ART & CULTURE

© MoMA

MoMA, Cradle of Modern Art, Reopens After Renovation
New York’s Museum of Modern Art reopened in October after a major renovation that took four months. What should we focus on in this iconic space of exhibition now expanded by more than 30 percent?
The Museum of Modern Art(MoMA) in New York is a place where you can find artworks by some of the world’s greatest artists representing the modern era, and meet contemporary art embracing design, photography, film, and architecture. This mecca of modern art where over 3 million spectators visit each year had closed its doors in June to begin a four-month-long renovation. According to MoMA, it aims to “move away from the traditional way of exhibition revolving around the display on the wall, add a new space featuring more contemporary works involving media, installation, sculpture, design, and performance, and create a place where it can communicate with the spectators organically.” Having spent a whole season behind the curtain, MoMA finally revealed its new look to the public in October. The new space is bigger by a third of its original layout. With the updated area comes more diverse artworks.
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© MoMA

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© MoMA

Aspects of Upgraded MoMA
The extensive renovation was designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) in collaboration with Gensler. DS+R is also behind other landmark construction projects in New York, including The High Line, a park built on an abandoned elevated railway, and The Shed, a cultural venue in Hudson Yards with a glistening exterior like an igloo. Gensler is also a leading design company known for its design of Apple Stores and Airbnb headquarters.
According to Jan Postma, MoMA’s chief financial officer, one of the main goals of the renovation will be to “better connect the museum to the people and streets of New York City.” It turns out that MoMA did become a more friendly place for the public. Changes start from the lobby of the museum. The main entrance is closer to the street, and the moment you walk in, you encounter a wide range of installation pieces. There is a lounge space as well as several electronic kiosks to minimize the wait to buy admission tickets.
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© MoMA

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© MoMA

A sleek glass wall on the museum’s street level gives an unhindered view of passers-by and the contemporary New York scenes of 2020. The previous layout also had a big window looking out to Sculpture Garden, but the renovation allowed the view to be enjoyed from the second, third, and fourth floors. MoMA’s Sculpture Garden, built during the 1954 expansion of the West Wing, exhibits works by famed artists such as Alexander Calder, Pablo Picasso, and Henry Moore.
Another noticeable change is Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Studio located in the heart of the museum. The studio, which has a ceiling height equivalent of two levels, is fully equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and acoustics to support various projects by artists in the form of performance, music, sound, or moving images.
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Haegue Yang, “Handles” © MoMA

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Floor 2, 208 © MoMA

Must-Sees at MoMA
The museum didn’t just grow in size. To better reflect its title of Museum of Modern Art, it has increased the ratio of contemporary art, works by emerging talents, and female artists to be displayed in its gallery. Along with the existing masterpieces by artists like Picasso, Gogh, and Matisse, the museum is trying to diversify its collection by highlighting the creations of those with different regional or social backgrounds, such as Latin Americans, Asians, and African Americans. Thanks to the effort, you can see the works of Shigeru Onishi, an experimental photographer from Japan; Hervé Télémaque, an 81-year-old French painter of Haitian origin; and Haegue Yang, a Korean installation artist. 
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Floor 2, 211 © MoMA

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Salvador Dali, “The Persistence of Memory,” 1931 © MoMA

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Henri Rousseau, “The Dream,” 1910 © MoMA

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Wu Tsang, “We hold where study,” 2017 © MoMA

Yang’s new work titled “Haegue Yang: Handles” was commissioned for the reopening of the museum and is on exhibit at the Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium, the largest renovated space in MoMA. Her work consists of six big sculptures mounted on castors and covered in skins of bells in silver and bronze as well as the design for surface areas. The rattling sound of bells resonate in the space when a couple of performers move the sculptures at 4pm everyday, bringing the still objects to life.
Other masterpieces worth checking out include “Campbell's Soup Cans” by Andy Warhol, “The Starry Night” by Vincent van Gogh, “Les Demoiselles d'Avignon” by Pablo Picasso, “The Sleeping Gypsy” by Henri Rousseau, “Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair” by Frida Cahlo, and “Water Lilies” by Claude Monet.
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© MoMA

Other Options for Fun
As the gallery is expanded, there are more art to see, and the viewing hours are extended by 30 minutes. On a weekday, MoMA opens from 10am to 5:30pm except for Fridays when the museum closes at 9pm. In fact, a big part of the fun people have at MoMA is going to the museum shop and buy items featuring one of the designs permanently owned by MoMA. The revamped shop is now on the basement level connected to the lobby through stairs. An open-ceiling design was used to create an airy feeling as the basement looks more like a lower part of the lobby. The shopping gets even more exciting as the place also sells fun, eclectic items produced in collaboration with fashion brands such as Vans, Uniqlo, and Pleats Please. Cafe 2 located on the second floor and the Carroll and Milton Petrie Terrace Cafe on the sixth floor have also been redonned. The Modern, a Michelin-starred restaurant owned by Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer, is still popular.
Address 11 West 53rd Street, New York City
Inquiry +1-212-708-9400
Homepage www.moma.org
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Where to Stay in New York: LOTTE NEW YORK PALACE
LOTTE NEW YORK PALACE is comprised of a 19th-century mansion built by financier Henry Villard and a modern 55-story skyscraper. With its appearance on various movies and TV series, including “Gossip Girl,” the hotel has emerged as one of the must-see places for tourists visiting New York. There are a total of 909 guest rooms with multiple dining options and bars including Villard Restaurant, offering a breakfast menu using locally-grown ingredients, high-end salon Rarities, and cocktail bar Trouble’s Trust.
Address 455 Madison Avenue at 50th Street, New York
Phone +1-800-804-7035
Homepage www.lottenypalace.com
January 2020 Editor:Kim Hyewon
Writer:Oh Youngjei

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  • January 2020
  • Editor: Kim Hyewon
    Writer: Oh Youngjei
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