I had to get up to the MOMA before the end of the year. I was told that the museum is going to start filling up the walls in early January and now they are trying to show off the architecture as much as the art. So, off I went.
What can you say? The place is HUGE! Actually, it is a bit overwhelming. One of the things that I always liked about the old MOMA was the amount of space. It was small enough to see the whole museum if you wanted to and large enough to really show a great exhibit. The place is now like the MET but for only modern art. I am always so overwhelmed by the MET that I really just go there for an exhibit that might interest me. Then once I get there and finish the exhibit, I just want toget out. Sometimes I feel as if I will start to have a panic attack trying to find the door out to 5th Avenue again. Sort of like going to Bloomingdales on Lex. The fear of not finding the exit again can send someone into a tailspin.
Regardless of the size, the architecture is really beautiful. The rooms flow. The escalators are intelligently laid out. You can see people coming and going on different floors. You can always find your way out. I like that.
The most extraordinary spot is the top floor. My friend told me that when he saw that room that people were giggling at the space. I now understand why. The room is probably 10,000 square feet. I’d say you could have a pretty comfortable cocktail party in there for 2000 people – no problem. Right now there are basically 3 pieces in the room. The room sort of shapes like a H. On the right arm is a huge James Rosenquist. The painting is literally 86 X 10 feet. It is incredible. The other arm of the H has a piece, just as large by Ellsworth Kelly. I have always known Ellsworth for his paintings but this piece is an incredibly modern steel structure that also is about 86 X 10 feet. In the arm that connects the H is photographs of the MOMA during stages. What is almost funny about being in this room is how sparse it is but you are being able to see, alone, these major pieces of art. It is probably a one time event because the walls could cover many many pieces.
I was really overwhelmed by the size of the building but whoever ran this project did a fantastic job. The building is really beautiful and the space flows. I will look forward to how the space is used over the years. What type events they bring to it. What type of exhibits. What they give back to the community through art, etc.
All and all, a wonderful addition to NYC.