On View Now: “Private Lives Public Spaces” at The Museum of Modern Art

“Professional pictures must appeal to mass interest and mass interest does not always embrace the things that ought to be known. On the other hand, the amateur has no necessity for appealing to mass interest. He is free to reproduce and record any action his fancy or fancy of a friend may dictate.”

— Hiram Percy Maxim, editor Amateur Cinema League, December 1926i

Home movies. Pierce family. USA. 1958-63. Digital preservation of 16mm film. Courtesy the Museum of Modern Art

Home movies are a form of personal filmmaking made to entertain intimate audiences of family and friends at private screenings. Since the introduction of small-gauge, portable cameras in 1922 heralded the unofficial birth of amateur moviemaking, the many thousands of reels of non-theatrical film shot by individuals around the world amounts to perhaps the largest body of work on film produced in the twentieth century. Commonly orphaned by those who made them, sold for stock footage and used as documentation, less attention has been given to what home movies represent as an alternative to theatrical film and what they share with the work of avant-garde filmmakers.

Home movies. Jarret family. USA. 1958-67. Digital preservation of Standard 8mm film. Courtesy the Museum of Modern Art.

The Yoshiko and Akio Morita Galleries host Private Lives Public Spaces (October 21, 2019 – July 01, 2020), the Museum’s first large-scale exhibition of home movies and amateur films drawn exclusively from its collection. This gallery presentation of largely unseen, privately produced works will explore the connection between artist’s cinema, amateur movies, and family filmmaking since the 1923 introduction of small-gauge film stock heralded the unofficial birth of affordable home moviemaking. The Museum’s archival holdings of the genre represent a remarkable range of creativity by artists, celebrities, world travelers, and the public at large. This presentation of moving image work offers a renewed perspective on the creative strategies that amateur filmmaking shares with experimental and avant-garde cinema of the 20th century. In conjunction with the gallery installation, MoMA’s Department of Education will stage a Home Movie Day comprising three Library of Congress National Film Registry programs.

“Like the amateur still photographer, the amateur film-maker can devote himself to capturing the poetry and beauty of places and events and, since he is using a movie camera, he can explore the vast world of the beauty of movement.” — Maya Deren, “Amateur Versus Professional” Film Culture 1965iii

Home movies. Jarret family. USA. 1958-67. Digital preservation of Standard 8mm film. Courtesy the Museum of Modern Art.

Organized by Ron Magliozzi, Curator, Brittany Shaw, Curatorial Assistant, Katie Trainor, Collections Manager, Peter Williamson, Preservation Officer, and Ashley Swinnerton, Collection Specialist, Department of Film

Featuring works dating from 1907 to 1996, Private Lives Public Spaces is the Museum’s first major exhibition of home movies and amateur films drawn exclusively from its collection. Democratic, personal, and unregulated, this “people’s cinema” is viewed as a precursor to social media, and MoMA’s installation is predicated on the expanded opportunities for display provided by digital media and the fresh appreciation that viewers bring to self-expression in present-day moving image culture.

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MoMA Announces Félix Fénéon: The Anarchist And The Avantgarde—From Signac To Matisse And Beyond, An Exhibition Highlighting Fénéon’s Role In The Development Of Modern Art, In Spring 2020

Exhibition Brings Together Some 150 Works That the Forward-Looking Art Critic, Dealer, and Collector Championed, Admired, and Collected

The Museum of Modern Art announces Félix Fénéon: The Anarchist and the Avant-Garde—From Signac to Matisse and Beyond, the first exhibition devoted to the influential French art critic, editor, publisher, dealer, and collector Félix Fénéon (1861–1944), on view from March 22 through July 25, 2020. Though largely unknown today and always discreetly behind the scenes in his own era, Fénéon played a key role in the careers of leading artists from Georges Seurat and Paul Signac to Pierre Bonnard and Henri Matisse, each of whom is featured prominently in the exhibition. Félix Fénéon: The Anarchist and the Avant-Garde—From Signac to Matisse and Beyond traces Fénéon’s career through approximately 150 works that highlight his initiatives to help artists via his reviews, exhibitions, and acquisitions; his commitment to anarchism; his literary engagements; and his contributions to the recognition of non-Western art. Bringing together a selection of major works that Fénéon admired, championed, and collected, alongside contemporary letters, documents, and photographs, the exhibition underscores the tremendous impact he had on the development of modernism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Paul Signac. Opus 217. Against the Enamel of a Background Rhythmic with Beats and Angles, Tones, and Tints, Portrait of M. Félix Fénéon in 1890. 1890. Oil on canvas. 29 x 36 1/2″ (73.5 x 92.5 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller, 1991. Photo by Paige Knight. © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

