Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Museum of Modern Art - New York City

If you have read any of  my other post on modern art (Mexico City, Paris, London), then you know that some of it infuriates me to no end but then some of it is really cool.  It is true love/hate relationship with the stuff.  The Museum of Modern Art in New York City was no exception but really there were only a few pieces that grated on my nerves, the rest was great!  

We were very fortunate to go to the museum when they had a exhibit of sculptures by Pablo Picasso.  We didn't even know he did anything beyond paintings, so we were very excited to get to see this other side of him.  Since this was a very popular exhibit they suggested we purchase our tickets in advance.  It was so popular that not only did we have to purchase them in advance but there was a certain time we had to show up as well!  The exhibit is no longer there, so you can only live vicariously through me on this one.  I hope you enjoy!

They had the sculptures ordered chronologically through his life, but we didn't realize that and ended up in the last years first.  After that room we did get back in order.  To me there wasn't much of a difference, but as I have said many times before, I am mostly art illiterate.

Picasso used multiple mediums throughout his life.  This one was sheet metal.  It still is easy to recognize the Picasso style for which he is famous.

Sylvette Picasso Sculptures Museum of Modern Art NYC

Picasso also created many pieces of art that he called "Head of a Woman".   Now, whether you can actually tell it is indeed the head of woman or not is a different story.

Head of a Woman 1929 Picasso Sculptures Museum of Modern Art NYC

Maybe if you take a closer look?

Head of Woman 1929 Close View Picasso Sculptures Museum of Modern Art NYC

Don't worry, it didn't help me either.

This next one you can at least tell it is a head of a person!

Head of a Woman 1931 Picasso Sculptures Museum of Modern Art NYC

Yeap, another head.  Again, the woman part is questionable.

Head of a Woman 1932 Picasso Sculptures Museum of Modern Art NYC

During the years of 1939-1945, Picasso had to do his sculpting in secret.  They had a sign describing why and how he managed. I don't want to mangle it, so I will post a picture of the sign here.  It is a little blurry but I think it is readable.

The War Years Info Picasso Sculptures Museum of Modern Art NYC

These next two pieces are from that war period.  

The cat was very small compared to many of his other pieces.  It could have fit in the palm of my hand.  Since materials were hard to come by, he could only make them so big.

Cat Picasso Sculptures Museum of Modern Art NYC

This one is my favorite.  It is probably because one of my hobbies is reading.  I could actually relate to this piece!  It looks as if it were made from objects he had around his house.  I see screws, some nails, a pull chain, and small pieces of leftover wood.

Woman Reading Picasso Sculptures Museum of Modern Art NYC

The war was definitely over when he made this next sculpture. It had to be about five feet tall!  That took a little more bronze than that little cat!! 

Baboon and Young Picasso Sculptures Museum of Modern Art NYC

I was showing my students this photo and immediately one of the said, "It's head is a car!"

I was there, in person, and I didn't notice that!!

That ends the sculptures by Picasso and now I am going to move on to what the rest of the museum had to offer.

Let me just get the irritating ones out of the way right off the bat!  These must just be too modern for me.

Like this one.  It is a ripped canvas.  That is it.  It is not painted on, it isn't drawn.  It is ripped.

Spatial Concept Expectations Lucio Fontana Museum of Modern Art NYC


Spatial Concept Expectations Close View Lucio Fontana Museum of Modern Art NYC

Then there is this.

60 Square Meters and Its Information Oscar Bony Museum of Modern Art NYC

It had a video player that was showing a video of exactly what you see on the screen.  Just a close up of a chain link fence on a continuous loop. On the floor was also chain link fence that we were encouraged to walk on to get the full effect of something.  I stopped reading the description after that.

Then this.  She is literally holding a piece of glass up to her face and then someone took a picture. Don't three year old children do this too?  Are they making art??

Untitled Ana Mendieta Museum of Modern Art NYC

Last rant.  I think this one might not have bother me as much if I had never heard of the artist, Donald Judd.  But you see, I have, plus this is just a rectangle with, what I see as, a bread pan in the center.

Relief Donald Judd Museum of Modern Art NYC

The first time we heard of Donald Judd is when we took a visit to Marfa, Texas.  We have been to Marfa many many times and we use to live out in that area.  We love far west Texas and Marfa, but somehow some highfalutin rich people discovered it and are trying to make the next Austin, Texas with their juice bars and art places and weird stuff.

