The Museum Of Modern Art Announces Publication On The History Of MoMA PS1

This long-awaited book captures the spirit of a legendary institution through the words of those who made it New York’s most vital venue for contemporary art.

This fall, The Museum of Modern Art will release the first publication on the history of MoMA PS1, which traces the institution’s evolution from the 1970s to today through interviews, ephemera, never-before-seen images, and an extensive exhibition history. Since 1976, MoMA PS1 in Long Island City, Queens, has been a crucible for radical experimentation, engaging artists from a range of disciplines. Structured around interviews with Alanna Heiss, PS1’s founder and director of more than three decades, MoMA PS1: A History (published October 22, 2019) offers a vivid chronicle of the extraordinary history of New York’s premier venue for contemporary art. The publication also features contributions by artists and curators who have been closely associated with PS1—including James Turrell, R. H. Quaytman, Kevin Beasley, Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, and Martha Wilson—supplemented by excerpts from previously unpublished interviews from the 1970s and statements from numerous figures who helped shape the institution.

Batya Zamir, Airlines, Batya Zamir: Dance Performance, May 20–21, 1977. Courtesy Batya Zamir. Photo: Richard Van Buren.
P.S.1 1977 A Painting Show Lee Krasner: Lee Krasner, poster for A Painting Show, May 1–29, 1977. © 2019 The Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

This publication was edited by Klaus Biesenbach, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and former director of MoMA PS1 and Chief Curator at Large, The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Bettina Funke, art historian, editor, former head of publications for Documenta 13, and co-founder of The Leopard Press.

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The Whitney Museum of American Art to Showcase Transformative Gift: Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner

November 20, 2015 – March 6, 2016

Celebrating an extraordinary and transformative gift of more than 850 works collectively given to the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Centre Georges Pompidou by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner, both institutions will present consecutive exhibitions featuring a selection of works from the gift. The Whitney’s presentation of Collected by Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner opens on November 20 in the Museum’s new downtown home and runs through March 6, 2016. The Pompidou’s exhibition follows the New York presentation, opening in Paris on June 9, 2016. The exhibition is organized by Elisabeth Sussman, curator and Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Christine Macel, chief curator and head of the department of contemporary and prospective creation, Centre Pompidou, with Elisabeth Sherman, assistant curator, Whitney Museum of American Art. An illustrated catalogue documenting the collection will accompany the exhibitions.

Bernadette Corporation, Creation of a False Feeling, 2000. Inkjet print: sheet, 70 1/2 × 49 13/16 (179.1 × 126.5); image, 60 11/16 × 47 1/16 (154.1 × 119.5). Promised gift of Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner P.2014.10

Bernadette Corporation, Creation of a False Feeling, 2000. Inkjet print: sheet, 70 1/2 × 49 13/16 (179.1 × 126.5); image, 60 11/16 × 47 1/16 (154.1 × 119.5). Promised gift of Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner P.2014.10

Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director, noted, “We are delighted to present this exhibition in honor of the magnanimous gift of art we received from Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner—one of the largest in the Whitney’s history and a tremendous statement of support for the Museum and its new building. Thea and Ethan are among the most astute collectors of late twentieth-century and early twenty-first-century art and their gift adds enormous strength to the Whitney’s collection. We are deeply grateful to them and are pleased to be collaborating with our friends at the Pompidou.”

This exhibition celebrates this remarkable gift as well as the perspicacious collecting of Westreich Wagner and Wagner by exploring several of the ideas and themes that recur in the collection across generations, mediums, and nationalities: the rise of mass media and the darker side of advertising; the adoption of street style and the punk aesthetic; the decorative arts and their ability to communicate often political messages; reflections on how technology has radically altered commerce, communication, and industry; and the artist as celebrity, among others.

Charline von Heyl, Boogey, 2004. Acrylic, oil, and charcoal on canvas, 82 1/16 × 78 1/8 (208.4 × 198.4) Promised gift of Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner P.2011.472

Charline von Heyl, Boogey, 2004. Acrylic, oil, and charcoal on canvas, 82 1/16 × 78 1/8 (208.4 × 198.4)
Promised gift of Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner P.2011.472

Westreich Wagner and Wagner began collecting art in the 1980s and continue to collect today. They have consistently focused their attention on emerging artists, acquiring works soon after they were made, often straight out of the artists’ studios. Many of these artists were relatively unknown at the time, but have since become some of the most heralded figures of their generation—notably Robert Gober, Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, and Christopher Wool. The couple has also pursued a specific interest in photography, building deep holdings of the work of landmark figures such as Lee Friedlander and Robert Adams while also acquiring photographs by a diverse range of artists, including Liz Deschenes, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Annette Kelm, and Josephine Pryde. Continuously motivated by the learning challenges posed by new expressions and ideas, the two have examined the world around them through the eyes of the artists whose work they follow and acquire; their collection is a unique, personal reflection on the “contemporary moment” as it has evolved over the last several decades.