The centerpiece of the exhibition is Paul Signac’s Opus 217. Against the Enamel of a Background Rhythmic with Beats and Angles, Tones, and Tints, Portrait of M. Félix Fénéon in 1890 (1890) – an icon of Neo-Impressionism and a masterpiece in MoMA‘s collection. In this dramatic portrait, Signac pays homage to Fénéon’s distinctive profile and goatee, dandyish attire, and generous but enigmatic personality. The spiral patterns in the background set into motion the scientific color theories that Signac and the Neo-Impressionists used to develop the technique of Pointillism, which involved applying tiny dabs of color that mix in the eye of the viewer. It was a young Fénéon who had coined the term “Neo-Impressionism” a few years earlier, in 1886, to recognize the new style pioneered by Seurat and Signac. Over the next five decades, he would continue to be their most ardent, lifelong champion.

Henri Matisse. Interior with a Young Girl (Girl Reading). Paris 1905–06. Oil on canvas. 28 5/8 x 23 1/2″ (72.7 x 59.7 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller, 1991. Photo by Paige Knight. © 2019 Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

The exhibition unfolds across several galleries organized as distinct chapters in Fénéon’s multifaceted career. While working as a clerk in the War Office in Paris, Fénéon was secretly active in anarchist circles, and after the bombing of a Parisian restaurant in 1894 he was arrested, imprisoned, and tried on suspicion of conspiracy. Paintings, photographs, and prints will attest to the tumult of the period and the anarchist fervor within the artistic and literary circles in which Fénéon moved. After his acquittal, Fénéon worked as editor-in-chief of La Revue Blanche, a leading journal of art, literature, and politics. He became a champion of the artists most closely allied with the publication, including Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard, and Félix Vallotton, who were known as the Nabis. One of the highlights of the exhibition is Vallotton’s Félix Fénéon at La Revue Blanche (1896), a luminous canvas depicting the revered editor hunched over a stack of manuscripts he is editing by lamplight.

Georges-Pierre Seurat. Study for “A Sunday on La Grande Jatte”. 1884. Oil on canvas. 27 3/4 x 41″ (70.5 x 104.1 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Bequest of Sam A. Lewisohn, 1951
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Exhibition Of Large-Scale, Immersive Installations to be Highlight of the Newly Expanded Museum of Modern Art, New York (MoMA)

The Museum of Modern Art will inaugurate its latest transformation on New York City’s Wesr 53rd Street with Surrounds: 11 Installations, opening in The Steven and Alexandra Cohen Center for Special Exhibitions, in The Peggy and David Rockefeller building, on October 21, 2019. The presentation, spanning the entire sixth floor, presents 11 watershed installations by living artists from the past two decades, all drawn from the Museum’s collection and on view at MoMA for the first time. Each installation will occupy its own gallery, providing an individualized, immersive experience.

Surrounds is organized by Quentin Bajac, former Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz Chief Curator of Photography, Christian Rattemeyer, Harvey S. Shipley Miller Associate Curator for Drawings and Prints, Yasmil Raymond, Associate Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, Sean Anderson, Associate Curator, Department of Architecture and Design, and Joshua Siegel, Curator, Department of Film, with the assistance of Lucy Gallun, Associate Curator, Department of Photography, Erica Papernik-Shimizu, Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance, Arièle Dionne-Krosnick, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design, and Taylor Walsh, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints.

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. The Killing Machine. 2007. Pneumatics, robotics, electromagnetic beaters, dentist chair, electric guitar, CRT monitors, computer, various control systems, lights, and sound (approx. 5 min.). 9′ 10″ x 13′ 1″ x 8′ 2″ (118 x 157 x 98 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the Julia Stoschek Foundation, Düsseldorf, and the Dunn Bequest. © 2019 Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. Photo: Seber Ugarte & Lorena López. Courtesy the artists and Luhring Augustine, New York.

