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August 1 2014

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12 posts tagged "MoMA"

Conceptual Artist Isa Genzken Gets Her First MoMA Retrospective

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Isa Genzken

An army of mannequins clad in vibrant plaids, masks, and cowboy hats. A cherry-red assemblage fashioned from a Coca-Cola cart. A photograph of a giant ear. These are just a few of the works one encounters while touring German artist Isa Genzken’s new show at the Museum of Modern Art.

The exhibition marks Genzken’s first retrospective stateside, presented with support from Céline. (Creative director Phoebe Philo is a huge Genzken fan, and flew to New York to toast the opening with a party.) “It’s past time,” says MoMA curator Laura Hoptman. “It’s a goldmine of innovative work by a strong woman artist that had never been seen in the United States. It was kind of a curator’s dream.” Indeed, visitors unfamiliar with Genzken who, now 65, has been producing art for the past forty years, are given much to explore, from the artist’s minimal wooden Ellipsoids to her unsettling found-object sculptures to her imposing comments on metropolitan architecture.

“Genzken has a broad brush. She’s moved from one language to another with alacrity,” says Hoptman. “There’s a seamlessness to how she looks at how we live every day—the junk we see on Canal Street, the construction sites, the cool clothes, the beat of techno music—that’s embedded in this very lofty ideal of what culture is. For me, that is the future of contemporary culture—it’s high, low, and everything in between. She’s very much a banner woman for that.”

Here, Hoptman shares her thoughts on a few of the highlights from the show.

Isa Genzken: Retrospective runs through March 10 at the Museum of Modern Art, moma.org .

Photo: Jonathan Muzikar

M to M, A to Z

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Yesterday at MoMa PS1′s Sunday Sessions panel, Michael Amzalag and Mathias Augustyniak—the grown-up enfants terribles behind the graphic-design partnership M/M Paris—discussed M to M of M/M (Paris), their first retrospective book. Glenn O’Brien—an M/M collaborator—moderated the conversation. “So who’s Mert and who’s Marcus?” was his opening inquiry. (A “fashion joke,” as the writer put it.) The pair laughed it off good-naturedly.

“We were approached ten years ago,” Amzalag told Style.com. “The physical work on the book took three years, but then there were two of going through the archives, and five of finding the right route.” The decade of due diligence paid off. M to M marks the pair’s twentieth anniversary in business, and it’s a fitting testament to their erudite style. The 528-page monograph is chock-full of Amzalag and Augustyniak’s greatest hits—from hand-drawn overlays on Balenciaga and Stella McCartney campaigns of yesteryear, to their groundbreaking catalog work for Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, to iProduct apps for Björk. The tome proudly reflects M/M’s keystone role in the forever-hybridizing fields of design, fashion, art, and music. And though they didn’t design it themselves (“We inverted the process—someone came to us with the solution—that was a beautiful moment,” said Augustyniak), the book’s juggled alphabetizing and pagination—it starts on page 311, at the letter M, naturally—pays homage to the pair’s distinct, irreverent intellect.

Continue Reading “M to M, A to Z” »

Tanya Taylor Gets Catty For The Camera

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Newcomer Tanya Taylor presented her third collection of feminine, vintage-inspired wares at the MoMA this season. But she wanted an auxiliary artistic outlet to convey her concept. “I always think it’s nice to add an extra element to explain what you’re thinking,” Taylor told Style.com. She settled on a retro fashion film, which played off her Fall ’13 inspiration, French artist Jean-Pierre Raynaud. “He used a lot of grids and had a modular, linear approach to art,” said Taylor. “So the concept of the film was this girl with really bright clothes and a quirky personality within a very sterile grid.”

