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kottke.org posts about MoMA

Henri Cartier-Bresson at MoMA

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 09, 2010

I got a look at the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibit at MoMA the other day and loved it. Seeing his work, especially his earlier on-the-street stuff, makes me want to drop everything and go be a photographer. If you’re into photography at all, this show is pretty much a must-see.

(BTW, I chuckled when I saw this photo on the wall…it was the subject of an epic Flickr prank a few years back.)

MoMA acquires the @ symbol

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 22, 2010

The Department of Architecture and Design at MoMA has made a, er, symbolic acquisition of the @ symbol.

The acquisition of @ takes one more step. It relies on the assumption that physical possession of an object as a requirement for an acquisition is no longer necessary, and therefore it sets curators free to tag the world and acknowledge things that “cannot be had” — because they are too big (buildings, Boeing 747’s, satellites), or because they are in the air and belong to everybody and to no one, like the @ — as art objects befitting MoMA’s collection. The same criteria of quality, relevance, and overall excellence shared by all objects in MoMA’s collection also apply to these entities.

The artist is present

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 15, 2010

Watch a live-stream of performance artist Marina Abramović as she sits in the atrium of the MoMA all day every day until the exhibition ends on May 31. (via @gregorg)

Bill Cunningham, the movie

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 25, 2010

Showing at MoMA next month, a documentary based on the NY Times’ relentless and intrepid street photographer Bill Cunningham. From the press release:

The opening night feature of this year’s New Directors/New Films is the world premiere of Bill Cunningham New York (USA, 2010) on Wednesday, March 24, at 7:00 p.m. at MoMA. Director Richard Press’ documentary is a heartfelt and honest film about the inimitable New York Times photographer, who has for decades lovingly captured the unexpected trends, events, and people of Manhattan for the Styles section of the newspaper. The film shows Cunningham, an octogenarian, riding his Schwinn bicycle to cover benefits, galas, and fashion shows around Manhattan, and illustrates how his camera has captured the looks that have defined generations.

I couldn’t really find any other information online about this film. They should at least get a trailer up on YouTube or something.

Update: No trailer yet, but there’s a web site for the film with screening info, etc.

Henri Cartier-Bresson retrospective at MoMA

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 27, 2010

Upcoming at MoMA: a retrospective of the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson.

For more than twenty-five years, he was the keenest observer of the global theater of human affairs — and one of the great portraitists of the twentieth century. MoMA’s retrospective, the first in the United States in three decades, surveys Cartier-Bresson’s entire career, with a presentation of about three hundred photographs, mostly arranged thematically and supplemented with periodicals and books.

After MoMA, the exhibition will visit Chicago, SF, and Atlanta. Quite excited for this one.

New MoMA site

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 05, 2009

New MoMA web site is launching tomorrow…here’s the preview.

A history of printing

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 26, 2009

The Printed Picture is an exhibition of physical specimens made using all the different ways that type and image can be printed on paper, metal, glass, etc, with a special emphasis on dozens of photography techniques, from albumen prints to dagguereotypes to color photography. On view at MoMA until June 1.

Night colors of Van Gogh

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 22, 2008

Color palettes taken from a MoMA exhibition of nighttime paintings by Vincent van Gogh. Review of the show by the NY Times.

Three things I saw at the MoMA today

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 18, 2008

1. Perhaps the most playful art I’ve ever seen in a major museum is Olafur Eliasson’s Ventilator, a fan hung on a long cord in the main atrium in the museum. Watching it blow around the huge room, chased by children, is hard-to-beat fun.

2. The rest of Eliasson’s show on the third floor. His art seems so conceptually and constructurally simple yet, I dunno, I just wanted to hang out in the gallery all day, like I was required to remain part of the experience. Left me wishing I’d made it to London to see The Weather Project.

3. The typology photos of Bernd and Hilla Becher. Recommended if you like photography and multiples of things.

Irritated that I missed: van Gogh’s Starry Night (out on loan to Yale until Sept…I’ve seen it 20 times at least but still like checking it out whenever I’m there), the exhibition of George Lois’ Esquire covers, and lunch at Cafe 2.

Stem cell coat killed

posted by Jason Kottke   May 15, 2008

A tiny coat built out of living mouse stem cells that was a part of the Design and the Elastic Mind show at MoMA was killed because it was growing too fast.