Surrounds includes work by Jennifer Allora (American, b. 1974) and Guillermo Calzadilla (Cuban, b. 1971), Sadie Benning (American, b. 1973), Janet Cardiff (Canadian, b. 1957) and George Bures Miller (Canadian, b. 1960), Sou Fujimoto (Japanese, b. 1971), Sheila Hicks (American, b. 1934), Arthur Jafa (American, b. 1960), Mark Manders (Dutch, b. 1968), Rivane Neuenschwander (Brazilian, b. 1967), Dayanita Singh (Indian, b. 1961), Hito Steyerl (German, b. 1966), and Sarah Sze (American, b. 1969).

Mark Manders. Room with Chairs and Factory. 2002-2008.Wood, iron, rubber, painted polyester, painted ceramic, painted canvas, unpainted canvas, painted wig, chair, and offset print on paper. 125 1/4 x 94 1/2 x 159 1/2 inches; 318 x 240 x 405 cm (factory and figure), 29 1/2 x 57 1/2 x 36 inches; 74.9 x 146.1 x 91.4 cm (chair and newspapers).The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Committee on Painting and Sculpture Fund. © 2019 Mark Manders, courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York / Los Angeles

Each work included in the exhibition was conceived out of different individual circumstances—as a contribution to a biennial, as an element of a larger ongoing body of work, as a response to a classic work of art history, or as a stand-alone work unrelated to others—but the installations are united in their ambition and scope, marking decisive shifts in the careers of their makers and the broader field of contemporary art.

Allora & Calzadilla. Fault Lines. 2013. Ten metamorphic and igneous rocks, live performance by two boy soprano singers. Dimensions variable. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Bob Rennie. © 2019 Allora & Calzadilla. Installation view: Allora & Calzadilla: Fault Lines, Gladstone Gallery, New York, September 13 – October 11, 2014. Courtesy the artists and Gladstone Gallery, New York and Brussels. Photography by David Regen

The exhibition is made possible by Bank of America, MoMA’s opening partner.

Generous funding is provided by Agnes Gund.

Leadership contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund, in support of the Museum’s collection and collection exhibitions, are generously provided by the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, Eva and Glenn Dubin, The Sandra and Tony Tamer Exhibition Fund, Alice and Tom Tisch, The David Rockefeller Council, Anne Dias, Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Kenneth C. Griffin, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro, The Keith Haring Foundation, and The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art.

Major contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund are provided by the Estate of Ralph L. Riehle, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, Karen and Gary Winnick, The Marella and Giovanni Agnelli Fund for Exhibitions, Clarissa Alcock and Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Agnes Gund, and Oya and Bülent Eczacıbaşı.

MoMA Audio is supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Pope.L Comes to MoMA in An Exhibition Of Foregrounding Landmark Performances, Videos, Objects, And Installations

The Museum of Modern Art announces member: Pope.L, 1978–2001, an exhibition of landmark performances and related videos, objects, and installations by the multidisciplinary artist Pope.L, on view from October 21, 2019, through January 2020. Pope.L (b. 1955) is a consummate thinker and provocateur whose practice across multiple mediums—including painting, drawing, installation, sculpture, theater, and video—utilizes abjection, humor, endurance, language, and absurdity to confront and undermine rigid systems of belief. Spanning works made primarily from 1978 to 2001, the exhibition features videos, photographs, sculptural elements, ephemera, and live actions. member: Pope.L, 1978–2001 is organized by Stuart Comer, Chief Curator, Department of Media and Performance, with Danielle A. Jackson, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance.

The Museum of Modern Art logo

Works in the exhibition include those rooted in experimental theater, such as Egg Eating Contest (1990), Aunt Jenny Chronicles (1991), and Eracism (2000), as well as street interventions such as Thunderbird Immolation a.k.a. Meditation Square Piece (1978), Times Square Crawl a.k.a. Meditation Square Piece (1978), Tompkins Square Crawl a.k.a. How Much Is That Nigger in the Window (1991), ATM Piece (1996), and The Great White Way: 22 miles, 9 years, 1 street (2001–09), among others. Together, these works highlight the role performance has played within an emphatically interdisciplinary career that has established Pope.L as a critical and influential force in contemporary art. Additionally, these early works form a snapshot of the profound social, cultural, and economic shifts in New York City throughout the 1980s and ’90s.