Liz Deschenes, Green Screen #7, 2001. Chromogenic print: sheet, 49 9/16 × 66 (125.9 × 167.6) Promised gift of Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner P.2014.12

Liz Deschenes, Green Screen #7, 2001. Chromogenic print: sheet, 49 9/16 × 66 (125.9 × 167.6)
Promised gift of Thea Westreich Wagner and Ethan Wagner P.2014.12

The gift to the Whitney encompasses nearly five hundred and fifty works, representing a cross section of mediums, by more than seventy-five artists and collectives. In some cases works are by artists who will enter the collection for the first time and in others they add depth to our holdings of artists we have championed. The Pompidou is receiving more than three hundred works by some forty European artists. While the collection is divided between the two institutions, with works by American artists going to the Whitney and by non-American artists going to the Pompidou, the exhibitions draw from both gifts aiming to reveal the international dialogue intrinsic to contemporary art. Continue reading

FIRST LADY MICHELLE OBAMA JOINS WITH DIGNITARIES AND ARTISTS TO DEDICATE THE WHITNEY MUSEUM OF AMERICAN ART

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Architect Renzo Piano, Director Adam D. Weinberg, and Whitney Trustees Open the New Home for American Art and Artists

Members of The Wooster Group cutting the ribbon at the Dedication Ceremony of The Whitney Museum of American Art in its new location in Downtown Manhattan's Meatpacking Distcrict (Photograph by Filip Wolak and provided by The Whitney Museum of American Art)

Members of The Wooster Group cutting the ribbon at the Dedication Ceremony of The Whitney Museum of American Art in its new location in Downtown Manhattan’s Meatpacking District (Photograph by Filip Wolak and provided by The Whitney Museum of American Art)

The First Lady of the United States  of America Michelle Obama speaking at the dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting of the (new) Whitney Museum of American Art, Thursday, April 30th ((Photograph by Filip Wolak and provided by The Whitney Museum of American Art)

The First Lady of the United States of America Michelle Obama speaking at the dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting of the (new) Whitney Museum of American Art, Thursday, April 30th ((Photograph by Filip Wolak and provided by The Whitney Museum of American Art)

At a festive ceremony held today in downtown Manhattan, First Lady of the United States of America Michelle Obama joined with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to officially open the new Whitney Museum of American Art, now housed in a 220,000-square-foot building set beside the Hudson River at the foot of the High Line elevated park in the Meatpacking District.

(Left to Right) Adam D. Weinberg Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art; Michelle Obama First Lady of the United States of America; The Honorable Bill de Blasio Mayor of the City of New York; and Flora Miller Biddle Honorary Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Whitney Museum of American Art and granddaughter of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney at the dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting of the (new) Whitney Museum of American Art, Thursday, April 30th ((Photograph by Filip Wolak and provided by The Whitney Museum of American Art)

(Left to Right) Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art; Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States of America; The Honorable Bill de Blasio, Mayor of the City of New York; and Flora Miller Biddle
Honorary Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Whitney Museum of American Art and granddaughter of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney at the dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting of the (new) Whitney Museum of American Art, Thursday, April 30th ((Photograph by Filip Wolak and provided by The Whitney Museum of American Art)

In her remarks, First Lady Michelle Obama said, “I fell in love with the building. It is an amazing space…One visit, one performance, one touch, and who knows how you could spark a child’s imagination….Just about every space in this museum is magnificent.  And that’s really one of the joys of this new building so brilliantly designed by Renzo Piano -– the variety of spaces it has for artists to engage and experiment and truly have their work be seen. 

So I really can’t think of a better theme for this inaugural exhibit than “America is Hard to See.”  Because that title isn’t just a statement of fact, it’s a challenge that the Whitney has embraced with open arms –- the challenge of truly seeing America in all of its glory and complexity.  With this exhibit, all of you at the Whitney — the staff, everyone here, all the artists — have asked the question, “How can we truly, fully witness the melting pot of cultures and sensibilities and struggles that make America unlike any other country on earth?”

This is a bold, very hard question.  And this exhibit isn’t trying to provide any kind of definitive answer.  Instead, it’s doing something even more important — it’s inviting us to answer this question for ourselves, each of us reflecting and rethinking our assumptions as we walk through these galleries.  And I think that will be an incredibly powerful experience for anyone who comes here to visit.  But it will be particularly powerful for our young people.

She also touched on the fact that “high” culture in America has also left behind a wide segment of the population who needs it the most: Children in urban areas who thinks that museums and other high art venues are beyond their scope of experience and entry, woefully leaving them behind.

