Thursday, January 29, 2015

What I've been seeing at MoMA

Osamu Shiihara (Japanese, 1905–1974). Construction of Hand. 1932–41
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Thomas Walther Collection

At the Museum of Modern Art yesterday, I saw a couple of recent Laura Owens paintings that I enjoyed for their noisy, hyper-caffeinated clash of media, color and dimensions. (One, written across sharp notebook lines on a giant canvas, inscribes a child's brisk and irresistible story about a runaway princess with a mind of her own and a monster with a "fears Gase.") Owens keeps these canvases dynamic, broadcasting on numerous channels at once, inviting while challenging perceptions. One wall plaque quotes her as saying that she does this "so that you can't fall into (the painting) like a window." I don't think this means she's trying to protect you, baby bird, from skyscraper glass. She's hoping you do get tossed around a bit as you try to make your way in.

See Owens's work and a trio of Mark Grotjahn's equally exhilarating Circus series pieces at The Forever Now: Contemporary Painting in an Atemporal World (through April 5). Also, don't miss Modern Photographs from the Thomas Walther Collection, 1909–1949 (through April 19) in the Edward Steichen Photography Galleries.

And do I even have to remind you to see Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs? Well, if I do, take heart: You still have time to catch that delightful show (through February 10).

Coming up? Björk (March 8-June 7), Jacob Lawrence (April 3-September 7), Yoko Ono (May 17-September 7) and more. Click here for all the details.

Museum of Modern Art
11 West 53rd Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues), Manhattan
(map/directions)

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