Pope.L. The Great White Way, 22 miles, 9 years, 1 street. 2000-09. Performance. © Pope. L. Courtesy of the artists and Mitchell – Innes & Nash, New York.

MoMA will publish a comprehensive, fully illustrated catalogue to accompany the exhibition. Presenting a detailed study of these investigations, as well as overarching topics Pope.L has explored throughout his career, the publication will establish key details for each work and articulate how the artist continues to think about the legacy of these ephemeral projects unfolding in time.

Pope. L. Thunderbird Immolation a.k.a Meditation Square Pieces New York, NY 1978. Digital c-print on gold fiber silk paper. 9 by 6 in. 22.86 by 15.24 cm. © Pope. L. Courtesy of the artist and Mitchell – Innes & Nash, New York.

MoMA’s presentation is part of Pope.L: Instigation, Aspiration, Perspiration, a trio of complementary exhibitions organized by MoMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and Public Art Fund. Utilizing both public and private spaces, the expansive presentation will address many elements of the artist’s oeuvre, from seminal early works to a monumental new installation and a new performative work inspired by the artist’s iconic crawl series.

Pope. L. Eating the Wall Street Journal (3rd Version). Sculpture Center, New York, NY. 2000, Digital c-print on gold fiber silk paper. 6 by 9 in. 15.24 by 22.86 cm. © Pope. L. Courtesy of the artist and Mitchell – Innes & Nash, New York.

The exhibition is presented as part of The Hyundai Card Performance Series. Major support is provided by The Jill and Peter Kraus Endowed Fund for Contemporary Exhibitions and The Jon Stryker Endowment. Additional support is provided by The Friends of Education of The Museum of Modern Art, Nancy and David Frej, Barbara Karp Shuster, and Ann and Mel Schaffer.

Pope. L. How Much is that Nigger in the Window a.k.a Tompkins Square Crawl. New York, NY 1991. Digital c-print on gold fiber silk paper. 10 by 15 in. 25.4 by 38.1 cm. © Pope. L. Courtesy of the artists and Mitchell – Innes & Nash, New York.

Leadership contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund, in support of the Museum’s collection and collection exhibitions, are generously provided by the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, Eva and Glenn Dubin, The Sandra and Tony Tamer Exhibition Fund, Alice and Tom Tisch, The David Rockefeller Council, Anne Dias, Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Kenneth C. Griffin, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro, The Keith Haring Foundation, and The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art.

Major contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund are provided by the Estate of Ralph L. Riehle, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, Karen and Gary Winnick, The Marella and Giovanni Agnelli Fund for Exhibitions, Clarissa Alcock and Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Agnes Gund, and Oya and Bülent Eczacıbaşı.

The Whitney To Present Rachel Harrison’s First Full-Scale Survey

Since the early 1990s, Rachel Harrison (b. 1966) has combined pop-cultural, political, and art-historical references in her work, creating a distinctive visual language that is multi-layered and full of mordant wit. Rachel Harrison Life Hack is the first full-scale survey to track the development of Harrison’s career over the past twenty-five years, assembling approximately one hundred works, including sculptures, photographs, drawings, and installations, ranging in date from 1991 to the present.

Harrison’s complex works incorporate everything from consumer goods to cement, with objects both made and found. Cans of olives, remote controls, NASCAR paraphernalia, and a restaurant meal appear in configurations that open up simultaneous and unexpected layers of meaning. In her practice, Harrison brings together the breadth of art history, the impurities of politics, and the artifacts of pop and celebrity culture, conjuring unexpected, wryly humorous combinations and atmospheres that suggest allegories of the contemporary United States. A remarkable cast of characters appear in her work, ranging from Amy Winehouse to Abraham Lincoln, Mel Gibson to Marcel Duchamp, David Bowie to Angela Merkel, Hannah Wilke to Buckethead, and Bo Derek to Al Gore.

The exhibition, organized by Elisabeth Sussman and David Joselit, with Kelly Long, will fill the Museum’s fifth-floor galleries, October 25, 2019–January 12, 2020.

