Friday, November 28, 2008

Hmmm...MoMA

A lot has changed since I worked here in the 90s. It's not my MoMA anymore, which is OK, but really - Matisse's "Dance" in the stairwell?

I have some real issues with how the art was displayed in the new (to me) digs. Modern art was crowded, as usual, with the greatest hits of Picasso, Miro, Brancusi, etc. all jockeying for position. While upstairs the Pollocks, Rothkos, Beuys's, Hesse's and the rest had plenty of breathing room.

I like all of the above-mentioned artists, but wouldn't it have really been something to see as much wall space around "Broadway Boogie Woogie" as "Lavender Mist?" Now that would have been a novel approach. Show less art so that we can see more. I'm pissed at how "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon was so poorly served.

I'll admit I''m prejudiced. I've seen all of these works look better. Working at the museum made me feel proprietary, even after all these years. And to add insult to injury, I spent too much at the gift shop. Tis the season. Probably the only shop we saw today without Obama merchandise.

High points: the Miro show was great. Who knew he did such amazing kick-ass large-scale pastels? So much of art is filtered, that it's always fun to rediscover an artist that you may have dismissed or just assumed did one thing when it turns out there is so much more to see. Also the Pipolotti Rist video environment was fun, mainly for it's aural component which permeated every gallery. Kids had fun jumping on the big donut-shaped couch. The actual images were not so compelling, but sort of creepy. The kids didn't seem to mind or notice...

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