I Love MOMA, New York

In my most recent posts, I’ve been talking about my trip to the East coast. This week, it’s all about art! Whenever I’m in New York, I love to try and squeeze in a trip to MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), and this trip was no different. I met up with a couple friends to wander the galleries and see some of my favorite works of art, some well-known and others not so much. Here are a few of my must-see’s… Although nothing can replace a visit in-person, so consider this a little taste of whats there and encouragement to go see for yourself.

MOMA is filled with plenty of iconic works of art, including van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” which you’ve probably seen printed in just about every art textbook. It’s beautiful in person, and as you can see it was a hit with the crowds. I love the vibrant colors, playful swirls, and the way the tiny brush strokes blend together to create a windy motion that carries through the piece.

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The Starry Night – Vincent van Gogh

Here van Gogh translates that whimsical style into what could have otherwise been a rather serious portrait. Roulin’s rosy cheeks make him seem alive; it’s as though you could make eye contact with him.

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Portrait of Joseph Roulin – Vincent van Gogh

Pablo Picasso is arguably one of the most talented of artists. He’s know best for cubism, like you see here, where even the curviest of women’s bodies become sharp and geometric. But he also was an incredible sculptor, sketcher, and of course painter in styles most people may not even recognize as his own. He can do realism just as well as his iconic cubist paintings and sculptures.

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Les Demoiselles d’Avigon – Pablo Picasso

Klimt is an artist whose works I have rarely had the fortune of seeing in person, but they are astonishingly beautiful. His vibrant, if not eclectic, combinations of colors are eye-catching to say the least. He also tends to incorporate metallic paint, which I have not seen done by anyone else as beautifully. And something about the way he portrays both of these women makes them seem calm, at peace, and almost relaxed.

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Hope, II – Gustav Klimt

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Adele Block-Bauer II – Gustav Klimt

Mondrian’s work is still highly idolized, and I see many things today, from furniture, to artwork, to clothing, derived from his designs. They are simple, reserved, yet intriguing. I often feel like looking at his work is like looking through a window to the inner workings of color.

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various works by Piet Mondrian

I always enjoy perusing Monet’s works. They are soothing and beautiful, and often I wish I could take a nap inside of one of his paintings. He had a tendency to paint the same scenes repeatedly, and so I love seeing his different takes on the same images. Many times you can almost see the progress of his loss of sight in his paintings by comparing an earlier painting to a later one of the same scene. Here you can see a stark difference in the vibrancy and clarity of one of his “Water Lilies” to the next.

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Water Lilies (1840-1926) – Claude Monet

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Water Lilies (1914-1926) – Claude Monet

I always love looking at Jackson Pollock’s work as well. It’s truly unique; nothing else ever looks quite like a true Pollock. And when you get up close, the drips and streams seem to go over and under each other, creating a maze of paint trails.

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One, Number 31, 1950 – Jackson Pollock

This painting always grabs my attention when I visit MOMA, although its hard to articulate exactly why. There’s a gorgeous, impenetrable depth to the blackness in this painting, and the lighting-like colors seem to be peeking through the darkness.

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1944-N No. 2 – Clyfford Still

An iconic work of pop art, you must take a moment to look at Warhol’s soup cans. We see them duplicated everywhere even still, and so maybe his comment on the manufacturization of art is still being heard.

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Campbell’s Soup Cans – Andy Warhol

A Hollywood icon is the subject of this image. In a way, she herself became pop art through the pop art of others.

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Marilyn Monroe, I – James Rosenquist

I found this series by Broodthaers to be playful and a little cheeky.

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Literary Paintings, English Series – Marcel Broodthaers

This room in MOMA was super fun to wander through. One of the great things about modern sculpture is that much of it is meant to be experienced and questioned.

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[clockwise, from top right] Perfect Door/Perfect Odor/Perfect Rodo – Bruce Nauman | Modern Art – Lynda Benglis | Letters (The Twent Six Series) – Richard Tuttle | To Lift – Richard Serra

There was a special exhibit of design and architecture while I was there, which of course I had to spend a little time in! I always love to see the originals of pieces still being sold today. Even though this table is familiar to us now, I like to try to put myself in the shoes of someone seeing it for the first time.

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various, including table by Eileen Gray

And since Knoll Textiles are alive and well today, I enjoyed getting a little taste of what they were like in the 40’s.

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various, from the Knoll Textiles showroom, 1947

I found these war propaganda posters incredibly interesting, if not a little funny. Oh, how far we’ve come!

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various, women and war propaganda

I wish I could remember who was the artist responsible for this chandelier. It truly looks like the cacophony of broken pieces was frozen mid-explosion.

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shattered china chandelier

Do you have a favorite modern artist or work of art? Who/what is it?