Rachel Harrison’s (b. 1966) first full-scale survey will track the development of her career over the past twenty-five years, incorporating room-size installations, autonomous sculpture, photography, and drawing. 

Scott Rothkopf, Senior Deputy Director and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator, remarked: “Although Life Hack gathers together the most significant examples of Harrison’s art from across her career, she has brilliantly approached the exhibition itself almost as an entirely new work of art. Visitors will be immersed in a sequence of dramatic sculptural environments that unfold across the Whitney’s sprawling clear-span gallery, which was designed to inspire precisely such bold experimentation.”

As Sussman writes in her catalogue essay (entitled “Rachel Harrison: Two or Three Things I Know About Her” after a film by Jean-Luc Godard), “From the beginning, Harrison was omnivorous. Working on the principle that art should include everything, she made things and environments, she found stuff and collected it. Nor did she limit herself to a specific medium.” Sussman further comments: “Harrison’s importance lies in that she has absorbed commodity and media culture into a paradigm of object making. She has consistently kept at the task of making meaning out of modern-day life for thirty years, and her contribution to contemporary art is singular.

Co-curator Joselit noted, “Drawing on past sculptural practice, from a wide and seemingly contradictory range of precedents including Michael Asher, Mike Kelley, Adrian Piper, and Fred Sandback, Harrison de-familiarizes museum space and exhibition practices. By playing with the idea of pedestal and wall and often exploiting the ad hoc qualities of assemblage, she undermines the sense that a work or an installation is ever finished by calling attention to how it is framed.

The installation is loosely chronological, beginning with a gallery devoted to works from the 1990s, then moving into more thematic and atmospheric spaces punctuated by smaller galleries devoted to specific bodies of work (a selection of Harrison’s Amy Winehouse drawings, for example). Two large galleries in the exhibition engage with the idea of civic space and monumentality, providing complex, evocative environments for Harrison’s work that are further activated by the presence of viewers.

Image credit: Rachel Harrison, Alexander the Great, 2007. Wood, chicken wire, polystyrene, cement, acrylic, mannequin, Jeff Gordon waste basket, plastic Abraham Lincoln mask, sunglasses, fabric, necklace, and two unidentified items, 87 x 91 x 40 inches (221 x 231.1 x 101.6 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Committee on Painting and Sculpture Funds, 2007; courtesy the artist and Greene Naftali, New York. Photograph by Jean Vong

Rachel Harrison lives and works in New York. Recent solo exhibitions include Prasine, Greene Naftali, New York (2017); Perth Amboy, The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2016); Depth Jump to Second Box, Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin (2016); Three Young Framers, Regen Projects, Los Angeles (2015); Gloria: Rachel Harrison & Robert Rauschenberg, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland (2015); Fake Titel, Kestnergesellschaft, Hannover (2013); Fake Titel: Turquoise-Stained Altars for Burger Turner, S.M.A.K., Ghent (2013); Villeperdue, Galerie Meyer Kainer, Vienna (2013); Consider the Lobster, CCS Bard/Hessel Museum of Art, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (2009); HAYCATION, Portikus, Frankfurt (2009); Conquest of the Useless, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2010); and Lay of the Land, Le Consortium, Dijon (2008).

Her work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Art Institute of Chicago; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate, London; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and Museum Ludwig, Cologne, among many others. Harrison’s work has appeared in two Whitney Biennials, in 2002 and 2008, and her work was also included in America Is Hard to See, the Whitney’s inaugural exhibition in its downtown home in 2015.

The catalogue contains essays by Sussman and Joselit, as well as by Johanna Burton, Darby English, Maggie Nelson, and Alexander Nemerov. This publication, designed by Rachel Harrison and Joseph Logan, explores twenty-five years of Harrison’s practice and is the first comprehensive monograph on Harrison in nearly a decade. Its centerpiece is an in-depth plate section, which doubles as a chronology of Harrison’s major works, series, and exhibitions. Objects are illustrated with multiple views and details, and accompanied by short texts. This thorough approach elucidates Harrison’s complicated, eclectic oeuvre—in which she integrates found materials with handmade sculptural elements, upends traditions of museum display, and injects quotidian objects with a sense of strangeness. Published by the Whitney Museum of American Art and distributed by Yale University Press.

