A Look Inside the New MoMA: Part 2 – – ARTnews

A lovely Calder mobile, 1939’s 'Lobster Trap and Fish Tail' graces on of the museum’s stairwells. The work was originally commissioned by MoMA that same year, for one of it’s stairwells.

A lovely Calder mobile, 1939’s Lobster Trap and Fish Tail, graces one of the museum’s stairwells. The work was originally commissioned by MoMA the year the work was produced for one of the museum’s stairwells.


After a four-month-long closure and a $450 million renovation that has been years in the making, the Museum of Modern Art in New York opened to members of the press on Thursday morning, October 10.

The build-up to its opening has made it one of the most anticipated art events of this season, not just in New York but also internationally. With 166,000 more square feet of gallery space and three floors of permanent-collection hangs, the museum is even more overwhelming than before, as my colleague Andrew Russeth noted in his review of the new MoMA yesterday.

On its fourth floor, the curators of MoMA present “Collection, 1940s–1970s.” Here, one can see many of the museum’s hallmark works, by Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, Willem de Kooning, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and many more.

[Read a review of the new MoMA.]

The floor builds on work done by international institutions, with pieces on view by artists such as Graciela Iturbide, Lygia Pape, Lygia Clark, and others outside the canon who have recently received retrospectives, though the floor remains New York–centric, placing an emphasis on Abstract Expressionism and early experiments with Pop. It feels as though the museum could have rounded out its galleries with a greater emphasis on under-recognized histories—for example, that of Los Angeles’s postwar scene, which was the subject of the Getty Foundation’s first Pacific Standard Time initiative, done under the aegis of the late Deborah Marrow in 2011.

Still, there are expert pairings of works to be found. An Ellsworth Kelly can be found alongside a Carmen Herrera, and a prized de Kooning appears near an under-exhibited Grace Hartigan.

Below, a look around MoMA’s fourth floor, which showcases work from the 1940s through the 1970s, in the second part of ARTnews’s photographic series devoted to MoMA’s reopening. View Part 1, looking at the fifth floor, and Part 3, looking at the second floor and sculpture garden.

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