Maybe I could be more forgiving if the art were decent.  But as it stands Donald Judd's art leaves much to be desired at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa.   There are 100 aluminum boxes that basically all look exactly alike but have some artsy fartsy meaning behind them.

If those weren't bad enough there are 15 huge concrete boxes that look like they were left over from a construction project.

I just don't get it.  PLUS we had to pay to see it AND they wouldn't let me take pictures.  So there you go, the reason I don't like that one piece by Donald Judd.

Now then, when I first saw this red and blue artwork.  I wasn't impressed and actually it made me slightly sick to my stomach.  But then I read the description.

Random Distribution of 40000 Squares Francois Morellet Museum of Modern Art NYC

Here is the story.  The artist Francois Morellet divided the canvas into 40,000 squares.  He then used data from a telephone book to decide which box would be red and which would be blue. Every phone number that ended in an even number he colored a square blue and all the ones ending in an odd number he colored a square red.  His wife or sons would read the numbers as he moved across the canvas marking which would be which.  He used the rules of geometry and mathematical progressions, but also allowed chance operations to enter into the decision-making process.

Now, what is not to love about that!!

Speaking of geometry (forget about Donald Judd's rectangles!!), this geometric painting is by Victor Vasarely.  Vasarely and us, we have a history too but this one is a good one.

Ondho Victor Vasarely Museum of Modern Art NYC

When we went to Budapest Hungary we actually got to go to his museum.  I really like his work! How he can take something two-dimensional and make it suddenly jump off the canvas is amazing!

I wanted to rant about this one, but then the perfection of the circle and simplicity of the hand got to me. 

Circle Mural 1 Liliana Porter Museum of Modern Art NYC

The dang modern art got to me!!  In a good way!!

The finger tracing around the circle.  The circle so perfect.

Circle Mural 1 Liliana Porter Close View Museum of Modern Art NYC

I never thought the modern art that usually makes me mad could ever make me fall for it!!

I feel betrayed.

By own self!

I have to move on, turn my frown upside down.

Or maybe just turn the Coke bottle upside down like this.  Not sure of the meaning, but I like it!

Love Marisol Escobar Museum of Modern Art NYC

Isn't this one just pretty?  See, that is how I judge art.  Is it colorful?  Yes, yes it is.  Then I love it!

Map of America Juan Downey Museum of Modern Art NYC

These last ones are by famous artists.  First up is some van Gogh.  I like this period of his work.  

See, lots of colors!

 He painted all of the Roulin family members at one time or another.

Portrait of Joseph Roulin Vincent van Gogh Museum of Modern Art NYC

We were walking around the museum and we saw a large group of people gathered around this one painting.  So of course, we wanted to see it too!

Lo and behold it was The Starry Night!  I'll admit we both got overexcited and took about 20 pictures each from every possible angle we could get to from squeezing in between people.  This was the best photo of all.

The Starry Night Vicent van Gogh Museum of Modern Art NYC

Can I get a happy sigh?   We never thought we would get to see The Starry Night while in New York City, then there it was.  It was like it was just waiting for us.  That was a bucket list check-off!

Also on my art-to-see bucket list is The Scream by Edvard Munch.  I guess that just means we need to plan a trip to Norway!

The other famous artist's works we saw and I would like to share are by Salvador Dali.  Now the man, made weird art, but it is a weird I can enjoy!

I have always liked the Persistence of Memory and this was the second time in my life I have gotten to see it!

The Persitance of Memory Salvador Dali  Museum of Modern Art NYC

The first time was when we traveled to Paris and went to the Pomidou Center.  They had an exhibit about Salvador Dali and that was one of the paintings that was on loan.  It is permanently house at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. 

This next one we didn't see in Paris.  I am pretty sure I would remember it!

Retrospective Bust of a Woman Salvador Dali  Museum of Modern Art NYC

I mean, would you forget a woman with an inkwell and baguette on her head, corn around her neck, and ants on her face??


This last artwork was in the courtyard of the museum.  They were not letting people go out there and I am not sure why.  I really wanted to go out and see the sculpture garden!  

But no!

So I had to take a picture through the window and just hoped for the best.  I have no information on it except that I liked it.

And really is there more I need to know about it than that?

Courtyard Statues Museum of Modern Art NYC

Ok, I couldn't just leave it, I had to search to see what I could find and I did find this bit of information about these sculptures.

That is all I have for the Museum of Modern Art.  In my next post I will stay with this art theme and tell you all about the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  We were there for five hours, so I a few things to share!

I hope you will return to read all about it!

Until then!