You may have heard that in the New York City area we’ve already had our first (and second!) snowfall of the season, and while I’m decidedly not in the “dreaming of a white Christmas” camp, I can appreciate the fleeting beauty of pristine winter scenery. Taking a peek into MoMA’s collection turns up many works befitting the season—some that are arguably better than the real thing, and others that are a reminder of the “joys” of winter weather. Read more
Posts tagged ‘Marcel Duchamp’
MoMA’s celebration of the landmark year 1913 concludes today with the 23rd installment in our series of videos highlighting important works from 1913 in the Museum’s collection. Read more
Exhibiting Fluxus: Decomposition Contained in Wait Later This Will Be Nothing: Editions by Dieter Roth
The title of the exhibition Wait Later This Will Be Nothing: Editions by Dieter Roth befits a number of the works on display that are slowly decomposing in front of spectators’ eyes. This post is dedicated to one particular pocket-sized perishable—Roth’s Pocket Room (Taschenzimmer) from MoMA’s Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection. In 1968, Dieter Roth—who challenged the boundaries of printmaking and publishing by integrating cheese, fruit, sausage, chocolate, and other organic materials into the process—released an unlimited edition comprising a banana slice on stamped paper tucked inside of a plastic container small enough to fit into the owner’s pocket. Read more
Fast Forward: Modern Moments 1913 >> 2013, published to accompany the latest exhibition in The Museum of Modern Art’s ongoing collaboration with the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, details six significant moments in art history since the beginning of the 20th century. Read more
Looking at modern and contemporary art can provoke a lot of questions. Struggling to understand or relate to it is not unusual, and in fact many artists view those reactions as part of the art. Marcel Duchamp famously said that “the creative act is not formed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.” Read more
Sometimes, rather than tying everything together, I like to end lessons by exploding everything. I like to leave students craving more answers, more questions.
– Lisa Libicki, School Visits Educator Read more
These notes accompany the French Avant-Garde of the 1920s program, screening April 14, 15, and 16 in Theater 3.
Charles Sheeler comes to mind as one of the few American artists who dabbled in film in the 1920s. Whereas in Germany the mainstream Expressionist cinema was itself avant-garde, and in Italy the society became surreal following Mussolini’s rise to power in 1922, France presented a unique instance of a free interplay of filmmakers with other visual artists. This program is an attempt to capture some of this interaction and to suggest how it might have benefited French culture. It also suggests that a society where the movies were totally dominated neither by commerce nor by the state provided an appealing model. It was certainly beneficial to Iris Barry, the founder of The Museum of Modern Art Film Library, to be able to cite names like Man Ray, Duchamp, Léger, and Dalí in establishing the high aspirations and legitimacy of film when appealing for funds from patrons who might look askance at Douglas Fairbanks, Charles Chaplin, or Walt Disney. (It was left for us future generations to make cogent arguments for Otto Preminger, Clint Eastwood, and John Waters.) Read more
My last blog post pondered whether a museum could be a place to foster your own creativity rather than simply appreciating that of the “masters.”
In her book Museum Legs: Fatigue and Hope in the Face of Art, Amy Whitaker makes the case that “teaching people to make art can also be politically disruptive because it teaches people to have their own opinion, giving them a say.”
Marcel Duchamp was definitive on the point of viewers having a say: ”All in all, the creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.”
Duchamp’s view defies traditional assumptions about art and viewers, often considered the art museum “dance”—the museum leads, the viewer follows.
Often people think they need extensive amounts of information from experts to fully appreciate art, but all that’s really needed is the confidence and opportunity to share your thoughts and opinions, and perhaps a bit of context as a framework—a kind of a personal trainer to help guide the way, but not do the “creative work” of interpretation. Read more
One of the little-known highlights in the collection of the Department of Drawings is our vast array of artists’ sketchbooks, which range from intimate diaristic notations and markings, to explicit studies for complete works in other mediums, to accomplished works unto themselves, rendered as carefully and thoughtfully as paintings, for example, of the same subject matter.
This past May we received, as a gift, an outstanding example of an artist’s sketchbook. Enrico Donati, who passed away last year at the age of 99, was considered to be “the last of the Surrealists.” His wife, Adele Donati, approached the Museum about donating one of his sketchbooks to the collection. Read more