You see, there are so many kids in this country who look at places like museums and concert halls and other cultural centers and they think to themselves, well, that’s not a place for me, for someone who looks like me, for someone who comes from my neighborhood.  In fact, I guarantee you that right now, there are kids living less than a mile from here who would never in a million years dream that they would be welcome in this museum. 

And growing up on the South Side of Chicago, I was one of those kids myself.  So I know that feeling of not belonging in a place like this.  And today, as First Lady, I know how that feeling limits the horizons of far too many of our young people.

And that’s one of the reasons why Barack and I, when we first came to Washington, we vowed to open up the White House to as many young people as possible, especially those who ordinarily wouldn’t have a chance to visit.  So just about every time we host any kind of cultural event, a concert or performance, we ask the performers to come a few hours early and host a special workshop just for our young people. 

The message we’re trying to send is simple.  We’re telling our young people:  The White House is your house.  You belong here just as much as anyone else in this country.  We’re telling them:  Make yourselves at home in this house.  Be inspired by the artists and performers you see.  And start dreaming just a little bigger, start reaching just a little higher for yourself.  

And with this inaugural exhibition, the Whitney is really sending the same message to young people and to people of every background across this country.  You’re telling them that their story is part of the American story, and that they deserve to be seen.  And you’re sending that message not just with the art you display, but with the educational programming you run here.  You’re reaching out to kids from all backgrounds, exposing them to the arts, showing them that they have something to contribute.

And in the end, that’s why I’m here today, and I know that’s why we’re all here today.  I’m here because I believe so strongly in that mission, and because I think that every cultural institution in this country should be doing this kind of outreach and engagement with our young people every single day. Maybe you can discover the next Carmen Herrera, or Archibald Motley, or Edward Hopper, or maybe even the next Barack Obama. That is the power of institutions like the Whitney. They open their doors as wide as possible both to the artists they embrace and to the young people they seek to uplift. That’s what happens. And today I am so proud to be here as we open these doors…I truly cannot wait to see the impact this extraordinary museum will have in the years ahead.

Also speaking at the dedication ceremony were Adam D. Weinberg, the Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney; architect Renzo Piano; and leaders of the Whitney’s Board of Trustees: Co-Chairmen Robert J. Hurst and Brooke Garber Neidich, President Neil G. Bluhm, and Honorary Chairman Flora Miller Biddle, granddaughter of artist and Museum founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney.

The new building returns the Museum to the downtown area where it was founded in 1930. With indoor and outdoor spaces that offer panoramic views east across the city, west across the Hudson River, and south toward the Statue of Liberty, the building doubles the Museum’s previous gallery space, enabling the Whitney for the first time to present exhibitions and programs in the context of the world’s foremost collection of modern and contemporary American art.

New York City Major Bill de Blasio speaking at the dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting of the (new) Whitney Museum of American Art, Thursday, April 30th ((Photograph by Filip Wolak and provided by The Whitney Museum of American Art)

New York City Major Bill de Blasio speaking at the dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting of the (new) Whitney Museum of American Art, Thursday, April 30th ((Photograph by Filip Wolak and provided by The Whitney Museum of American Art)

New York City Major Bill de Blasio said, “We already knew we were the mecca of the art world but just in case we needed to make it clearer, this museum does it. As New Yorkers, we are extraordinarily proud. We’re proud that people from around the world come to experience our cultural life.

Adam D. Weinberg, the Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney speaking at the dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting of the (new) Whitney Museum of American Art, Thursday, April 30th ((Photograph by Filip Wolak and provided by The Whitney Museum of American Art)

Adam D. Weinberg, the Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney speaking at the dedication ceremony and ribbon-cutting of the (new) Whitney Museum of American Art, Thursday, April 30th ((Photograph by Filip Wolak and provided by The Whitney Museum of American Art)

The Museum’s director, Adam D. Weinberg, stated, “Our architect, Renzo Piano, has done an extraordinary job merging the private with the civic: creating spaces that reaffirm one’s humanity through scale and material. He has connected the world of art within, with the experience of the world without— making room for contemplation of art, and of life. In short, in collaboration with the talented, generous, and missionary staff of the Whitney Museum — notable among them Donna De Salvo our Deputy Director for Programs and Chief Curator —they have created a museum that exemplifies and furthers Gertrude’s vision of a home for contemporary art and artists —remembering that even historical works on view were contemporary in their time and, presented effectively as the curatorial staff has done here today, can be as potent as the day they were made….The Whitney has always believed in the importance of the present—the capacity for artists to act in and effect the life of our times, to alter perceptions in such ways that might enable one to change the course of history…We are here for those artists as they are here for us. Our new home was designed for and is now re-consecrated in this belief. This is our gift to our city, our nation, and the world as it was Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney’s in her time.” Continue reading

The Art of Fontainebleau Miami Beach Collection – Legendary Hotel’s Evolving Visual Art Collection with Art from James Turrell, Ai WeiWei and Tracey Emin, Among Others

