Posts Tagged ‘Museum of Modern Art’

Weekend Hot Links

Friday, October 28th, 2016

Happy Friday! To enrich your weekend, we suggest these recent art, design, and culture goodies shared by the SVACE faculty and community.

Image via New York Times

Image via New York Times

Net Scape (New York Times): The New Museum and Rhizome will preserve pioneering net art. (via SVA News)

Vine Line (Medium): Vine’s six seconds are up. (via Jon Newman)

Smiley Face (New York Times): MoMA adds the original emoji to its collection. (via Kevin Brainard)

Cartoon History (AWN): A new book tells the story of animation’s artistic and technical evolution. (via SVA MFA Visual Narrative)

Dream Corp (The Creators Project): Adult Swim looks deep inside with a rotoscoped science fiction comedy series. (via SVA MFA Visual Narrative)

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Weekend Hot Links

Friday, August 19th, 2016

Happy Friday! Might we suggest recent art, design, and culture goodies shared by the SVACE faculty and community?

Image via Macmillan

Image via Macmillan

Success! Story (io9): A graphic novel examines Tetris, psychology, and history. (via SVA MFA Visual Narrative)

Pavilion Park (FastCo.Design) Will the World’s Fair Pavilion become the High Line of Queens? (via Robert Stribley)

Stranger Fonts (Art of the Title): What type and titles can do for nostalgia. (via SVA MFA Visual Narrative)

Dada World (The Village Voice): MoMA’s new exhibition unearths a Dada anthology. (via Lisa Lordi)

Clinton Cam (Columbia Journalism Review): Breaking radical tradition for a history-making candidate. (via Robert Stribley)

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Friday Hot Links

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Happy Friday! Might we suggest recent art, design, and culture goodies shared by the SVACE faculty and community?


Seymour Chwast

Never Retire (Quartz): Octogenarians unite in a new book about lifelong designers. (via SVA News)

MoMA Jeans (New York Times): Will MoMA’s upcoming fashion exhibition be fashionable? (via SVA Design Research)

Knoll Edge (Examiner): Get organized by upping your knoll game. (via Jess Mackta)

Hanger Management (Creativity Online): Snickers bases elastic prices in “hungerithm” data. (via Mark Burk)

Shifting Sands (Culture Type): Carrie Mae Weems proposes standards for success to SVA’s graduates. (via SVA News)

See more updates and stories on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram pages.


Thursday, January 16th, 2014

Museums are a big deal and New York museums are the biggest.  In 2012, American museums took in 850m visitors, more than all the big-league sporting events and theme parks combined. Most of those visitors went to MoMA if modern art was on their list.


This week, MoMA announced its new expansion.  This is bad news to art and architecture critics, who have closed ranks against the new design and unfavorably compared the museum’s restless, relentless growth to a shark needing to move and a perpetual state of war.

The first problem is that MoMA will destroy the American Folk Art Museum (AFAM) because the latter is in the way of connecting MoMA to the incoming condo designed by Jean Nouvel.  AFAM has drawn mixed reviews (“useless” – Jerry Saltz; “majestic” -Paul Goldberger), but nobody can doubt the wastefulness of demolishing a building erected just over a decade ago.

The second is that the expansion, envisioned by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, will have too much glass.  Critics are right to object to glass exhibition walls, because paintings can’t hang on glass – though sculptures might thrive.  But “glass” here is metaphorical, too.  The expansion sounds as if it will sacrifice intimacy and focused study, and instead invite in people-watching, distraction, and relational acrobatics.

IMAGE: Diller Scofidio + Renfro

The unspoken problem is that MoMA looks like a bully, or even a cannibal.  It condemned the Folk Art Museum to death after buying its building (or bailing it out?) in 2011.  And now the avant-garde and pedagogical DS+R look like its pinheaded enablers: Kissinger to Nixon, Smithers to Burns. They requested six months to review the salvability of the FAM, but determined that it had to go.  Martin Filler disagrees, supporting his position with a forensic study of photos: “The top floor of the Folk Art and MoMA buildings line up almost exactly, and any incongruities on other levels could have been easily corrected by slight inclines.”  Justin Davidson, more physiologically, sees it MoMA’s way: “The connective tissue between one structure and the next would have created disfiguring scars, the mechanical apparatus on top would have occluded the lovely skylights, and the idiosyncratic staircase would have to have been amputated in any case.”

IMAGE: Giles Ashford and NYRB

I join the disappointed appeal that DS+R, with MoMA, could have tried harder.  If they can’t wind a new program through that building, then they look unimaginative.  (Filler even proposes housing the Taliesin/Frank Lloyd Wright archive there.)  But there’s no evidence for claiming that  DS+R is a) negligent or b) abusive.  And anyway, when it comes to patching together buildings, isn’t it possible that these practitioners might exceed in technical scrutiny the critics outside?

Jerry Saltz, our most effective critic, frets about tearing down the walls to the Sculpture Garden.  Doing so will ruin that sanctuary.  Martin Filler predicts “a tourist mob scene indistinguishable from Times Square.”  But St. Patrick’s Cathedral, with free entry and about the same frequency of visitors, seems okay. Sure, it is bigger, but there are more Catholics, too.  Saltz also worries that the new design will “create havoc” on West 53rd Street.  “People carrying synthetic coffee drinks will stand there gawking at people who are trying to focus on the art inside this box.”  (This, you call havoc?)  But will performances in the Gray Box and Art Bay (“glass squash courts” – Saltz (ha!)) really be more compelling to watch than one’s own Instagram feed?  And how about that Art Bay?

+”The “Art Bay” is a triple height, multipurpose gallery with an operable glass wall that opens to the street.”


+”Fitted out with a technical ceiling and a floor lift that can subdivide the space into two levels, the Art Bay can be used for exhibitions and performances, as well as spontaneous events, all free to the public.”

-Floor lift?  That sounds really cool!

IMAGE: Diller Scofidio + Renfro

What doesn’t sound cool is the possibility that MoMA’s new performance spaces will house spectacles – staring contests, rain rooms, timed entries – to draw bigger and bigger crowds.  After all, MoMA’s attendance still lags behind its NYC siblings, such as the Met, with its crowds of six million, while the Whitney has fish in a barrel over at the High Line.  If putting Tilda Swinton in a glass box succeeded in winning hearts and minds, then bigger glass boxes seem expedient.  But What’s in the Box?  “It’s all the same flimflam: flexible spaces to accommodate to-be-named programming, the logic of real estate developers hiding behind the magical thinking of those who claim cultural foresight,” writes Michael Kimmelman.


I’m not an expert, but because the plans I’ve seen are sketchy, I’m saving my scorn for definitive plans, or even for the actual site experience itself.  DS+R needs to convince MoMA lovers that its design will alleviate congestion while adding viable exhibition space.  MoMA needs to convince us that it will fill its new squash courts with rigorous, inspiring activity.

Whether the new site will justify the wasteful destruction of the AFAM building is a good question.  A better question is why we trust the people behind the Taniguchi transformation with yet another transformation.  The Taniguchi reconstruction cost almost a billion dollars and its failures were immediately evident: not enough space for the art.  “All bemoan MoMA’s lack of space for the pre-1980 permanent collection,” says Jerry Saltz, who has been right about this since the Taniguchi overhaul.  (The new expansion doesn’t have a budget.)  And now MoMA is chronically crowded.  Who let that happen?

And why do they get another shot?