Image of a fun night: art lovers hanging out at the MoMA sipping a few cocktails!
One of the perks of being in the art world is to be involved with museums, and to get to participate in so many different events and activities organized by the curators, the trustees, the committees. My favorite museum in New York is the MoMA. I am happy to be involved in the museum and support its show and exhibitions any way I can. The past week, I attended the opening night and cocktail party for four shows that will be running throughout the fall and part of the winter: Abstract Expressionist New York, New Photography 2010, Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen and Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement.
Willem De Kooning said "Flesh is the reason oil paint was invented". Here is his famous "Woman, I"
The Museum was packed with art lovers –and artists (including the great Amy Sillman)- excited to partake of such great night. The DJ was fantastic and even the garden was booming despite an earlier rain that had threatened the fun of being outside during the last warm days in the city.
Another great Abstract Expressionist work, "Cathedral" by Hans Hoffman
After a few cocktails, I worked my way from the fourth floor down. My favorite show by far was Abstract Expressionist New York. This movement put New York in the center of the art world back in the 1950s and replaced Paris as the artistic and creative capital of the world. And gave a specific voice to artists such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Willem de Kooning and Robert Motherwell, in an era focused on the tragedies and scarcity of the Great Depression and the World War II. Fascinating.
One of my favorite pieces of the exhibit: Jackson Pollock's "Stenographic Figure"
The show was entirely put together using pieces from the extensive MoMA collection-- it was beautifully curated and impressive all around. The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis room deserves a special mention—so many beautiful Rothkos were masterfully assembled in there. Amazing scene.
One of the pieces exhibited in Abstract Expressionist New York- Mark Rothko's #10, 1950
Robert Motherwell's "Western Air"
The second exhibition I visited was New Photography 2010, featuring the works of four new artists: Roe Ethridge, Elad Lassry, Alex Prager and Amanda Ross-Ho. After this show neither their lives nor the price of their prints will remain the same! The four artists displayed very different techniques, each with its own specific flavor. Prager, my favorite, photographs women in settings that look part Pulp Fiction, part retro-glam. I loved the brightness and visual stimulus provided by the vibrant colors and neatness of his prints, not to mention the “dramedy” feel of it all. I'll be mentioning his name to my clients a lot.
Alex Prager's "Susie and Friends". Simply fabulous!
Amanda Ross-Hu's "Expose for the Shadows Develop for the Highlights"
The third exhibition “Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement” shows eleven architectural projects on five continents that respond to localized needs in underserved communities. Very interesting developments that helped solve the difficult problems of overpopulated communities in places where there was a lack of economic resources (but obviously not a lack of great architects and bright minds!). Among the projects that caught my attention were the ones that relieved dangerous or very cumbersome situations in the “favelas” of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; the Shanty Towns of Port Elizabeth in South Africa and the Metro Cable up the hills of the “barrios” in Caracas, Venezuela.
Noero Wolff Architects. Red Location Museum Of Struggle, Port Elizabeth, South Africa. 1998–2005. Photo credit: Iwan Baan
The last show: Counter Space: Design and the Modern Kitchen, presented a cool assembly of artifacts and objects found in the post-war kitchen of the 20th Century including a complete example of the iconic “Frankfurt Kitchen,” designed in 1926–27 by the architect Grete Schütte-Lihotzky. There was also artwork presenting food and culinary instruments like Tom Wesselman’s famous Still Life #30 or a grouping of World War II propaganda posters for the British War Office/Ministry of Food. Brilliant.
Wesselman's iconic "Stil Life #30"
Artifacts from the modern kitchen, artfully displayed.
I love the fall in New York City. Not just the cool weather and the beautiful warm tones of the foliage, but also nights like this one, only a single example of the enormous possibilities that the city offers to all of us, New Yorkers, who love art, culture and cocktails!