Collection 1980s–Present



Fall 2019–Spring 2021


Joan Semmel. Night Light. 1978. Oil on canvas, 50 × 98" (127 × 248.9 cm). Gift of Jeffrey M. Resnick in honor of Zina W. Davis. © Joan Semmel. Used by permission
  • MoMA, Floor 2, 203

By the early 1980s, the feminist, civil rights, and gay rights movements had drawn attention to the ways that bodies are represented. For many artists, the body became a critical as well as a vexed point of focus. Some imbued their work with a sense of action, drawing on experimental performance and dance practices. Others made use of images from media and advertising or utilized easily available products. This gallery includes many works in which the body merges with inanimate objects, forming a psychologically charged hybrid symbolic of a pervasive consumer culture.

Organized by Roxana Marcoci, The David Dechman Senior Curator, Department of Photography and Paulina Pobocha, Associate Curator, with Lydia Mullin, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture, and Giampaolo Bianconi, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance.

30 works online


Installation images

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

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