Major support for Rachel Harrison Life Hack is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Whitney’s National Committee.

Generous support is provided by Candy and Michael Barasch and The Morris A. Hazan Family Foundation, Sueyun and Gene Locks, and Susan and Larry Marx. Significant support is provided by Constance R. Caplan, Fotene Demoulas and Tom Coté, Krystyna Doerfler, The Keith Haring Foundation Exhibition Fund, Ashley Leeds and Christopher Harland, Han Lo, Diane and Adam E. Max, and Chara Schreyer. Additional support is provided by Eleanor Cayre, Suzanne and Bob Cochran, The Cowles Charitable Trust, Rebecca and Martin Eisenberg, and Emily Rauh Pulitzer. Generous exhibition production support is provided by Greene Naftali, New York, with additional support from Regen Projects, Los Angeles.

The Museum Of Modern Art Announces Sur Moderno: Journeys Of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps De Cisneros Gift

Major Exhibition at the Opening of New MoMA Will Display Over 100 Important Works by Latin American Artists

The Museum of Modern Art announces Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction―The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift, a major exhibition drawn primarily from the paintings, sculptures, and works on paper donated to the Museum by the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros between 1997 and 2016.

Since its founding in 1929, The Museum of Modern Art has collected, exhibited, and studied the art of Latin America. Today, MoMA’s collection includes more than 5,000 works of modern and contemporary art by artists from Latin America distributed across its six curatorial departments, representing important figures in early modernism, Expressionism, Surrealism, abstraction, architecture, and Conceptual and contemporary art.

Alfredo Hlito (Argentine, 1923–1993). Ritmos cromáticos III (Chromatic Rhythms III), 1949. Oil on canvas, 39 3/8 × 39 3/8″ (100 × 100 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund

On view from October 21, 2019, through March 14, 2020, Sur moderno celebrates the arrival of the most important collection of abstract and concrete art from Latin America by dedicating an entire suite of galleries on the Museum’s third floor to the display of artists from Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina, and Uruguay.

Lygia Clark (Brazilian, 1920–1988). Contra relevo no. 1 (Counter Relief no. 1). 1958. Synthetic polymer paint on wood, 55 1/2 × 55 1/2 × 1 5/16″ (141 × 141 × 3.3 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Promised gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund. Courtesy of “The World of Lygia Clark” Cultural Association

The exhibition highlights the work of Lygia Clark, Gego, Raúl Lozza, Hélio Oiticica, Jesús Rafael Soto, and Rhod Rothfuss, among others, focusing on the concept of transformation: a radical reinvention of the art object and a renewal of the social environment through art and design. The exhibition is also anchored by a selection of archival materials that situate the works within their local contexts. Sur moderno is organized by Inés Katzenstein, Curator of Latin American Art and Director of the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Research Institute for the Study of Art from Latin America, The Museum of Modern Art, and consulting curator María Amalia García, Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET)–Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Argentina, with Karen Grimson, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings and Prints, The Museum of Modern Art.

María Freire (Uruguayan, 1917–2015). Untitled. 1954. Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 × 48 1/16″ (92 × 122 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund in honor of Gabriel Pérez‑Barreiro

The exhibition is divided into two main sections based on the concept of transformation. The first section, “Artworks as Artifacts, Artworks as Manifestos,” presents a group of works that subverted the conventional formats of painting and sculpture. Cuts, folds, articulated objects, cut-out frames, and experiments that question the autonomy of the art object are some examples of these artists’ material explorations. One of the first works visitors encounter in the exhibition, Willys de Castro’s Active Object (1961), fuses the materiality of painting with the principles of free-standing sculpture, inviting the viewer to circle around a painted canvas. Another work in this section, Gyula Kosice’s Articulated Mobile Sculpture (1948), questions the grounds of traditional sculpture by combining strips of brass to create a movable structure that defies classification.

