It’s no secret that Ray Johnson’s tongue-in-cheek and often ambiguous style was meant to both highlight and obscure meaning through an appropriation of words and images. His life-long commitment to that practice is visible in a collection of correspondence sent to Robert Rauschenberg between the years 1952 and 1965, which is newly available in MoMA’s Archives. This collection—which includes small collages, newspaper clippings, postcards, and flyers—serves as an excellent example of Johnson’s enigmatic mail art of the 1950s and 1960s.
Posts in ‘Artists’
From the Archives: Seeing Double with Ray Johnson
Creating from Erasing: A Workshop Inspired by Marcel Broodthaers
Marcel Broodthaers: A Retrospective bursts at the seams with text in all forms. Given Marcel Broodthaers’s interest in language, it’s fitting that MoMA’s second-floor bookstore is where, every Tuesday for the next four weeks, visitors have the opportunity to explore the artist’s work in a workshop led by Elizabeth Zuba, a poet and translator of the artist’s work, and Diane Bertolo, an artist and Broodthaers enthusiast.
Forgotten Bodies and Their Images: Maria Hassabi’s PLASTIC
There are forgotten bodies throughout The Museum of Modern Art. At least, that is how artist and choreographer Maria Hassabi refers to them. On staircases, in the Marron Atrium, and on furniture, visible from balconies and vantage points throughout the building, dancers fall, walk, crawl, or lounge on the floor, alongside accumulated dust and discarded ticket stubs.
Artists of Greater New York: Rosalind Fox Solomon
The Statue of Liberty obscured by scaffolding. A woman reclining comfortably on a couch, unaware of the boa constrictor uncoiling itself on the floor. A cherubic, blond-haired boy dressed in Quaker clothing looking straight at the camera, his blank expression conveying a wisdom beyond his years.
“Native Videographers Shoot Back”: An Interview with Adam and Zack Khalil
The 15th Doc Fortnight festival closes on February 29, 2016, with the world premiere of Adam Khalil and Zack Khalil’s INAATE/SE/ [it shines a certain way. to a certain place./it flies. falls./], the artists’ reflection on and reframing of their own Native American heritage. I recently spoke with the Khalil brothers about the concept and context for their film:
MoMA Collects: Simone Forti’s Dance Constructions
Before moving to New York in 1959, choreographer Simone Forti spent four heady, formative years in San Francisco. There, she trained with the postmodern dance pioneer Anna Halprin, who rejected the stylistic constraints of ballet and modern dance. On Halprin’s outdoor dance deck in wooded Marin County, Forti explored improvisation, her motions guided by a keen alertness to the body’s anatomy. She also organized open-work sessions with her then husband, the Minimalist artist Robert Morris, gathering artists for communal, multidisciplinary explorations of movement, objects, sound, and light.
Artists of Greater New York: Raúl de Nieves
I know sculptures can’t dance, but Raúl de Nieves’s Day(Ves) of Wonder looks like it might bust a move any minute. The three-foot piece—which depicts a humanoid figure in mid-groove, decked out in rainbow-colored platform boots, with swaying arms, cocked hips, and a sprawling, Medusa-like head—pulses with energy.
Celebrating Sophie Taeuber-Arp’s 127th Birthday
Today is the 127th birthday of Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889–1943). In celebration of this beloved artist, whose face graces Switzerland’s 50 franc bill, Google invited MoMA to create a digital exhibition. We’ve included some beautifully crisp high-resolution images of her art—from one of her Dada Heads to paintings from the 1930s—alongside archival photos and views from recent exhibitions.
Marcel Duchamp’s Readymades: Celebrating the Centennial
In 1913 Marcel Duchamp topped a kitchen stool with a bicycle wheel, “fork down” through a hole he had drilled in the seat, and parked this wheel-on-a-stool in his Paris studio. “I didn’t have any special reason to do it,” he later recalled.
Joaquín Torres-García’s Creative Paradox
When Joaquín Torres-García returned to his native Uruguay in 1934, he was 60 years old and had lived abroad for more than 40 years. During the first years of his American relocation, before he became the referential Master at Taller Torres-García, he founded and directed the Asociación de Arte Constructivo, the achronym for which—AAC—appears signed on most of his paintings from 1935 to 1938. During these years Torres-García created a series of black-and-white abstract paintings that constitute one of the most striking repertoires of synthetic abstraction ever produced in the Americas.
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