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NYC - MoMA: The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden - Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years | by wallyg
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NYC - MoMA: The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden - Richard Serra Sculpture: Forty Years

Richard Serra, Sculpture: Forty Years was on display at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) from June 3 - September 10, 2007. The exhibition was a forty-year survey of the work of American minimalist sculptor, Richard Serra (b. November 2, 1939, San Francisco). Serra, who was involved in the Process Art movement, is known for working with large scale assemblies of sheet metal (COR-TEN-Steel). The monumental exhibit, which included three new works, spanned the museum's tall-ceilinged second floor, sixth floor, and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, where Torqued Ellipse IV (1998) and Intersection II (1992-93) braved the outdoor elements.

 

Intersection II (1992-93), a gift of Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, consists of four upright, almost identical conical sections of weatherproof steal--two sections 13'1 1/2" high x 51'9" along the chord x 2 1/8" thick; two sections 13'1 1/2" high x 50'9" along the chord x 2 1/8" thick. The sections tilt their way inviting visitors to travel along three routes between its massive walls, exerting a psychic pressure from the weight, height, and leaning angles, and from their variously dark and rusted surfaces. It is tempered by the elegant precision of their lines and the satisfying logic of their arrangement. The slopes and placements of the great steel curves produce two outer spaces that invert each other at floor and ceiling, one being wide where the other is narrow. Meanwhile the central space is a regular yet biased ellipse.

 

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) was founded in 1929 and is often recognized as the most influential museum of modern art in the world. Over the course of the next ten years, the Museum moved three times into progressively larger temporary quarters, and in 1939 finally opened the doors of its midtown home, located on 53rd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues in midtown. The building underwent extensive renovations, closing on May 21, 2002 and reopening to the public in a building redesigned by the Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, on November 20, 2004. The renovation project nearly doubled the space for exhibitions and programs, featuring 630,000 square feet of new and redesigned space.

 

MoMA's holdings include more than 150,000 individual pieces. Highlights of the collection inlcude Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night, Salvador Dali's The Persisence of Memory, Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiseels d'Avignon and Three Musicians, Claude Monet's Water Lilies, Piet Mondrian's Broadway Boogie Woogie, Paul Gauguin's The Seed of the Areoi, Henri Matisse's Dance, Marc Chagall's I and the Village, Paul Cezanne's The Bather, Jackson Pollack's Number 31, 1950, and Andy Warhol's Campbell's Soup Cans.

 

When David Rockefeller became president of MoMA in 1958, replacing his brother Nelson who took up the position of Governor of New York, he hired the noted architect Philip Johnson to redesign the Museum garden and name it in honor of his mother, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. The Gardens are framed by the Peggy and David Rockefeller Building, which houses the main exhibition galleries, on the western end of the site; and and The Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building, on the eastern end.

 

In 2007, the Museum of Modern Art was ranked #146 on the AIA 150 America's Favorite Architecture list.

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Taken on June 17, 2007