Hélio Oiticica (Brazilian, 1937–1980). Relevo neoconcreto (Neoconcrete Relief) 1960. Oil on wood, 37 7/8 × 51 1/4″ (96 × 130 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros in honor of Gary Garrels. © Projeto Hélio Oiticica

The exhibition’s inclusion of Spatial Construction no. 12 (c. 1920) by Aleksandr Rodchenko highlights the influence of Russian Constructivism on South American art. Similarly, images of Piet Mondrian’s works were widely circulated and had a great impact on the development of abstraction in the region. His Broadway Boogie Woogie (1942–43), on view in the exhibition, inspired investigations of kineticism among artists such as Jesús Rafael Soto, whose Double Transparency (1956) is an attempt to transform the two-dimensionality of Mondrian’s painting into a three-dimensional experience.

Lygia Pape (Brazilian, 1927–2004). Untitled. 1956. Acrylic on wood, 13 3/4 × 13 3/4 × 3 1/8″ (35 × 35 × 8 cm). The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Patricia Phelps de Cisneros through the Latin American and Caribbean Fund in honor of Sharon Rockefeller. Courtesy of Projeto Lygia Pape

In the second section, “Modern as Abstract,” the language of abstraction is displayed as both a product of and a catalyst for the transformation of the artists’ surroundings. The geometrical principles of abstract painting carried over into the everyday, where artists and architects recognized one another as allies, leading to a shared operation and set of ideals. Here, María Freire’s Untitled (1954), for example, is displayed alongside archival materials and works from MoMA’s Architecture and Design collection, in an exploration of public sculptural projects and furniture design.

The final part of the exhibition is dedicated to the grid, one of modern art’s central motifs of experimentation. Gego’s Square Reticularea 71/6 (1971) and Hélio Oiticica’s Painting 9 (1959) are two examples of works in the exhibition that approached the transformation and expansion of the rational grid in different ways. Oiticica disrupted the strict geometric system with his rhythmically arranged rectangles, while Gego warps and deconstructs the reticular structure.

Over the last 25 years, the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros has donated more than 200 works by Latin American artists to The Museum of Modern Art. In addition to those generous donations, in 2016 the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros established the Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Research Institute for the Study of Art from Latin America at MoMA. The Institute’s programming includes fellowships for scholars, curators and artists, and an extended research initiative that contributes to a series of public programs hosted by the Museum, as well as symposia in Latin America, and publications in digital and printed format.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, with contributions from such prominent scholars in the field as María Amalia García, Irene V. Small, and Mónica Amor. The volume also includes a conversation between Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry, and a dialogue between Inés Katzenstein, the Museum’s current curator of Latin American art, and Luis Pérez-Oramas, who, in addition to serving as MoMA’s Latin American art curator between 2003 and 2017, was one of the principal curators involved in the development of the Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros.

SPONSORSHIP:

Generous funding for the exhibition is provided by Agnes Gund.

Additional support is provided by Adriana Cisneros de Griffin and Nicholas Griffin.

Leadership contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund, in support of the Museum’s collection and collection exhibitions, are generously provided by the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Mimi and Peter Haas Fund, Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, 3 Eva and Glenn Dubin, The Sandra and Tony Tamer Exhibition Fund, Alice and Tom Tisch, The David Rockefeller Council, The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Anne Dias, Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Kenneth C. Griffin, The Keith Haring Foundation, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, and Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro.

Major contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund are provided by the Estate of Ralph L. Riehle, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, Karen and Gary Winnick, The Marella and Giovanni Agnelli Fund for Exhibitions, Clarissa Alcock and Edgar Bronfman, Jr., Agnes Gund, and Oya and Bülent Eczacıbaşı.

Christie’s Announces Details of Exhibitions, Sales, Tickets and Catalogues for the Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller

May 1-11 Online Sale | May 8, 9 & 10 Saleroom Auctions

First look at complete collection of more than 1,000 items of decorative art and 550 works of fine art:

  • Two evening sales of European, American and Latin American masterpieces
  • Online sales of Fine and Decorative Arts across eight collecting themes
  • All estate proceeds to benefit philanthropy

Public highlights exhibitions continue around the globe

  • Los Angeles April 6 –12
  • Beijing April 6 – 7
  • Shanghai April 10 –11
  • New York April 28 – May 8

Christie’s announces final details of the most anticipated art world event of the spring season: the sale of the magnificent Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller. All of the estate proceeds will be directed to a dozen philanthropies Peggy and David Rockefeller supported during their lifetimes, for the benefit of continuing scientific research, higher education, support for the arts, sustainable economic development, and land conservation initiatives, among others.christies_logo_black-hr_mdtv71b

New confirmed details include the complete schedule of live and online sales, illustrated catalogs available online, remaining US and Asia highlights tours and locations, and ticket information to attend the special extended public exhibition of the Collection at Rockefeller Center in New York from April 28 – May 8. The global tour and exhibitions are presented in partnership with VistaJet. In total, the Collection is expected to realize in excess of $500 million. Before now, the most valuable collection ever previously offered at auction was the Collection of Yves Saint Laurent et Pierre Bergé in 2009 at Christie’s Paris, which achieved more than US$400 million.

