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The best current and upcoming MoMA exhibits

Here are the exhibitions and collection highlights that should not be missed at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in NYC

Photograph: John Wronn, © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art
By Howard Halle and Time Out editors |

The incubator for 20th century art, the Museum of Modern Art (founded in 1929) has  shepherded cutting-edge movements such as Cubism, Futurism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art and Minimalism into the mainstream. MoMA's collection of Modern painting, sculpture and architecture is arguably the most complete of its kind anywhere in the world, and it continues to grow with the addition of artworks by contemporary artists—many of whom have been fostered at MoMA's Long Island City satellite, MoMA PS1. In 2019, the midtown Modern underwent a significant expansion, which included a major reshuffling of its collection. You can find out about which shows are on view with our list of the best current and upcoming exhibits at MoMA and MoMA PS1.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

MoMA and MoMA PS1 exhibits current and upcoming

Pope.L, The Great White Way, 22 Miles, 9 Years, 1 Street, 2000-09
Photograph: © Pope. L, courtesy the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York

“member: Pope.L, 1978–2001”

The artist known simply as artist Pope.L is best known for performances such as one piece in which he crawled along the entire 22-mile length of Broadway, dressed as Superman.

Starts Oct 21

María Freire, Untitled, 1954
Photograph: Courtesy Museum of Modern Art, New York
Art, Contemporary art

“Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift”

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Midtown West

Midcentury Latin America was a hotbed of modern art thanks to a roster of artists—Lygia Clark, Gego, Raúl Lozza, Hélio Oiticica, Jesús Rafael Soto—who weren't well known in New York until fairly recently. MoMA fills in the gaps with this survey of objects from that period, which were given to MoMA over the years by Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, a collector whose holdings of Latin American abstract art are one of the most important in the world.

Photograph: Denis Doorly, © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art
Art, Textiles

“Taking a Thread for a Walk”

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Midtown West

Textiles as both art and craft form the warp and woof of this survey of the fiber medium from ancient times to the present.

Amy Sillman, The Shape of Shape, 2019
Photograph: Heidi Bohnenkamp, © 2019 The Museum of Modern Art
Art, Contemporary art

“Artist’s Choice: Amy Sillman—The Shape of Shape”

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Midtown West

On view are 75 works from MoMA’s collection chosen by the painter Amy Sillman to elucidate the role of shape in the creation of art. Jasper Johns, Kiki Smith and Marcel Duchamp are among the names included in this selection, which is presented in a kind of modified salon-style installation.

Donald Judd, Untitled, 1991
Photograph: Courtesy Museum of Modern Art, New York
Art, Contemporary art


Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Midtown West

The fact that the title of Donald Judd’s MoMA retrospective is last name only speaks to his enormous place in postwar art. Minimalism as we know it would have been inconceivable without him: He pioneered the form in the early 1960s with his signature boxes, and introduced the idea to interior design through his forays into furniture and the design of his own studio/living quarters, which took up an entire Soho loft building. Also, he put Marfa, Texas on the map as an art center when he bought up nearly all of the buildings in town and turned them into exhibition spaces.

Niki de Saint Phalle, Tarot Garden, 1991
Photograph: Ed Kessler, © 2019 Nikki Charitable Art Foundation
Art, Pop art

Niki de Saint Phalle

MoMA PS1, Long Island City

Combining Pop Art and feminism, Niki de Saint Phalle was a midcentury French-American artist who was also one of the few women sculptors to work on a monumental scale. One of her notable works was the waist-down half of giant female figure on her back with her legs spread to reveal a vagina-shaped opening that crowds of visitors could enter. She also “painted” by shooting a gun at pockets of paint concealed behind canvas, which would then bleed out various colors.


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