence and the sandy hills of El Goléa to dewy, foggy Parisian mornings or the stars far beyond our skies. Yet his most subtle and intricate depictions of surfaces may be a group of black-and-white ink-on-paper drawings created between 1958 and 1960. Read more

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Gamepieces: An Installation Deconstructed

A menagerie of color and the enchanted siren call of classical raga greets visitors entering the carouseling silhouettes of Nalini Malani’s Gamepieces (2003/2009). Installed as part of the exhibition Scenes for a New Heritage: Contemporary Art from the Collection, the artwork was first conceived by Malani in 2003 for the 8th Annual Istanbul Biennial. MoMA’s iteration of this installation is on view for the first time since being acquired in 2007 at the recommendation of Barbara London, former Associate Curator of Media and Performance Art. In discussing the results of the re-envisioned installation, Malani commented, “the architecture of a space  has a lot to do with the look [of her work],” but added that it is also the way in which the components adapt to the space that contributes to success. Since our exhibition design, curatorial, conservation, art handling, and registrar teams were presented with an installation design never before attempted by the artist and in consideration of her statement, I wondered if a work of installation art is enhanced or destroyed by the environment in which it is placed? How do you document the variable site?

Nalini Malani. Gamepieces. 2003/2009. Four-channel video (color, sound), six acrylic reverse-painted Lexan cylinders. 12 min. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the Richard J. Massey Foundation for Arts and Sciences. © 2015 Nalini Malani. Installation view of Scenes for a New Heritage: Contemporary Works from the Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, 2015. Photo: Thomas Griesel

Nalini Malani. Gamepieces. 2003/2009. Four-channel video (color, sound), six acrylic reverse-painted Lexan cylinders. 12 min. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the Richard J. Massey Foundation for Arts and Sciences. © 2015 Nalini Malani. Installation view of Scenes for a New Heritage: Contemporary Works from the Collection. Photo: Thomas Griesel

Gamepieces is comprised of six motorized and painted rotating cylinders, four projectors beaming images of blue clouds, animation, found documentary film footage, and sound. In previous iterations presented at Bose Pacia in New York and Media City Seoul in 2004, the cylinders were suspended and placed in a horizontal row. Existing installation documentation established an environment of overlapping projections that crisscross the painted moving surfaces and cast shadow plays in a traditional cinematic gaze. Images of war and violence were concentrated toward the center of the room while the blue skies were pushed to the extremities. However, in the current display, our space allowed for the exploitation of the Museum’s double-height ceiling. As a result, the horizontal experience is replaced with a vertical thrust that splits the imagery into an upper and lower domain—blues skies above, earthly images below. Video projected through two rows of three rotating cylinders produce a grid-like shadow play of eight distinct quadrants. The viewer enters into the space caught in the menacing human struggle of the lower registers while the blue skies hover idealistically above, mimicking our actual relationship to the world.

When we think of the architecture of a space as being a contributor to the outcome of an installation, one might think solely of the physical aspects that distinguish a location. However, Malani’s comment emphasizes contingency. In the hierarchy of components that constitute an artwork, it seems obvious to emphasize the importance of the constant non-varying components. Yet it is the way in which these parts adapt to a new location that are equally important to document. The height of the ceiling allowed for the placement of the motorized cylinders on the ceiling and a white painted beam for a vertical presentation. The artist specified white ceilings and side walls to maximize light reflection and refraction. Four projectors beam images through the cylinders at angles that encourage a multiplicity of effects from casting an inconsistent number of shadows to cylinders, to the flowing red and blue hues of refracted light on the ceiling, floor, and the side walls that are deepened by the crimson paint on the rear wall. To achieve such effects we document projector specifications and the settings used to achieve the beam throws and angles, as well as contrast, color range, and brightness. Locations and heights of the cylinders, projectors, and speakers are documented. Colors of the painted walls, floor appearance, sound levels, and tone documentation all help guide the future installation and preservation of the artwork in the variable site.

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March 10, 2015  |  Collection & Exhibitions
Sounds from Outer Space: The Moog at MoMA
View of the concert performed by Robert Moog and the Moog Synthesizer, part of the Jazz in the Garden series, The Museum of Modern Art, August 28, 1969. Photographer: Peter Moore. Photographic Archive. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York

View of the concert performed by Robert Moog and the Moog Synthesizer, part of the Jazz in the Garden series, The Museum of Modern Art, August 28, 1969. Photographer: Peter Moore. Photographic Archive. The Museum of Modern Art Archives, New York

The exhibition Making Music Modern: Design for Ear and Eye explores the ways in which sound technologies have shaped the way we listen to musical culture. Highlighting both technical innovation and design aesthetics, the exhibition includes a number of modern instruments, including a Yamaha Portatone Keyboard and a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar. Read more

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March 4, 2015  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Design
Is This for Everyone? New Design Acquisitions at MoMA

What do Susan Kare’s graphic designs for user interface icons, The Living’s mycelium bricks, and Formafantasma’s speculative Botanica series of vessels have in common? Apart from each being compelling contemporary design experiments in their own right, they’re also part of the newest crop of acquisitions welcomed into The Museum of Modern Art’s collection, and all are now on public display in the recently opened exhibition This Is for Everyone: Design Experiments for the Common Good. Read more

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Looking at Music, Mayhem, and Rock-n-Roll

Leading up to her new class After-Hours: Making Music Modern, instructor Marianne Eggler sits down with MoMA’s Susannah Brown to share her excitement for this unique new program. Read more