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CATEGORY: COLLECTION & EXHIBITIONS

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Modern Art through Contemporary Eyes: Correspondence from MoMA’s International Program
From left: Alexander Calder. The Big Gong. 1952. IC/IP, I.A.56. The Museum of Modern Art Archives; Installation view of Calder's The Big Gong (top) in Twelve Modern American Painters and Sculptors, Musée National d’Art Modern, Paris, 1953. IC/IP, I.A.64. The Museum of Modern Art Archives

From left: Alexander Calder. The Big Gong. 1952. IC/IP, I.A.56. The Museum of Modern Art Archives; Installation view of Calder’s The Big Gong (top) in Twelve Modern American Painters and Sculptors, Musée National d’Art Modern, Paris, 1953. IC/IP, I.A.64. The Museum of Modern Art Archives

This past year the MoMA Archives processed and opened to the public the full record history of MoMA’s International Council and International Program, a collection so large that it required the work of three staff members to complete it in one year. One benefit of processing a large collection as a team was the opportunity to share our most interesting discoveries with one another. Read more

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May 9, 2014  |  Do You Know Your MoMA?
Do You Know Your MoMA? 5/9/14

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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, June 13). Read more

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May 8, 2014  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Speaking with Joan Snyder about Sweet Cathy’s Song (1978)

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Installation view of the fourth-floor Alfred H. Barr Painting and Sculpture Galleries, The Museum of Modern Art, spring 2014. Pictured are works by (from left to right) Sam Gilliam, Dennis Oppenheim (in case), Elizabeth Murray, Joan Snyder, and (on floor) Lynda Benglis

A new installation in the galleries brings together a diverse group of works from the late 1960s and 1970s, a moment when many artists radically reexamined the medium of painting. Read more

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May 2, 2014  |  Collection & Exhibitions
Ferrari F1: Synonomous with Speed
John Barnard, Ferrari S.p.A. Maranello, Italy Formula 1 Racing Car (641/2). 1990. Honeycomb composite with carbon fibers, Kevlar and other materials, 40 1/2" x 7' x 14' 6 1/2" (102.9 x 213.4 x 448.3  cm). Donor: Ferrari North America.

John Barnard, Ferrari S.p.A. Formula 1 Racing Car (641/2). 1990. Honeycomb composite with carbon fibers, Kevlar and other materials, 40 1/2″ x 7′ x 14′ 6 1/2″ (102.9 x 213.4 x 448.3 cm). Donor: Ferrari North America

There’s nothing in the world like a really fast car, and the MoMA design collection has one of the world’s fastest: the 1990 Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 High Performance Racing Car (641/2), by British auto designer John Barnard.

Though not a recent acquisition, I thought it fitting to feature the Ferrari now in honor of Fernando Alonso and Ferrari’s first podium of the 2014 Formula 1 season at the recent Chinese Grand Prix.

As designer John Barnard explains in an audio guide segment from the 2002 exhibition AUTObodies: speed, sport, transport, the 641, or F1-90, as it’s become known, was built for speed. And it delivered. Plus it’s red. Fiery red. Ferrari red, in fact. Red means danger, look out, hot stuff coming through; it’s the color of anger, passion, and seduction, and as everyone knows, red cars go faster.

John Barnard. John Barnard.  Sketch for Engine Intake of Formula 1 Car, #639. 1987. Pencil on paper, 11 3/4 x 16 5/8" (29.8 x 42.3 cm). Gift of John Barnard. From left: Sketch for Engine Intake of Formula 1 Car, #639; Sketch for body joints of Formula 1 car, Model #639; Sketch for Radiator Inset, Joint of Formula 1 Car, Model No. 639. All by John Barnard. 1987. Pencil on paper, 11 3/4 x 16 5/8" (29.8 x 42.3 cm). Gift of John Barnard. All photos: John Wronn

From left: Sketch for Engine Intake of Formula 1 Car, #639; Sketch for body joints of Formula 1 car, Model #639; Sketch for Radiator Inset, Joint of Formula 1 Car, Model No. 639. All by John Barnard. 1987. Pencil on paper, 11 3/4 x 16 5/8″ (29.8 x 42.3 cm). Gift of John Barnard.All photos: John Wronn

Scuderia Ferrari has been part of Formula 1 since the beginning, so it’s no wonder that the racing team holds so many F1 records, including the most constructor and driver championships and most overall wins. Each Formula 1 team races two cars; in 1990  two world championship drivers, Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell, drove the 641 for Ferrari, combining for three pole positions, five fastest laps,  and six wins. As reigning champion, Prost’s was the number one car; and he came close to repeating—only to lose out to another world champion, his arch rival Aryton Senna.

The formula, or the overall guiding regulations of Formula 1, has changed over the years with countless modifications and improvements. And big changes came this year with the hybrid 1.6-litre V-6 turbo engine with ERS (Energy Recovery Systems), a major shift from the 2013 2.4-litre V-8. Overall design changes accompanied the new, greener 2014 engines, but likely the most notable and most talked about change is the new engine sound—or lack of it. Drivers have said they can hear the wind over the engine noise; used to be all you could hear was the engine.

The sound of the 1990 641 Ferrari 3.5-litre V-12 engine is familiar to race fans the world over. Like none other, it screams exhilaration, excitement, and pure power.