The Collection of Peggy and David Rockefeller comprises approximately 1,550 auction lots, including one of the largest and most important collections of decorative arts to come to market in decades. Christie’s will offer 900 lots via live saleroom auctions at its Rockefeller Center site on May 8, 9 and 10. A companion online sale – which opens for bidding worldwide on May 1– will feature an additional 650 lots organized across eight collecting themes, with estimates ranging from $100 to $10,000. Through this unique integration of sale channels, Christie’s brings traditional decorative arts to the forefront, leveraging a sophisticated digital marketing approach and ‘guest-stylist’ partnerships with top tastemakers, interior designers, and social media influencers.

Marc Porter, Christie’s Chairman, Americas stated: “This rich and diverse collection of fine and decorative art is unified by Peggy and David Rockefeller’s love of beauty and their unerring eye for exceptional quality and craftsmanship in design. The size and scope of this great collection has inspired us to innovate new approaches to our traditional sale model and leverage our world-class online sale platform as only Christie’s can. The result is a dynamic week of saleroom auctions, including not one but two Evening Sales of masterworks from European, American and Latin American artists and a stellar offering of Decorative Arts across a range of categories. Our online sale, which is organized along the themes and motifs that resonated most with Peggy and David Rockefeller, brings this Collection to life in a fresh and exciting way, and is designed to make it both easy and enjoyable for collectors from all around the world to participate in this singular philanthropic event.

Following the main auction week, Christie’s will offer a selection of 19 lots of jewelry from the family collection as a highlight of its Magnificent Jewels sale in New York on June 12. The jewelry will be exhibited as part of the extended exhibition in New York and the highlights tour to Los Angeles.

In keeping with Peggy and David Rockefeller’s wishes, Estate proceeds from the Collection sales at Christie’s will be directed to the following philanthropies, which the Rockefellers supported throughout their lifetimes: American Farmland Trust, Americas Society/Council of the Americas, Council on Foreign Relations, the David Rockefeller Fund, Harvard University, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Mount Desert Land and Garden Preserve, the Museum of Modern Art, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Rockefeller University, and The Stone Barns Restoration Corporation – Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, among others.

LOS ANGELES TOUR

West Coast collectors and jewelry enthusiasts will get a first look at the Collection highlights between April 6 and 12 when Christie’s brings a selection of masterpieces and Rockefeller family jewels to its flagship West Coast gallery in Beverly Hills. The touring exhibition was curated with the tastes and interests of Christie’s clients in mind, with rare works by American artists Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, and Willem de Kooning exhibited alongside masterpieces by Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, and Paul Gauguin. In addition, Christie’s LA will unveil Diego Rivera’s rarely-exhibited large-scale masterwork, The Rivals, painted in 1931 aboard the ship carrying Rivera and Frida Kahlo to New York. A collection of jewelry owned by Peggy Rockefeller will be included in the Los Angeles previews, featuring signed pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels, Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co., and Raymond Yard, among others.

Porter further added: “This rich and diverse collection of fine and decorative art is unified by Peggy and David Rockefeller’s love of beauty and their unerring eye for exceptional quality and craftsmanship in design. The size and scope of this great collection have inspired us to innovate new approaches to our traditional sale model and leverage our world-class online sale platform as only Christie’s can. The result is a dynamic week of saleroom auctions, including not one but two Evening Sales of masterworks from European, American and Latin American artists and a stellar offering of Decorative Arts across a range of categories. Our online sale, which is organized along the themes and motifs that resonated most with Peggy and David Rockefeller, brings this Collection to life in a fresh and exciting way, and is designed to make it both easy and enjoyable for collectors from all around the world to participate in this singular philanthropic event. Continue reading