A little while back we had a free weekday afternoon and stopped by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA for any non-snooty person) to try to avoid the more touristy crowds. That was, of course, not the case; the place was rightfully packed. The modern art scene is definitely my style, especially in the early half of the last century when there was a lot of focus on playing with color and geometry. I must sound gauche for saying this, but I like it because it’s weird with a purpose.
I very much regret a) not getting a better shot of this piece and b) forgetting to shoot the name card. If anyone’s got some info, I’d love it. Otherwise, a mini pterodactyl should be enough to excuse my forgetfulness.
I very much like the idea that someone woke up one day and said “I’m going to build a treasure chest for ice cubes.”
It’s enough to spawn a whole generation of pirate rappers talking about treasure and ice.
Alexander Calder, Constellation with Red Object (1943).
Calder is an American credited with inventing the mobile. Google celebrated him with its first 3D-animated doodle awhile back.
Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Schematic Composition, 1933. Oil and wood on composition board.
This to me looks like old-timey binary computer porn that ENIAC might have sneaked peeks at. It might be my favorite piece in the collection.
Lásló Moholy-Nagy, Q 1 Suprematistic (1923). Oil on canvas.
This is the type of experimenting with geometry that I was talking about. Simple, yet mindblowing. This could be a photo from another world.
Kazimir Malevich, Painterly Realism of a Boy with a Knapsack–Color Masses in the Fourth Dimension (1915). Oil on canvas.
What a wonderful title. That sums up why I like this period perfectly.
Gerald Murphy, Wasp and Pear (1929). Oil on canvas.
For whatever reason, Gerald woke up one morning and decided to paint a pear with an asshole.
Umberto Boccioni, States of Mind I: The Farewells (1911). Oil on canvas.
This series was collectively the most thought-provoking piece on display.
Umberto Boccioni, States of Mind II: Those Who Go (1911). Oil on Canvas.
I guess anyone can connect with the pain and distractions of being separated by travel. I though about right before I left for college, which probably makes me sound like a ninny. But of all the times that I’ve packed up and taken off, that seemed like the toughest time to leave.
Umberto Boccioni, States of Mind III: Those Who Stay (1911). Oil on canvas.
And then everyone else is just stuck behind. It’s a truly profound piece, especially in light of World War I coming three years later.
Henri Rousseau, The Dream (1910). OIl on canvas.
Henri Rousseau, The Sleeping Gypsy (1897). Oil on canvas.
Rousseau’s whimsy is wonderful. I can tell he inspired an artist who did a zebra running on laser grids painting I owned once.
Natalia Goncharova, Rayonism, Blue-Green Forest (1913). Oil on canvas.
Another pick for my favorite piece. Whereas we saw earlier investigations into the use of geometry, this Rayonism series was purely an exercise in color. It’s nearly impossible to get a proper photo of this because of the white balance, etc. but this is my favorite color palette and she used it swimmingly.
Morris Hirshfield, Tiger (1940). Oil on canvas.
Based on his love for chubby tigers, I believe Hirshfield and I would get along.
Marcel Broodthaers, Belgian Lion (1968). Found object in frying pan.
This has one of the most awesome list of media in the whole museum. I enjoy art in the ’60s and ’70s for its creativity, especially in the use of strange media, but I’m still more drawn to the more one-dimensional examinations of shape and hue of previous years.
Marcel Broodthaers, La signature. Série I. Tirage illimité (1969). Screenprint.
The “unlimited edition” of anything is an absolutely hilarious (and brilliant) concept. Bravo to Broodthaers for getting a loud laugh out of me, even if all the tourists thought I was being an asshole.
Frank Stella, The Marriage of reason and Squalor, II (1959). Enamel on canvas.
I’m not sure what to think of this piece. First, it’s the size of a large wall, and I was unable to shoot it properly, so poo on me. But I’ve failed in trying to interpret the title in terms of the work. I’m open to suggestion.
André Mason, The Kill (1944). Oil on canvas.
That’s a badass title for a painting. I’d very much like to own this because it invokes a sort of cheery bloodlust in me. This would be a great piece to stare at before heading on a zombie-killing expedition on a lovely sunny summer day.
This is an egg full of watches. That’s MoMA for you. In all seriousness, it’s my favorite museum in New York. It is constantly being refreshed and I hardly even touched on a bit of its offerings on one of its floors. I’m thinking about getting a membership because then I can be one of those people. It’s worth it.