Friday, December 10, 2010


A really sneaky tip we have learned from trusty Lonely Planet is to go to galleries closer to the closing hour for cheaper prices. On Friday nights, the MOMA is open until late (8pm), and cheaper tickets start from 4pm. To our great delight, we actually were lucky enough to score free tickets anyway from a Target initative...however, if you really are interested in the Modern Art I would suggest allowing a little more than 4 hours to explore the place.

MOMA is...amazingly overwhelmingly filled with goodness. Its vast collection expands across an impressive archive of arts in various forms of media, including design and architecture, photography, prints and illustrations, film, performative installation and painting and sculpture. They have artefacts by all the big art figures: Dali, Miro, Cezanne, Monet, Pollack, Warhol, Chase, Klimt, well as the continuous pursuit of some of art's more recent icons like Alex Prager. Considering I couldn't stand within 2m of Gough's Starry Night because of the swarm of people surrounding it, I put my favourites down to 2 exhibitions at the gallery.

One of the installations as part of MOMA's Performance Exhibition Series, was a piece by artists Jennifer Allora (b. 1974) and Guillermo Calzadilla (b. 1971) present Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on Ode to Joy for a Prepared Piano (2008). For this piece, the artists carved a hole in the center of a grand piano, through which a pianist plays the famous Fourth Movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, usually referred to as “Ode to Joy.” The performer leans over the keyboard and plays upside down and backwards, while moving with the piano across the vast atrium. Becuase I have studied prepared piano, this was particularly cool to me. But it was the kind of thing anyone could be amused by.

The second exhibition which I took particular liking to was On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century on the gallery's sixth floor. The exhibtion explores the radical transformation of the medium of drawing throughout the twentieth century, displaying a transition where artists instead pushed line across the plane into real space and installation. It features probably around a couple hundred pieces of work that connect drawing with selections of painting, sculpture, photography, film, and dance (represented by film and documentation), by artists such as both Aleksandr Rodchenko, Karel Malich, Eva Hesse, Anna Maria Maiolino, Richard Tuttle, and Monika Grzymala. I have a tendancy to use lines in graphics and texture of my own work, so I can see this as being as source of inspiration at some point.

All in all, a wonderfully colourful and cultural evening. On the train home, it slightly snowed. Not enough. But winter is coming :)

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