After a four-month-long closure and a $450 million renovation that has been years in the making the Museum of Modern Art in New York opened to members of the press on Thursday morning, October 10.
On its second floor second floor, MoMA’s is showcasing its holdings from the 1970s to today. These galleries here are slightly more compact than the ones on the higher floors, and this makes for a curatorial challenge, as museums are now trying to cram as many strands of contemporary art history into their hangs as possible. MoMA’s method for retelling the history of art of the recent years isn’t very different from the methods other institutions have taken, but it is nice to see the museum place a focus on women who have long been sidelined: Louise Lawler, Dara Birnbaum, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Cecilia Vicuña, Senga Nengundi, Maren Hassinger, Beatriz González, and Gretchen Bender, among others. An installation by net.art pioneers JODI and a room focusing on Chinese artist’s responses to the Tiananmen Square protests are among the highlights.
One of the few parts of the museum that hasn’t been altered during the renovation is the sculpture garden, and it can be a treat to walk through it on a brisk October day like this one. Still on view there are the requisite sculptures that are beloved for all the right reasons—works by Matisse, Rodin, and Picasso, for example. Here’s hoping that the curators will also change out this part of the collection as frequently as they promise to do upstairs, bringing in commissions and new acquisitions of work by women and artists of color.
Below, a look around MoMA’s second floor, showcasing work from the 1970s to today, and sculpture garden, in the third part of ARTnews’s photographic series devoted to MoMA’s reopening. View Part 1, looking at the fifth floor, and Part 2, looking at the fourth floor.