A spectacular blend of Golden Era glamour and modern luxury, the Fontainebleau Miami Beach merges striking design, contemporary art, music, fashion and technology into a vibrant guest experience.  A revered landmark and symbol of style and sophistication since its opening in 1954, Fontainebleau Miami Beach boasts 1,504 guest rooms and suites appointed with lavish amenities and iMacs; 12 restaurants and lounges including three AAA Four Diamond signature restaurants 6fa6b84f08610848eb51cdcef53b7e86Gotham Steak, Scarpetta and Hakkasan; two dynamic nightlife venues including the world-famous LIV Nightclub; the 40,000-square-foot Lapis spa with mineral-rich water therapies and invigorating treatments; a dramatic oceanfront pool-scape offering lush cabanas and sun loungers; and is home to BleauLive, the innovative concert series that combines intimate performances with memorable weekend escapes.

Since opening in 1954, The Fontainebleau Miami Beach has been an icon of Miami style and design, and a revered architectural landmark in the city.  Following a $1 billion renovation and expansion in 2008, the hotel, under the direction of Jacquelyn Soffer, has since cultivated a world-class visual arts collection that will debut a commissioned piece from British artist Tracey Emin during Art Basel Miami Beach in December. In the coming month, the program will be formally unveiled as The Art of Fontainebleau Miami Beach. Designed to attract, entertain and educate its guests, Art Basel Miami Beachwill also provide global recognition of Fontainebleau’s brand as an innovative force in the visual arts.

Soffer is a natural fit to spearhead The Art of Fontainebleau. Her expertise in bringing unique installations to the public is evident through her work at the nearby Aventura Mall.  Soffer is a principal of Turnberry Associates, a company with holdings that include both Fontainebleau Miami Beach and Aventura Mall. Recognizing the positive impact that art has on the community, Aventura Mall embarked on a cultural initiative named Turnberry for the Arts, led by Soffer. Combining contemporary art and education, Turnberry for the Arts features works throughout the mall by renowned international and South Florida artists in a variety of mediums. On display are installations by Louise Bourgeois, Donald Baechler, Gary Hume, Julian Opie, Jorge Pardo, Jaume Plensa, Lawrence Weiner, Daniel Arsham, Tom Otterness and Friends With You.

fontainebleau-miami

Bringing her expertise, personal relationships and a passion for contemporary art to her role at Fontainebleau, Soffer has curated the resort’s multi-million dollar collection with work that is unique, original and site-specific. With care and attention paid to the integration of each piece into the resort’s total architecture and design, The Art of Fontainebleau Collection is defined by a select number of world-class visual artists and thinkers, each with a significant impact on the look and feel of Fontainebleau.

The opportunity to build an art collection within a space that is itself a work of art is incredibly rewarding.  The resort provides such an iconic backdrop that I wanted to make sure the art didn’t upstage the environment and at the same time, that the design of the hotel didn’t take away from the impact of the art,” noted Soffer. “I also wanted to give Fontainebleau’s global guests and Miami locals the chance to see some of the foremost talents of contemporary art at every turn during their visit,” continued Soffer.

The Art of Fontainebleau Collection includes more than 20 pieces, with the next acquisition to debut in December during a special event with the artist during Art Basel Miami Beach. Fontainebleau along with The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), North Miami, commissioned British artist Tracey Emin to create new limited-edition works to commemorate her first U.S. museum exhibition Tracey Emin: Angel Without You. The items, which include a limited-edition beach towel, flip-flop sandals and T-shirt, will be available for purchase at the MOCA Shop and at Fontainebleau Miami Beach during Art Basel Miami Beach week in December.  In addition, to celebrate the collaboration, Fontainebleau Miami Beach has acquired the neon work I Followed You to The Sun, (2013) by Emin for installation at the resort.

Jacquelyn Soffer curates legendary hotel's evolving visual art collection. The latest installation Fontainebleau Miami Beach acquired includes the neon work "I Followed You to The Sun," (2013) by Tracey Emin, which will debut at the resort in December during a special event with the artist during Art Basel Miami Beach.  (PRNewsFoto/Fontainebleau Miami Beach)

Jacquelyn Soffer curates legendary hotel’s evolving visual art collection. The latest installation Fontainebleau Miami Beach acquired includes the neon work “I Followed You to The Sun,” (2013) by Tracey Emin, which will debut at the resort in December during a special event with the artist during Art Basel Miami Beach. (PRNewsFoto/Fontainebleau Miami Beach)

The resort is currently developing a booklet with a self-guided tour for The Art of Fontainebleau Collection. It will include the details of each work, their location in the resort and significance to the property to educate guests on Fontainebleau’s collection. Highlights of Fontainebleau’s permanent artists and works on display include: Continue reading