Directed by Brina Thurston and David Riley in collaboration with creative directors Arch & Loop, the film and its minimalist backdrop let the designer’s energizing mishmash of checks, floral prints, sixties silhouettes, pink fur (a new textile for Taylor), and considered details (crystal embellishments, eyelets, leather collars, and driving gloves) shine. Model Mina Cvetkovic has a Bardot essence about her, with dark eyes, a modern bouffant, and an enduring expression of ennui. “She’s kind of mysterious. She pulls you in and makes you wonder what she’s thinking,” said Taylor. But Cvetkovic and the designer’s clothes aren’t the only stars of the film—Taylor’s 5-year-old Persian cat, Oscar, makes a cameo. And boy, does he ham it up. “He just happened to be in the studio that day, and we thought, Why not throw him in a few shots?” she explained. “Now, though, his head’s getting pretty big.” Watch Taylor’s new collection, and Oscar’s grand debut, in her Fall film, which premieres exclusively above.

A Leading Role for Lopez

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“I don’t normally get to play roles opposite ladies,” joked Jason Statham last night at the MoMA for the Cinema Society screening of his new movie Parker. “Most of my roles are spent banging thugs around in the head!” And what a lady he got—Statham stars alongside Jennifer Lopez in the gritty heist flick. “Not a bad leading couple, huh?” said director Taylor Hackford. He and Lopez were old friends before he had worked with her professionally. Costar Micah Hauptman was pleasantly surprised by Lopez’s work ethic. “She would show up early on set, she wanted to get as many takes in as she could, and was asking all of us if her scene works—she’s really collaborative.” Lopez plays a real-estate agent down on her luck, to say the least, and took inspiration from her own personal life—filming began as her own separation from then-husband Marc Anthony unfolded. “At work, you have to be so professional in the moment, but I was lucky to be in front of the cameras and act exactly as I felt.” Usually a fashion-week regular, Lopez plans on skipping out this season in order to begin work on her tenth studio album.

After the screening, guests braved the bitter cold and crossed town for the after-party, held at the newly renovated Marquee. “Sometimes I just want to wear Uggs, but it doesn’t really go with this look,” said Australian actress Emma Booth, who plays Statham’s love interest in the film. And how does Lopez deal with frigid New York weather? “I’m leaving for Vegas tonight!”

Announcing Abramovic, The Institute

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“There comes a moment in every artist’s life when it is important to ask, what is going to be my legacy,” said Marina Abramovic this morning. She announced one answer to her own question at a private presentation and breakfast: with plans for her namesake institute in Hudson, New York, slated to open in 2014. Despite being early Monday morning, post-Frieze, a crowd of art-philes—including gallerist Serge Le Borgne, architect Shohei Shigematsu, and Milan city councilor Stefano Boeri—assembled inside the Performance Dome at MoMA PS1 for a first glimpse at the long-anticipated Marina Abramovic Institute, dedicated to the preservation of performance art.

After espresso and quiche, MoMA chief curator at large Klaus Biesenbach introduced Abramovic, who described the mission of the institute. “After my three-month performance at MoMA, I realized that only long-duration works have serious potential to change the viewer, because there is no division between normal daily activity and performance,” she explained. “I wanted to create a laboratory where the public can learn how to view performance work in a comfortable, no-stress space.” Helmed by architect Rem Koolhaas, the former cinema-turned-tennis club will feature a theater with surrounding classrooms, a library, and a gym as well as crystal chambers and “levitation rooms” for viewers to “regenerate.” According to Abramovic, visitors will be asked to sign contracts, giving their “word of honor” that they will stay for at least two and a half hours in the exhibit, and wear lab coats with noise-canceling headphones to experience her long-duration oeuvres, which can last from six hours to a whopping 365 days. (Fret not—Abramovic is creating recliner-cum-wheelchair devices, in which guests can sleep and be rolled in and out of performances at their leisure, or they can retreat to nearby hotels, which she eventually hopes to build for the influx of visitors.) With a fundraising target of $8 million, Abramovic has certainly set her sights high. Her ultimate goal? “To become a brand like Coca Cola, but for hard-core performance art.”

Photo: Courtesy of OMA