When you visit a modern art museum it can be easy to find yourself looking at a blank white canvas or a pile of bricks and wonder, “How is this art? Shouldn’t art be about something?” The problem of appreciating art is not limited to casual viewers. As an artist and employee at MoMA, I too can find it tough to relate to certain artworks. But the good news is that we can do more than just throw up our hands and ask for our money back. With a bit of imagination, we can make up our own ideas about an artwork and those stories may end up having more meaning to us than any art historical analysis.
Posts tagged ‘Robert Ryman’
My colleagues in the Department of Drawings and I are often asked about our criteria for defining what a drawing is. The short answer is that a drawing is typically defined as any unique (non-print) work of art with a paper material support. Taking this question one step further, I often think: Why did the artist use paper and not, for instance, a canvas? In what ways do the materials used by an artist lend themselves to the work, and how do they play out in the composition itself?
Is a museum solely a place to revere the creative work of artists included in exhibitions, or can it be a nexus for exploring and fostering personal creativity by participating in art making? This is a question I ponder often, and a salient question in light of MoMA’s early history.
When I began as deputy director for education at MoMA three years ago, I was amazed by the number of people who would regale me with stories about their early experiences making art at MoMA. The stories were filled with passion and detail that spoke of a deep and abiding sense of kinship with MoMA as a place of personal learning and inspiration.
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