Tag Archives: Mars Attacks

An Afternoon at the MOMA

This weekend, in between the Biblioball and a ride with the Levys on a subway train from 1931, G and I spent an afternoon at the Museum of Modern Art. It was overcrowded and hectic but the art on the walls is well worth battling the crowds to see! I’m a member so we had no problem strolling into the Tim Burton exhibit, but if you’re not a member be sure to buy your timed ticket in advance because they have been selling out.

The Tim Burton retrospective is the first exhibit of its kind celebrating the work of this mad genius, and a mad genius he most certainly is! From the quirky sketches of his early career to the ephemera related to his more recent films, Burton’s art reveals the workings of a very unusual imagination. The imagery is almost always unsettling even when it’s humorous and the thought process of the artist remains opaque. I came away from the exhibit admiring his talent and creativity but also feeling a little bit afraid of Tim Burton. I think this segment of Mars Attacks truly epitomizes the macabre slant of his imagination. This sketch is on the lighter end:

Tim Burton Sketch

Tim Burton Sketch

It was interesting to walk through the exhibit on the Bauhaus School directly after seeing the Burton exhibit; much of Burton’s imagery seems at least tangentially related to the art that originated at Bauhaus.

The exhibition gathers over four hundred works that reflect the broad range of the school’s productions, including industrial design, furniture, architecture, graphics, photography, textiles, ceramics, theater design, painting, and sculpture, many of which have never before been exhibited in the United States. It includes not only works by the school’s famous faculty and best-known students—including Anni Albers, Josef Albers, Herbert Bayer, Marianne Brandt, Marcel Breuer, Lyonel Feininger, Walter Gropius, Vasily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, László Moholy-Nagy, Lucia Moholy, Lilly Reich, Oskar Schlemmer, and Gunta Stölzl—but also a broad range of works by innovative but less well-known students, suggesting the collective nature of ideas.

We also wandered up to the 6th floor for a members-only preview of the new Gabriel Orozco exhibit (now open to the public!). I think the curator made a mistake in placing some of the more questionable pieces at the start of the exhibit; when I saw that the empty shoe-box next to the guard was “art” I considered not venturing any further. I recommend forgiving Orozco for both the shoe-box and the subsequent yogurt caps and heading into the center of the exhibit, where you can see my favorite piece- a Citroën automobile surgically reduced to two-thirds its normal width.


Though certainly one of the more expensive and crowded museums in the city, the MOMA remains an essential stop if you’re looking for the the truly remarkable art of the last century. You should also read my earlier post for some smaller galleries worth checking out this winter.

Stay tuned for more upcoming events and follow me on twitter for the latest!