MoMA’s New Fourth Floor Exhibit is as Impactful as the Decade it Depicts

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By Natalie Whalen, Staff Writer

The MoMA’s new fourth floor exhibit, “From the Collection: 1960-1969,” features previously exhibited works in a new and fresh way. For enthusiasts of the impactful and revolutionary decade, this is a must-see.

The unique curatorial style of this exhibit is interesting and effective. It encompasses a decade, featuring eclectic works organized chronologically as you pass through each room, starting in 1960 and ending in 1969. Painting, sculpture, drawings, prints, photographs, architecture, design objects, video and film come together to weave a story that transcends geographical location and medium. In one room, you may find the beautiful stuffed-fabric chair of Yayoi Kusama and Andy Warhol’s pop-art painting of Marilyn Monroe. The similarities between these pieces may seem odd and evasive while reading this article; yet, upon seeing these works for yourself, similarities between the works of each respective year become uniquely forged.

Walking through the exhibit is like a history lesson, allowing the visitor to see changes as they occur through a transformative decade across the globe. Pop art and the obsession with pop culture turns into a dismal examination of the Vietnam War and international fears. Censorship becomes feminist outrage; groovy experimentation becomes Bauhaus structuralism. The similarities and differences between different nations’ artworks becomes clear in context with their social and political pasts.

Works from the likes of Warhol, Cy Twombly, Jim Dine, Joseph Bueys and Eva Hesse are all featured in the exhibit. However, some of the most interesting works include a beautifully designed tape dispenser by Robert P. Gottlieb and a series of photographs taken on NASA’s Apollo missions.

The museum’s attempts to work past –isms in order to integrate departments and inspire “unexpected connections” is certainly successful. While some years are given more attention, (like the vibrant 1967 room featuring the Richard Avedon’s portraits of The Beatles and a “poster dress” by Harry Gordon featuring Jim Morrison on one end, with a psychedelic video sandwiched by two colorful and intriguing walls), others are given less, like the 1964 room featuring a single mural that spans all three walls. Admittedly, this is a little disappointing, but doesn’t detract from the power of the exhibit overall.

There is a bit of time if you’re interested in viewing these works on display; however, the presentation will undergo periodic re-installations in order to reflect the depth and extensity of the MoMA’s collection.

From the Collection: 1960-1969 will be on display until March 12, 2017.


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