Tagged: moma

Calendar 01.29.14.

National Life Insurance Company Building. Project, 1924–25, by Frank Lloyd Wright. The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives
National Life Insurance Company Building, project, 1924–25, by Frank Lloyd Wright. Part of the exhibit Frank Lloyd Wright and the City: Density vs. Dispersal, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, opening Saturday. (Image courtesy of MoMA and The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation Archives.)

Miscellany. 04.14.13.

American Folk Art Museum in New York (Photo by Dan Nguyen)
MoMA to the American Folk Art Museum: Drop Dead. (Photo by Dan Nguyen/Flickr.)

Calendar. 01.23.13.

Wolfgang Laib sifting hazelnut pollen, 1992. For Laib’s installation, Pollen from Hazelnut, in the atrium at the Museum of Modern Art. (Image courtesy Sperone Westwater.)

  • NYC: Zarina: Paper Like Skin, at the Guggenheim Museum. Opens Friday, on the Upper East Side.
  • NYC: Nari Ward, at the New Museum. Through April 21, on the Lower East Side.
  • NYC: Drawing Surrealism, at the Morgan Library. Opens Friday, in Midtown. (I saw this at LACMA. The collages are pretty bangin’.)
  • NYC: Joan Semmel, A Lucid Eye, at the Bronx Museum of Art. Opens Thursday, in the Bronx.
  • NYC: Gary Panter: The Magnetic Lady, at Fredericks & Freiser. Opens Friday, in Chelsea.
  • NYC: Ezra Stoller, Beyond Architecture, at Yossi Milo Gallery. Opens Thursday at 6pm, in Chelsea.
  • NYC: Répétition: 1960-1975, at Paula Cooper Gallery. Through February 9, in Chelsea.
  • NYC: Michael Benson, Planetfall, at Hasted Kraeutler. Opens Thursday, in Chelsea.
  • NYC: Dieter Roth, Björn Roth, inaugurating Hauser & Wirth’s new downtown space. Opens today at 6pm, in Chelsea.
  • NYC: NYU is hosting a Game Jam this weekend, in which anyone who is interested can show up and help build and design a video game over the course of a weekend. Things get rolling this Friday, at the Tisch School of the Arts, in the Village.
  • Oakland: Pixelated Drift, at Johansson Projects. Opens this Thursday, with an artist’s reception next Friday, February 1 at 5pm.
  • L.A.: Tara Geer, When we are at sea in the evidence, at Aran Cravey. Opens Saturday at 6pm, in Venice.
  • Madrid: Los Carpinteros, Candela, at Matadero Madrid. Opens Saturday.

Calendar. 11.14.12.

Compact Object (Konpakuto obuje), 1962, by Nakanishi Natsuyuki. Bones, watch parts, hair, eggshells and other objects embedded in polyester. Part of the exhibit Tokyo 1955-1970: A New Avant-Garde, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Opens Thursday, in Midtown. (Image courtesy of MoMA.)

Looking back at MoMA’s ‘Rising Currents.’

A dredging operation in New York Harbor in August of 2010. The regular dredging of the harbor — to allow commercial vessels to navigate the rivers — make the city more susceptible to violent storm surges. (Photos by C-M.)

The more I look at images of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy, the more I think about a startlingly prescient exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Art during the summer of 2010. Organized by architecture and design chief curator Barry Bergdoll, Rising Currents examined New York City’s vulnerability to rising sea levels and storm surges. For the exhibit, Bergdoll gathered teams of architects and designers to study the city’s infrastructure and propose changes.

The boat tour was done in conjunction with the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects. Above right, MoMA exhibition curator Barry Bergdoll.

In August of that year, I joined a group of architects and designers on an evening boat tour to study some of the at-risk sites in question, including Red Hook and the banks of the Gowanus Canal (areas which have since been devastated by Sandy). Many of the proposals that day emphasized “soft” infrastructure, such as the restoration of wetlands and seeding of oyster beds in the harbor, that could filter water and serve as wave attenuators in the event of large storms. (The Harbor was once filled with oyster beds — but overfishing and dredging have destroyed these.) As we discussed the eventual possibility of catastrophic storms and rising sea levels, the air was warm and the water in New York Harbor resembled glass. It was difficult to believe that any of this could happen any time soon. Yet, it did.

As New York rebuilds, it would be wise to go back and examine the findings from this exhibit. According to the New York City Panel on Climate Change, sea levels will rise approximately two feet in the next fifty years. By the end of the century, those numbers could be as high as four to six feet. This could place some areas of the city permanently underwater. And there’s no telling what would happen in the event of a storm.

As Bergdoll says in the short bits of audio I’ve embedded in this post, New York, like Venice, is a city that is in the water. Yet the city, so often, seems to be divorced from this reality. (Something that was made all too clear when I paddled around the city’s waterways with artist Marie Lorenz.) There is water all around, yet access to it is limited. Wetlands struggle to survive at the fringes. Vast tracts of condos were once patches of swamp. In all its fantastic urban artifice, sometimes it can be easy to forget that New York is really just an island — one that is more vulnerable than anyone would like to think.

Find photos from the boat trip after the jump.

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Calendar. 07.25.12.

Personifications of Childhood Misdeeds, 1930, by Minka Podhájská. From the exhibit Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900-2000, at the Museum of Modern Art. Opens Sunday, in Midtown. (Image courtesy of Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague.)

My Year-End Round-Up of Year-End Round-Ups.

Like a cavalcade of Amazons: Willem De Kooning’s third series of women, from the 1950s. At MoMA. (Photo by C-M.)

Hey Folks:

My year-end round-up of year-end round-ups is now up over at Gallerina, with trademarked Occupy Cardboard Sign ratings system.

Thanks very much for reading C-Mon in 2011. I really appreciate it. See you on the other side.


Photo Diary: de Kooning: a Retrospective, at MoMA — the black and whites.

Painting, 1948, by Willem de Kooning. (Photos by C-M.)

As I’m sure you’ve well read by now, the Willem de Kooning retrospective at MoMA is all kinds of gangbusters. I’m not going to get into some dissertation about what he and his work signified, because I think there have been plenty of those — among them, the comprehensive 500-page catalogue. But I did want to highlight one of the aspects of the show I really dug: the black and white paintings from the late 1940s — mainly because I’m a sucker for black and white, but also because they seem to revel in a certain gritty New York City-ness (that seems to no longer exist). They also look like a type of proto-graffiti, what Jed Perl describes in New Art City in the following way: “De Kooning’s nitty-gritty New York was all knock-you-in-the-teeth actualities, all surprising particulars: the dramatically contrasted sizes of adjacent buildings, the abandoned lots and demolition sites, the oil stains and graffiti on the pavements, the reflections of neon signs on wet streets.”

This is also an opportunity to pimp my podcasts on New York City in the time of the Abstract Expressionists. Many more pictures after the jump.

de Kooning: A Retrospective is on view through January 9 at the Museum of Modern Art.

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