I hate to go on with posts like these, but I've tried to write a few different pieces this evening and not been able to get more than a couple of sentences into any of them. Tomorrow I'll be tied up with an appraisal and other business likely keeping me away from anything fun, at least until later in the day. So there go the few remaining readers who stuck on through Thanksgiving. Maybe mocking those who were on the internets over the past week was a little premature . . .
In the meantime, MoMA's brand new pass-through lobby, joining 53rd and 54th midblock, is great for cocktail receptions. The slightly expanded garden is perfect for really upscale weddings.
But the second-floor atrium space, with Barnett Newman's Broken Obelisk looking bigger and grander indoors than it did outdoors, is for the totally serious occasion. Does it really matter that Monet's Water Lilies seem to have shrunk to postage-stamp size in a niche just off of the atrium's four stories of air? Given the right camera angle, the panorama still makes a great backdrop.
Nevertheless, the primo space is the sixth floor. Keep Jim Rosenquist's F-111 on permanent display. Keep Ellsworth Kelly's Sculpture for a Large Wall ! I know the sixth floor is supposed to be for changing exhibitions. But I'd otherwise keep it bare. Think how many tables the Kelly room alone would hold for sit-down dinners. Think of the high-cost product debuts you could host, or even the small exposition or two.
A former museum curator might look at Super-MoMA in terms of curatorial logistics. How are we going to get the damned artworks in and out? I remember when I worked across 53rd Street at the American Craft Museum, struggling with the registrar to get artworks into that highly honored piece of architectural garbage. Anything that could not be carried in a suitcase had to be jimmied in along a torturous underground passageway that led from the CBS loading dock down the block or, if too big for that route, unpacked on the sidewalk and carried through the space allotted for the removable revolving door. At pre-Neo-MoMA one day I saw their crew gingerly pop out one of the big plate-glass windows on 53rd Street to get a very large crate inside. Now they seem to have a real loading dock and certainly some way to get the Broken Obelisk inside and up to the second floor. The rest I will believe only when I see some monumental Richard Serras on the sixth floor.
It's funny because it's true.