Current exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

See what exhibitions are currently on view at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City.

"Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs"

Critics' pick

The explanatory text on the wall at the beginning of MoMA’s blockbuster of around one hundred of Henri Matisse’s cut-outs notes that these well-known works attempted to resolve the “eternal conflict of drawing and color.” Epic though that reconciliation may have been, it feels faraway and quaint these days. Despite his immense popularity, Matisse’s emphasis on formal innovation and aesthetic pleasure may make him the modern master most alien to the dry, over-intellectualized “conceptual” maneuvers that fill so many New York galleries. 

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Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Until Tuesday February 10 2015

"Jean Dubuffet: Soul of the Underground"

Critics' pick

Assembled from MoMA’s holdings of work by Jean Dubuffet (1901–1985), this beautifully realized exhibition illustrates how Dubuffet’s rebellion against conventional good taste and artistic hierarchies was enacted through his materials and techniques. Comprising pieces from the 1940s to the mid-1960s, “Jean Dubuffet: Soul of the Underground” includes wonderful figurative sculptures assembled from slag and tree roots, as well as paintings and drawings depicting people—wandering through deserts, packed into subway cars—crudely scratched into thickly impastoed canvases or inked paper. 

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Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Until Thursday March 5 2015

"Sturtevant: Double Trouble"

Critics' pick

When this Ohio native began to copy the work of her Pop Art betters and claim it as her own, she was dismissed as an eccentric at best, a crackpot at worst. But Sturtevant (1924–2014)—whose first name was Elaine, but who went by her last name only—was simply carrying the logic of both the readymade and Pop Art to its radical conclusion, answering in the affirmative the following question: If the entire buffet of low-cultural signs and products was available for artistic consumption, why not artworks as well? In the bargain she anticipated 1980s appropriation tactics. 

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Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Until Sunday February 22 2015

"The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World"

Critics' pick

A dispiriting show that doesn't do its participants any favors, “The Forever Now” brings together 17 painters, the youngest born in 1986 and the oldest in 1955. All are current market favorites. Commendably, over half of them are women. Organized by MoMA’s Laura Hoptman, the exhibition is premised on the notion that our culture is characterized by the reprise and the mash-up and that contemporary painting follows suit (The show’s catalog essay quotes science fiction writer William Gibson and media theorist Douglas Rushkoff, among others, on the end of progress and the atemporality of modern cultural artifacts in the digital age.) 

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Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) Until Thursday March 5 2015

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