Founded in 1929 in New York the Museum of Art Moderne, more known under the name of MoMA, is one of the first museums to being dedicated exclusively to the contemporary art and modern. It puts forward the new movements of art such as the cubism and surrealism, as well as architecture and the cinema… MoMa knew to dissociate other museums because it evolved with its time, but especially it knew to be visionary while being the first museum to propose the modern art in all these forms. Thus other museums as the center Georges Pompidou in Paris and Tate Modern in London followed the step while being dedicated to art modern. The success of MoMA was such as it had to change three times of site to be able to expose one plus a large number of works and to accommodate a larger audience, to its last current installation in Manhattan (New York). Currently in work in order to still increase its space of exposure until 2019, there remains nevertheless open to the visitors. Its immense notoriety comes owing to the fact that it has one of the largest collections in the world with more than 150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings, photographs, models and art objects, like 22,000 films in any kind. It preserves many famous parts such as: self-portrait with the buckled hair of Frida Kahlo, the Persistence of the memory of Salvador Dalì (these two works are besides present in this exposure to the Foundation Louis Vuitton), Young ladies of Avignon of Pablo Picasso…
MoMA in Paris:
During its works of expansion MoMA announced a collaboration with the Louis Vuitton Fondation. And, for its first time in France, such place for an exhibition is obviously not harmless!
In fact a selection of 200 pieces of art from its exceptional collection is presented in all the showrooms of the Louis Vuitton Foundation.
Showcased in the amazing architecture of this place, the scenography organized around the 4 main rooms offer a chronological tour redrawing the history and the evolution of the MoMA, inviting visitors to contemplate these contemporary works under all their forms: paintings, sculptures, photos, movies, architecture…
The visit begins at the bottom floor of the Foundation, presenting the initial acquisitions starting from the creation of the MomA in 1929 and redrawing its evolution until the 50’s.
This room is composed of three parts, all parts hang together in chronological order by highlighting the contemporary movements of these periods.
The first part is dedicated to the collection of the MoMA of its origins from 1929 until 39; it includes some works such as : (…) all received by donation from private collectors. Thus originally the main works exhibited were paintings and sculptures; then later the new collections become more and more multidisciplinary, highlighting the new forms of arts such as cinema, photography, architecture and design.
Then we discover the second part, dedicated to the European origins of modernity. We can find there masterpieces such as « Boy leading a Horse » of Picasso and « Palette » of Matisse, etc paying a tribute to the main movements of this period: the cubism, the futurist, the abstract and the surrealism.
The last part finally approaches the American abstraction. Indeed this contradicts the reputation that the MoMA is too much focused on the European art and not enough presenting the American artists and movements. In the years 1940-50, in the post world-war II international context of the Cold War, MoMA championed the first main pictural American movement, the Abstract Expressionist, including the « action painting », highlighting the importance of the artist gesture, endorsed here by Jackson Pollock, and also the « Colorfield painting » which describes the expressive use of color embodied by Mark Rothko.
We pursue the visit up to the next floor to approach, from level 0 until level 2, the thematic « being moderne », a perfect illustration of the innovative will of the MoMA over the years.
Thus the main room in floor 0, as a breakthrough of the abstract expressionist addressed in the previous period , features two new movements: the minimalism and the Pop art.
The first section gathers series, paintings and minimal sculptures, whose approach aims at simplifying the works, providing of simple structure, generally geometric as shown by the use of the grid represented in « The marriage and squalor » created by Frank Stella.
Such approach is also retranscribed in architecture, as for example through the model for the « Lever House », as well as the segments of the « curtain wall » of the United Nations building.
The second section for its part highlights the Pop America of the 60’s. The popular culture of mass is illustrated by this « Pop art » movement, which is essentially visual and repetitive. Included major works of Andy Warhol as « Double Elvis » and « Campbell’s Soups Cans», but also other major artist, like Roy Lichtenstein with « the Drowning girl » reprise of a comic book illustration where he transpose the Pop art style.
The visit continues on the next floor up, which presents two new evolutions : « Art in action » and « Images and identities ».
The art in action reflects the new artistic forms of the years 60’s and 70’s. Indeed, many protest movements appear, pulling the artists to question themselves on the roles of art and the artist’s engagement in the society. Many of these artists sought to bypass the border of the usual arts, using new materials which are often poor or unusual, and to realize new forms of art such as ephemeral, nonmaterial… These new works are clearly considered in line with the conceptual art.
The second part of this room is devoted to the American scene during the years 80’s and 90’s, reflecting the artists position against the Vietnam War. It is also highlighting the engagement of these artists in the « cultural wars » between conservatives and progressives. Many artists are going to express their opinions on news headlines such as among others gender, racial issues…
The last part of the exhibition at Floor 2 is finally focusing on the art of the 21st century. The evolutions and all the acquisitions from the last two dec des are presented here : the revolution of the digital technology, opening new fields and prospect of creation in all disciplines such as design, architecture, along with « hybrid art », photography, up to video and « emojis » (Pixel art) …thus breaking all museological codes.
To conclude this wonderful exhibition on a musical note, immerse yourself in the magnificent and unique spatialized adaptation of « the Forty part Motet » from Janet Cardiff, featuring its contemporary creation revisiting a sixteen-century’s polyphonic music.
We are delighted to introduce you to a foretaste of this exhibition through this short film realized for you.
Fondation Louis Vuitton : 8, Avenue du Mahatma Gandhi. Bois de Boulogne – 75116 – Paris
From 11 octobre 2017 to 5 mars 2018.