Paola Antonelli, a senior curator at the museum, had to kill the coat. “It was growing too much,” she said in an interview from a conference in Belgrade. The cells were multiplying so fast that the incubator was beginning to clog. Also, a sleeve was falling off. So after checking with the coat’s creators, a group known as SymbioticA, at the School of Anatomy & Human Biology at the University of Western Australia in Perth, she had the nutrients to the cells stopped.

Design and the Elastic Mind

posted by Jason Kottke   Feb 25, 2008

On view at MoMA through May 12, 2008: Design and the Elastic Mind.

In the past few decades, individuals have experienced dramatic changes in some of the most established dimensions of human life: time, space, matter, and individuality. Working across several time zones, traveling with relative ease between satellite maps and nanoscale images, gleefully drowning in information, acting fast in order to preserve some slow downtime, people cope daily with dozens of changes in scale. Minds adapt and acquire enough elasticity to be able to synthesize such abundance. One of design’s most fundamental tasks is to stand between revolutions and life, and to help people deal with change.

I was surprised at how many of the show’s ideas and objects I’d seen or even featured on kottke.org already. But getting there first isn’t the point. The show was super-crowded and I didn’t have a lot of time to look around, but here are a couple of things that caught my eye.

Michiko Nitta’s Animal Messaging System (AMS), part of a larger project she did called Extreme Green Guerillas. The basic idea of the AMS is to use the radio ID tags worn by migratory animals to send messages from place to place. Nice map.

Molecubes are self-replicating repairing robots. Video here.

And I’ve been looking for Brendan Dawes’ Cinema Redux project for several months now…most recently I wanted to include his work in my time merge media post.

Using eight of my favourite films from eight of my most admired directors including Sidney Lumet, Francis Ford Coppola and John Boorman, each film is processed through a Java program written with the processing environment. This small piece of software samples a movie every second and generates an 8 x 6 pixel image of the frame at that moment in time. It does this for the entire film, with each row representing one minute of film time.

For more, check out the online exhibition (designed by Yugo Nakamura and THA Ltd, the folks behind FFFFOUND!). Thanks (and congratulations!) to Stamen for hosting a tour of the exhibition.

This summer’s big public art project in

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 21, 2008

This summer’s big public art project in NYC: 4 large waterfalls falling into the East River and New York Harbor, including one falling from the Brooklyn Bridge. Olafur Eliasson is the responsible party…he’s done a couple previous waterfall pieces.

Update: Eliasson’s work will also be on display at MoMA and P.S. 1 this summer, April 20 through June 30, 2008. (thx, praveen)

In the past few weeks, I’ve seen

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 29, 2007

In the past few weeks, I’ve seen several people mention the 50 Years of Helvetica exhibit at the MoMA along with some variation of “Woo! I might need to take a trip to New York to go see this!” You should know that this exhibit takes up just a small corner of the Architecture and Design Gallery on the 3rd floor…it’s essentially a case and a handful of posters and other specimens. If you’re in the museum already, definitely check it out, but you’ll be disappointed if you make a special expensive trip just to see the Helvetica stuff.

New York magazine has a great collection

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 04, 2007

New York magazine has a great collection of stories about how various NYC businesses go about making their money. They cover everyone from a taxi driver to a sex shop to Goldman Sachs to the MoMA.

The Cooper Hewitt Design Museum has announced

posted by Jason Kottke   May 01, 2007

The Cooper Hewitt Design Museum has announced plans for expansion. I was up there this weekend checking out the Design Triennial and found the exhibition a bit small; a similar show at the expansive MoMA might have run to twice the size and would have included larger items. I hope they don’t do too much to the building though…in many rooms, the building is just as much of an attraction as the items on display.

Exhibit on Helvetica (the font, not the

posted by Jason Kottke   Apr 05, 2007

Exhibit on Helvetica (the font, not the film) opens tomorow at the MoMA and will be available for a good long time (until March 31, 2008). “Widely considered the official typeface of the twentieth century, Helvetica communicates with simple, well-proportioned letterforms that convey an aesthetic clarity that is at once universal, neutral, and undeniably modern.”

I quite liked the work of Barbara

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 13, 2006

I quite liked the work of Barbara Probst in the New Photography 2006 exhibition at the MoMA. Probst shoots the same scene with multiple cameras at the same time.

A comparison: London’s Tate Modern versus the

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 01, 2006

A comparison: London’s Tate Modern versus the MoMA. The MoMA is a stuffy, inaccesible place, while the “Tate Modern is an enormously user-friendly place, physically comfortable and hospitable, with inexpensive places to eat and frequent opportunities to sit.”

