MoMA has announced that it will close for four months this summer to complete the final stage of its overhaul: rehanging its entire collection and rethinking the ways that contemporary art can relate to the public. It will retain chronological curation in parts of the museum, but it’ll be abandoning its approach of curating the permanent collection by discipline; it will instead mix media and ideas – with architecture, design, painting, sculpture, film, photography, performance and works on paper all being shown alongside one another.
A considerable shift is the museum’s promise to focus attention on works by women and people of colour, as well as overlooked works from its permanent collection. It will rotate the selection of art in its galleries every six to nine months, and draw all of the opening exhibitions from its permanent collection, acknowledging how the work stored in its holding has often been overlooked. “We don’t want to forget our roots in terms of having the greatest Modernist collection, but the museum didn’t emphasise female artists, didn’t emphasise what minority artists were doing, and it was limited on geography,” Leon Black, museum chairman told The New York Times. “Where those were always the exceptions, now they really should be part of the reality of the multicultural society we all live in.”
The renovation has been designed by architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro, in collaboration with Gensler, and will add 40,000 square feet of space to the museum. MoMA has also announced a new partnership with the Studio Museum in Harlem, which will allow the latter to present exhibitions at MoMA, as well as a two-storey Studio for live and experimental programming, and the Paula and James Crown Platform, where visitors will be encouraged to join conversations and make work themselves.
MoMA will reopen in October with Sur modern: Journeys of Abstraction – The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift, a survey of Latin American art, and exhibitions by African-American artists Pope.L, 1978 – 2001 and Betye Saar: The Legends of Black Girl’s Window.
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