MoMA The Museum of Modern Art has reinstalled its fourth floor galleries and devoted them to a year by year survey of some of their vast holdings of art of the 1960s. I’m deep into research into this period so I was quite taken by it. A friend complained that it was too chronological; for my part, I found the year-by-year artistic journeys compelling.
Right now, this exhibition has tremendous resonance. While outside the police are lining up to protect our PEOTUS in his gilded lair, inside MoMA one sees artists reactions to the tumult of the sixties, a decade Trump is eager to annihilate as it represents the groundswell of civil rights, female reproductive rights and human rights.
Lying in the corner is Claus Oldenberg’s wilted ice cream cone. Across the way is Andy’s golden Marilyn, and around the corner is James Rosenquist’s F-111 room, originally painted for the Leo Castelli gallery which takes on the military industrial complex. A wall full of sixties posters, the Avedon Beatles images for Sargent Pepper, make the sixties seem like a colorful, playful era when the countervailing forces of dark were constantly gnawing away at our freedoms.
More poignant still are Henri Cartier-Bresson's images of the Paris student riots of '68 which echo so eerily what is going on right down the block. Is it possible that because Trump doesn’t really want to move into the White House anymore than he really wanted to be President that 5th Avenue is going to be blocked off forever and that New York City taxes will be going to maintain his presence?
He said last night on 60 minutes he wants to give back his salary. I think he will have to do more than that to accommodate his penchant for his Manhattan penthouse. Meanwhile, he should stop into MoMA, if he can get past the barricades. It may bode well for artists to have something to fight against.