Sketchbook of every piece of art in

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 17, 2006

Sketchbook of every piece of art in the Museum of Modern Art. $20.

The Tate Museum in Britain lets you

posted by Jason Kottke   Jun 23, 2006

The Tate Museum in Britain lets you make your own collection out of all their works of art. “You can create your Collection, print it as a leaflet, or send it to a friend.” Current collections include The I’ve Just Split Up Collection, The Odd Faces Collection, and The I’m Hungover Collection. See also unofficial audio guides for MoMA and the Met. (via nick)

John Lasseter at MoMA

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 21, 2005

MoMA just opened their show about Pixar last week and on Friday, we went to a presentation by John Lasseter, head creative guy at the company. Interesting talk, although I’d heard some of it in various places before, most notably in this interview with him on WNYC. Two quick highlights:

At 15 minutes long, the Q&A session at the end of his talk was too short. The MoMA audience is sufficiently interesting and Lasseter was so quick on his feet and willing to share his views that 30 to 40 minutes of Q&A would have been great.

[1] For you Pixar completists and AICN folks out there, the clip showed Lightning McQueen leaving a race track on the back of a flat-bed truck, bound for a big race in California. As the truck drives across the US, you see the criss-crossing expressways of the city stretch out into the long straight freeways of the American west, the roads literally cutting into the beautiful scenery. A cover of Tom Cochran’s Life is a Highway plays as the truck drives. The world of the movie features only cars, no humans…the cars are driving themselves.

Just Van Gogh!

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 20, 2005

A quick note about the Van Gogh show at the Met that’s closing at the end of the month: if you’re in NYC, go see it. Admittedly, I’m a fan of Van Gogh, but I thought this was one of the best museum exhibitions I’ve ever seen. The exhibition features drawings (as well as a few paintings) from his short 10-year career as an artist, and you can really see how much he progressed during that time and how much his drawings and paintings were related. I can’t wait to go back over to the MoMA and look at Starry Night and The Postman and view them not as paintings, but more as drawings done with paint.

Audio interview with John Lasseter (basically creative

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 15, 2005

Audio interview with John Lasseter (basically creative director at Pixar) and Ron Magliozzi, who helped curate the just-opened show at MoMA on 20 years of Pixar.

Safe: Design Takes On Risk

posted by Jason Kottke   Dec 13, 2005

At the risk (ha!) of missing it, I waited until this late in the game to check out Safe: Design Takes On Risk at the MoMA. Great show. Two of my favorite items:

For you armchair museum goers, what looks to be the entire exhibition is available online.

Also, the MoMA around holiday time, not so crowded. (Well, relatively so. There were still a fair number of people there, just not so many as in the Build-A-Bear store on 5th Avenue.)

MoMA is running a Pixar exhibition from

posted by Jason Kottke   Nov 29, 2005

MoMA is running a Pixar exhibition from December 14 to February 6, 2006. “Featuring over 500 works of original art on loan for the first time from Pixar Animation Studios, the show includes paintings, concept art, sculptures, and an array of digital installations.”

Coming soon to the MoMa: Safe: Design

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 17, 2005

Coming soon to the MoMa: Safe: Design Takes on Risk “presents more than 300 contemporary products and prototypes designed to protect body and mind from dangerous or stressful circumstances, respond to emergencies, ensure clarity of information, and provide a sense of comfort and security”.

Update: Business Week has a preview of the exhibition as well as a slideshow of some of the objects in the exhibit.

The MoMA has acquired The Plum Blossoms

posted by Jason Kottke   Sep 08, 2005

The MoMA has acquired The Plum Blossoms by Henri Matisse (picture), the whereabouts of which have been unknown for 30 years.

Pan of the newish MoMA building in

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 31, 2005

Pan of the newish MoMA building in NYC. I like the new building, but I agree that there are too many people sometimes; they’re certainly not having a problem with that $20 admission price. (via cdl)

Update: a rebuttal by Greg Allen.

Big exhibition of Lee Friedlander’s photography at

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 02, 2005

Big exhibition of Lee Friedlander’s photography at the MoMA until the end of August. It’s interesting to see the influence Friedlander’s work has had on some of the photobloggers I follow.

Cezanne and Pissarro at the MoMA

posted by Jason Kottke   Aug 02, 2005

Cezanne and Pissarro at the MoMA. “Working in tandem or with each other in mind, Cezanne and Pissarro formulated a distinctly modern art, simultaneously self-confident and self-critical.”