Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)

Highlights from MOMA.

1. Projects 90: Song Dong

I’ll dedicate my next post to this project.

2. Audio-guides

At MOMA, the audio guide gadget (a cell phone look-alike) came rent-free with the general admission ticket. You just key in the number and it will give you additional information regarding the piece. For example this piece: Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso.

And then you key in the number that’s on the plaque.

And that’s when I was clued in to the dog by the musicians’ feet. The narrator said something about the whimsical-ness of that piece.

Audio guides definitely help me look at the art pieces with slightly more enlightened eyes.

3. Sketch books

I like looking at incomplete pieces, especially the artists’ sketchbooks. My first experience was at the Met, several years ago, when I saw Van Gogh’s drawings, drafts, sketches, and incomplete paintings.

When I see all these big finished masterpieces it always seem so effortless for the artists. It looked like a lot of talent and not much hard work. It looked like the artists never made any mistakes.

The drafts and sketches somehow made drawing and painting feel more accessible to me. Maybe I should pull out my sketchbook and some pencils and start doodling again 🙂

At MOMA, there was a special exhibition of James Ensor‘s work. Very interesting stuff. His sketchbook was filled with many cartoonish figures. His work ranged from traditional painted portraits, really large pencil/charcoal drawings, and really modern looking pieces.

4. The “Hey! I also can do that” paintings

At the Met, there were so many old portraits that I know I’ll never be able to reproduce something remotely similar. At MOMA, I came across pieces that I felt wasn’t that difficult to reproduce.

Suprematist Composition: White on White by Kazimir Malevich (1918).
I can definitely do something like this.

Composition C by Piet Mondrian (1920)
I think I can do something like this too.

The Park by Gustav Klimt (1910)
Hmmm…definitely more difficult but still doable.

The Red Studio by Henri Matisse (1911)
This piece is inspirational. I once tried to paint a picture of my childhood room. But I was all caught up with the correct perspectives and details, I gave up after several ugly strokes. I guess I don’t have to cram every single detail or make my painting look like a real room. Looking at the “simplicity” of this painting, I realized that reproducing an exact replica of this piece may be doable but painting my room in this style will definitely take a lot more creativity and work.

Noticed the bright pink that Matisse used on the painting on the left? I once used the same shade of pink for a carpet in a painting of my room (again! I must be somewhat obsessed with painting pictures of my room). That piece of carpet was in the middle of the room on the floor. The perspectives of the room was correct (smaller stuff in the back compared to the front). I remembered I painted a pink carpet because I messed up the gray for the cement floor and it looked really bad. Well, my art teacher said I shouldn’t have used such bright pink for the carpet. I guess she never saw Matisse’s work!

5. The Beautiful

Opus 217. Against the Enamel of a Background Rhythmic with Beats and Angles, Tones, and Tints, Portrait of M. Felix Feneon in 1890 (such a long title!) by Paul Signac (1890)
This is beautiful. I love the dots and colors. I’ll never be able to reproduce something like this.

And then there are those phenomenal over the top famous paintings.

Close-ups of Starry Night by Van Gogh.

6. Modern art in real life

I’ll end with some photos of the special exhibition of Ron Arad’s work called No Discipline. The objects were located in this cage-like construction called Cage sans Frontieres.

7. Some sketches

When my camera ran out of battery power, I had to resort to some good old sketching.

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