Saturday, October 26, 2013

When Modern Art is Magnificent! My experience at the MoMA

             What are some artists that come to mind when you think of "MODERN ART"? As a teenager in high school, I associated these words with artists like Andy Warhol (who's actually a "Pop Art"-ist) and Chuck Close. In fact, neither of them would be considered "Modern Artist". Learning about art history helped me understand how broad a phrase Modern Art truly is. Artists of various styles and backgrounds all make up this one era. Currently the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is hosting an exhibit called "American Marvels: Hopper to O'Keefe" , which showcases the beauty and diversity of modern art as it played out in the United States.

              One thing to realized is that "Modern Art" refers to work made between the years 1915 and 1950. This is something that I never knew, even as an artist. When you think 'modern', you think late 20- early 21st century, not something ending 63 years ago! I mention this only because the work displayed in this show is rich in historical narratives from the time period. One example is in Edward Hopper's etching called "American Landscape". Made in 1920, it shows the land in a way that was seen as typically American at the time.

An etching is when the artist cuts lines into a metal plate (through various techniques). Afterwards, ink is rubbed into the lines on the plate. Specially made paper is then made damp with water, and placed over the plate. It is then rolled under a heavy press, "printing" the image onto the paper. Depending on how the image was cut into the metal plate, a piece can be made numerous times over. This makes it more accessible to share with more viewers. I have always loved Hoppers paintings, and now I love his etchings too! 

Another artist I love who is quintessentially American is Georgia O'Keefe. I also learned about her in high school, but was never able to see her work in person. While they look abstract in nature, some are actually in depth close ups of objects such as flowers. Two of her works are show in this exhibit. Of the two my favorite was "An Orchid", which was pastel on paper mounter on board, and made in 1941.

While the MoMA hasn't always been my museum of choice, I give it five stars on this exhibition. It was full of beautiful pieces that truly made you think, and brought out the best side of Modern Art as a whole. Whoever the curators were, cheers!

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