The world of Grand Prix motor racing is one of precision, with its rigorous formula, and exacting calculations; it’s a culture unto itself with a complicated set of rules and statistical systems of points and penalties spoken in a language of strange numbers and acronyms. But it’s the visceral experience of raw power, crazy kinetic energy, and speed of the cars that ignites our imagination—the remarkable talents and mad skills of drivers the draws us in.

Irma Boom. Ferrari S.p.A.  Tutti i Motori Ferrari. 2002. Photo offset lithography, 9 11/16 x 7 3/4 x 3/8" (24.6 x 19.7 x 1 cm). Gift of Irma Boom. Photo: Jonathan Musikar.

Irma Boom. Ferrari S.p.A. Tutti i Motori Ferrari. 2002. Photo offset lithography, 9 11/16 x 7 3/4 x 3/8″ (24.6 x 19.7 x 1 cm). Gift of Irma Boom. Photo: Jonathan Musikar

“Tutti i Motori Ferrari,” a catalogue of Ferrari engines designed by the Dutch graphic artist Irma Boom is also in MoMA’s design collection. Its soft, outer cover displays the Ferrari prancing horse logo on a silver-colored background that looks to be made of a fluid version of same the aluminum alloy used for F1 engine blocks; the interior plates showcase the evolution of the engines throughout Ferrari’s history. (A flip through of the pages of “Tutti I Motori Ferrari” begins at the one minute mark in the video “20 books by Irma Boom.”)

Before AUTObodies MoMA’s Ferrari 641-2 was first on view in the 1993 exhibition Designed for Speed: Three Automobiles by Ferrari. It can presently be found hanging on the wall in MoMA’s Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building lobby, like a perfect portrait of a high-performance machine.

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Yoko Ono’s Secret Piece
Yoko Ono Grapefruit

Yoko Ono. Grapefruit. 1964. Artist’s book (Tokyo: Wunternaum Press). Offset on paper, 5 1/2 x 5 1/16″ (13.9 x 13.8 x 3.1 cm) (overall, closed)

Many of the works featured in the exhibition There Will Never Be Silence: Scoring John Cage’s 4’33″ were created around 1960, as a generation of artists and students of John Cage reacted to the radical possibilities opened up by his 4’33″. The score had finally been published eight years after its first performance at Woodstock in 1952. Read more

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April 25, 2014  |  Artists, Current Exhibitions
Rebel Photography: Robert Heinecken as Visual Guerrilla
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Cover of Robert Heinecken: Object Matter, published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York

Robert Heinecken: Object Matter, the first retrospective since the artist’s death in 2006, contains over 100 photo-based works created by Heinecken between 1962 and 1999. Heinecken was best known for working in the medium of photography and with manipulating images, but surprisingly, he seldom used a camera, Read more

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April 24, 2014  |  Artists, Current Exhibitions
The Inscrutable Gestures of Jasper Johns
Jasper Johns. Untitled. 2013. Ink on plastic, 27 1/2 × 36" (69.9 × 91.4 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Promised gift from a private collection. © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Photo: Jerry Thompson

Jasper Johns. Untitled. 2013. Ink on plastic, 27 1/2 × 36″ (69.9 × 91.4 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Promised gift from a private collection. © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY. Photo: Jerry Thompson

It caught my eye when I read last week that Jasper Johns has created a print on translucent paper for the May issue of Art in America magazine. Apparently, the print will feature several of Johns’s “signature motifs,” but the translucent paper might be considered somewhat of a signature motif in its own way. Read more

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April 18, 2014  |  Five for Friday
Five for Friday: Rabbit Redux

Five for Friday, written by a variety of MoMA staff members, is our attempt to spotlight some of the compelling, charming, and downright curious works in the Museum’s rich collection.

With Easter just days away and spring in the air (finally), bunnies—whether as anthropomorphized egg-and-candy-delivery agents or symbols of both metaphorical and literal fecundity—are everywhere. Read more

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“Women in the War. We Can’t Win Without Them”
Left: 2.Howard Chandler. Christy, Gee!! I Wish I Were a Man, 1917. Lithograph. Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, 1940. The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Right: Photo of “yeomanettes” taken in New York City, May 8, 1919. Collection Naval History & Heritage Command

Left: Howard Chandler Christy. Gee!! I Wish I Were a Man. 1917. Lithograph. Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, 1940. The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Right: Photo of “yeomanettes” taken in New York City, May 8, 1919. Collection Naval History & Heritage Command

Right now the U.S. military is preparing to allow women to serve in combat roles for the first time, and pressure is growing from international precedent for the U.K. to follow suit. Yet there are still many who feel that the frontline is just not a place fit for a woman. Such a prospect was certainly out of the question a century ago during World War I. Read more

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April 16, 2014  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Metamorphoses: Paul Gauguin’s Oil Transfer Drawings
Paul Gauguin. <i>Tahitian Woman with Evil Spirit</i> (recto). c. 1900. Oil transfer drawing

Paul Gauguin. Tahitian Woman with Evil Spirit (recto). c. 1900. Oil transfer drawing. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller (by exchange), Vincent d’Aquila and Harry Soviak Bequest Fund (by exchange), and acquired through the generosity of The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Endowment for Prints, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Mary M. Spencer, and Stephen Dull, 2014

One of the most extraordinary works in the current exhibition Gauguin: Metamorphoses is Tahitian Woman with Evil Spirit (c. 1900), which was acquired for MoMA’s collection just weeks before the exhibition opened. Among the many exceptionally innovative works on paper that are the focus of the exhibition, this exciting new acquisition stands out for its monumental scale and magisterial presence. Read more