Nine best works at the Museum of Modern Art

If you see only nine things on your visit to MoMA, see these.

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  • Andy Warhol, Gold Marilyn Monroe 2007 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual...

  • Marcel Duchamp, Bicycle Wheel, 1951 (third version, after lost original of...

  • Henri Matisse, Dance (I) 2007 Succession H. Matisse, Paris / Artists Rights...

  • Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon 2007 Estate of Pablo Picasso /...

  • Meret Oppenheim, Object 2007 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / Pro...

  • Jasper Johns, Flag; 2009 Jasper Johns / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

  • Jackson Pollock, Number 1A; 2009 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights...

  • Kazimir Malevich, Suprematist Composition, White on White;

  • Nan Goldin, Nan and Brian in Bed; 2009 Nan Goldin

Andy Warhol, Gold Marilyn Monroe 2007 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual...


Andy Warhol's Gold Marilyn Monroe (1962)
This image, which is definitely on the art-history undergrad dorm poster hit list, achieved its goal: Warhol wanted to strip the original work of authorship, while also creating additional mystique around an already enigmatic public persona (Monroe).

Marcel Duchamp's Bicycle Wheel (1951)
Duchamp is often called the father of modern art, and Bicycle Wheel is among the readymade canon that brought him fame.

Henri Matisse's Dance (I) (1909)
The simple color palette and emphasis on movement in this oil painting reflected Matisse's interest in the contemporary Fauvist movement, which was named after a French word meaning "wild beast."

Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907)
Legend has it that this painting spawned much controversy among Picasso's friends , and elicited a particularly adversarial and competitive reaction from Matisse.

Meret Oppenheim's Object (Breakfast in Fur) (1936)
This piece may be one of the first feminist artworks, though Oppenheim likely did not think of it as such; by covering a usually delicate object with fur, she both objectified and sensualized the very simple act of sipping from a cup and saucer.

Jasper Johns's Flag (1954)
Perhaps the most well-known depiction of the Stars and Stripes in a work of art, this painting served as inspiration for a huge body of work by Johns based on the American flag.

Jackson Pollock's Number 1A, 1948 (1948)
The king of fling was the first to self-consciously lay canvases on the ground; often, other items would find their way into his works, including but not limited to paint chips from the floor of the studio, keys and cigarette butts.

Kazimir Malevich's Suprematist Composition, White on White (1918)
Funnily enough, this highly modernist painting, which was meant by Malevich to embody the purity of feeling in art, contributed significantly to the debates that gave rise to postmodernism.

Nan Goldin's Nan and Brian in Bed, New York City (1983)
This highly personal work is characteristic of the influential photographer's oeuvre, which often took her own life and that of her close friends as subject matter.

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 11 W 53rd St (between Fifth and Sixth Aves) 212-708-9408

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