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.

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"Christopher Williams: The Production Line of Happiness"

  • Rated as: 3/5
  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

A MoMA retrospective is usually an indicator of an artist about to become a household name, but I suspect that the work of Christopher Williams is too difficult for that to happen. His show was sparsely attended when I was there, while crowds thronged through a concurrent Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit. An unfair comparison, sure, but given that MoMA is in the business of promoting art as a spectacle for tourists, I couldn’t help making it. A contemporary of the Pictures Generation, Williams initially relied on appropriation to create his photographs, but only a couple of replicas of magazine covers suggest as much. The rest of his early career is taken up by deeply obscure black-and-white photos of subjects ranging from still lifes of vegetables to an ominous group of men, including military officers, gathered in front of a suburban house. Williams, a Los Angeles native, grew up on movie sets, thanks to his father, who worked in Hollywood. This experience informed his best-known work, a series of photos that he directed rather than took. He employed a commercial photographer as a cinematographer, with the result resembling midcentury ads. Austerely elegant, they provide deliberate miscues about how such images are manufactured—if you know how to decode them. A color register next to a woman wrapped in a towel doesn’t match the hues in the picture; a black man holding a camera looks away from the viewer in one of a pair of black-and-white shots. His white shirt is also blown out, w

  1. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10019
  2. Wed Oct 1 - Sun Nov 2
More info

"The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

MoMA takes viewers back to La Belle Époque in this survey of the graphic art of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901), surely one of the best-known and beloved names in art history. All of his iconic images are here, along with the landmarks of late-19th-century Parisian nightlife referenced therein, as well as its habitués onstage and in the audience.

  1. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10019
  2. Wed Oct 1 - Wed Dec 31
More info

"A World of Its Own: Photographic Practices in the Studio"

  • Critics choice

Photography embraces many genres, both outdoors and in. But some of the most radical experiments in the medium have been created by artists operating within the confines of the studio—using it not only as a physical place in which to take pictures (or create them using cameraless techniques like the photogram), but also as a conceptual framework that, in many cases, dictates content. MoMA rounds up numerous examples in this fascinating survey, from the invention of the photograph to the present.

  1. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10019
  2. Wed Oct 1 - Sun Oct 5
More info

"Robert Gober: The Heart Is Not a Metaphor"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

This is the first U.S. survey ever of the work of Robert Gober, whose sculptures and installations imbue simple, everyday objects (sinks, doors, newspapers, sticks of butter, storm drains) and figurative fragments with an outsized sense of longing and nostalgia. Emerging in the mid-1980s alongside other artists— such as Jeff Koons—who were furthering Duchamp's Readymade strategy, Gober's efforts were notable for the unabashed manner in which they reintroduced sentiment and poetical feeling into late-20th century aesthetics.

  1. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10019
  2. Sat Oct 4 - Wed Dec 31
More info

"Conceptions of Space: Recent Acquisitions in Contemporary Architecture"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

When most people think of architecture, they picture buildings from the outside. But an equally crucial aspect is formulating the interior space that people will move through and, hopefully, be moved by. This exhibit, which presents 20 recent acquisitions for MoMA's design collection, explores this vital discipline of spatial creation in the form of large-scale models, drawings, photographs, videos and installations.

  1. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10019
  2. Wed Oct 1 - Sun Oct 19
More info

"Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs"

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

It was rather late in life that Henri Matisse (1869–1954) began to create one of his most extraordinary bodies of work. Starting in the 1940s, he cut out shapes in colored paper, arranging them into compositions that sometimes seemed to push into pure abstraction. Even when they didn't, the forms he employed—nude figures, floral motifs—appeared to float in space, and it is this sense of buoyancy that makes these paintings among the most compelling in his oeuvre. MoMA's survey is the first to focus on this aspect of his career since 1961, and if anything, the works have only gained in power in the intervening years.

  1. Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 11 W 53rd St, between Fifth and Sixth Aves, 10019
  2. Sat Oct 25 - Wed Dec 31
More info
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