Thursday, January 21, 2010

MOMA's 75th Anniversary

The SF MOMA celebrated it's 75th anniversary last weekend with free admission and extra late hours, a chance I couldn't pass up.

Coming from a traditionally trained background, I don't love modern art but I am learning to open myself up to liking it more and more. And what better place to be on a rainy, Saturday night?

This sculpture is brilliant. I've seen it before, in DC, and it always strikes me as something really fragile, far too white and shiny, and, of course, weird. Just like it's subject is supposed to have been...
The sculpture on the right is just plain creepy. Really creepy.

This, to me, looks like an angel in the sky during a time of trouble...
According to the plaque, if I remember correctly, it's a volcano erupting.

And this looks like a bunch of people who watch too much tv news...

I can't explain this one at all. I feel no reaction to it whatsoever except to wonder what it's doing in a museum. Looks like something I'd find in a basement...

This Warhol I liked quite a lot. It was interesting to stand before this huge piece seeing how each little picture changes from one to the next...

Egon Schiele, one of my all time favorite artists...

This sculpture, I don't know if it was meant to or not, but it makes me laugh...

Part of Kara Walker's very affecting mural...

Gerhard Richter's interesting, but not so affecting, painting...

...? Makes me think of chocolate cake batter.

Nice, soothing colors and shapes...

Something (boring) made from lead, hence the barrier...

Another work I don't want to get too close to...

My interactions with modern art tend to be mainly cerebral, especially with the more inscrutable works like the four directly above. It's like a visual puzzle I want to figure out. But I much less seldom experience an emotional reaction, even after learning the theories and ideas which went into its creation. It's like jazz, hard to pin down and always surprising.

What do you think?


  1. I'm not a fan of modern art either. Glad this was free! ;)

  2. Great images of the MOMA anniversary show, Cheryl. Every piece says something. The trick is finding out exactly what it is. ;-) Love and bright wishes. xx

  3. well, some I like, some I think is really strange, and some I just don't get. But, I'm not an artist. I see things from inside of me. Did you have lots and lots and lots of fun? I hope so!!

  4. What a great opportunity! I like Modern art. Doesn't mean I don't like other art. It just depends on the piece really. In the series above there are some I really like (like the first one) and others that don't do much for me.

  5. Hi Maggie, I'd really like to be a fan. Maybe after a few more visits...

    Hi Carol Anne, true, every piece says something, and in ways I have to dig deeper to understand. Love and all good things to you too, xx

    Hi Yet, I did have fun, but I wouldn't say I had lots and lots of fun. Time with friends, playing dodgeball in the park, a nice shopping spree, now that's fun!

    Hi Maya, I like all forms of art too, though to varying degrees. My favorites from this visit was the Walker mural and the Schiele drawing. His drawings are like Van Gogh's paintings, they practically ache with feeling.

  6. come to the getty!

    not only is it the most amazing place in the universe, it also houses my FAVORITE painting of all time: "mars and venus: an allegory of peace".

    just exquisite . . .

  7. I remember seeing an exhibit at our Modern Art museum here in L.A. a few years back, a pile of trash in the middle of the floor. Ordinary trash, I think that's taking the one man's trash is another man's treasure too far. The hairy chest sculpture looks like something a high school art student would make to freak the teacher out.

  8. Hi Lana Banana, I've always wanted to visit the Getty! Checked out the painting. I love French 18th c. art. Have family in LA, so next time I see them I'll see that one in person...

    Hi Elizabeth, yeah, stuff like that seems to turn a lot of people off of modern art altogether. And the hairy chest thing does feel like a tongue in cheek sort of piece. I'd be interested to find out the story behind it.

  9. You don't have to dig too deep to understand lead poisoning.

  10. i love sfmoma, and i want to go see this exhibition! i am crazy for contemporary art (well, not ALL of it), but i love to see it, wonder about it, love it, and sometimes dismiss it. it can be rewarding and/or difficult, and/or leave me cold. but it always seems to generate SOME kind of reaction. and some work requires a bit of research to try and understand it if one is so inclined. :)

  11. OK the chest hair/treasure trail sculpture had me laughing too! I love your take on artwork... love listening to your views!!


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