press release

Open Ends, the third and final cycle of MoMA2000, celebrates the extraordinary richness of The Museum of Modern Art’s holdings of art made since 1960. The second floor, which comprises five thematic exhibitions, opens on September 28, 2000. Important acquisitions by emerging artists, including multipart works and oversize installations, are presented alongside familiar masterworks from the collection, reaffirming MoMA’s ongoing commitment to contemporary creativity. Open Ends is organized by the core team of Kirk Varnedoe, Chief Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture; Paola Antonelli, Curator, Department of Architecture and Design; and Joshua Siegel, Assistant Curator, Department of Film and Video.

Mr. Varnedoe notes, “This is the part of MoMA’s collection that people know the least. We’ve been extremely active in collecting contemporary art, and it’s an enormous part of the collection. That’s a story that demands to be told. Now that we can devote almost the entire Museum to post-1960 works, we can begin to give a sense of the scope of what we’ve acquired.”

The eleven exhibitions and diverse individual works constituting Open Ends are organized into rough thematic clusters on each floor. Special installations, including Cindy Sherman’s Untitled Film Stills (1977–80) and Gerhard Richter’s October 18, 1977 (1989), act as transitions between the various thematic exhibitions.

Other large-scale individual works occupy public spaces outside the galleries. Suspended in midair between the Museum’s ground floor and second floor will be Cai Guo-Qiang’s sculpture Borrowing Your Enemy’s Arrows (1998), a wooden boat pierced with hundreds of arrows, which recalls a Chinese military legend that allegorizes “appropriating ammunition” from other cultures. Upon reaching the second floor, visitors encounter Barnett Newman’s monumental sculpture Broken Obelisk (1963–69), installed for the first time in the Museum’s interior. Newman’s dramatically inverted monolith embodies a common sentiment of the 1960s, when many avant-garde artists demonstrated a mistrust of the rhetoric of the traditional public monument.

James Rosenquist’s F-111 (1965) will preside over the Garden Hall on the second floor. The panoramic mural represents the fusion of American military power and consumer pleasures and incorporates many of the key elements of Pop art––vivid colors, bold imagery, and blown-up scale––that recur throughout Open Ends. Many of these themes are addressed in the exhibition Pop and After, which features works from the Museum’s extensive collection of Pop art by masters such as Richard Hamilton, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, and Andy Warhol. Iconic works of the 1960s are played off more contemporary pieces that have their roots in Pop, including works by Vito Acconci, David Hammons, Damien Hirst, and Jeff Koons, among other figures who are not directly associated with Pop but who share an interest in its vocabulary of repetition, consumer artifact, and popular culture. Pop and After is organized by Mr. Varnedoe.

One Thing After Another reveals printmaking’s critical role in the development of contemporary art, here focusing on the format of the series. By enabling artists to create images quickly and in succession, printmaking has emerged as a natural medium for serial experimentation and innovation. In addition to print series by well-known artists such as Ellsworth Kelly, Richter, and Warhol, the exhibition features lesserknown contemporary projects by John Armleder, Rosemarie Trockel, and Yukinori Yanagi, among others. This exhibition is organized by Judith B. Hecker, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Prints and Illustrated Books.

Architecture Hot and Cold presents some 65 images of architecture in a variety of media. Visionary projects by architects such as Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid are seen alongside photographs of existing structures and landscapes by artists such as Andreas Gursky and Robert Adams. Sculptural works by Joel Shapiro and Frank Stella and a model by Stephen Holl all show different aspects of the architectural imagination. The works portray many of the differences, as well as some unexpected sympathies, between the visualization of an unrealized project, and the captured image of an existing structure. The exhibition is organized by Terence Riley, Chief Curator, Department of Architecture and Design.

Matter considers the broad range of materials used to create art over the past 40 years—industrial metals, earth, food, bodily fluids, and plastics, for example––by juxtaposing contemporary art with design objects from the Museum’s collection. The exhibition brings together disparate works that use the same materials in order to highlight the similarities and differences in their expressive intentions. Matter is organized by Paola Antonelli; Laura Hoptman, Assistant Curator, and Kristin Helmick-Brunet, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Drawings.

Installed between Matter and the exhibition Innocence and Experience is Pipilotti Rist’s video installation Ever Is Over All (1997), which consists of two side-by-side projections. The first shows, in dreamlike slow motion, a smiling woman in her mid-30s walking through the streets of Zurich, smashing car windows. The second depicts a field of flowers gently swaying in the breeze.

Innocence and Experience explores the imagery of the child, the notion of childhood’s vulnerability, and the ambiguities of sexual awareness. Uncanny and often unsettling works by contemporary artists such as Robert Gober, Mona Hatoum, Jeff Koons, and Charles Ray address themes of the corruption of innocence and the disillusionment of dawning adulthood. An accompanying film and video exhibition reveals a similar darkening in depictions of childhood and adolescence after the mid-1950s, evident in the work of Sadie Benning, Stan Brakhage, Joseph Cornell, Louis Malle, and Satyajit Ray. This exhibition is organized by Mr. Varnedoe and Mr. Siegel.

In addition, two commissioned works by Teresita Fernández and Ernesto Neto will use the windows and space of the Garden Hall––from the ground floor to the second floor––as an area to display their site-specific creations. The plastic pattern of Fernández’s Hothouse (2000) simulates the organic sprawl of a vine across the glass and, with its green glow, transforms part of the Garden Hall into a greenhouse. Neto’s Tás ti cabun... What life gives to us... Ta titan be... What we give to life (2000) combines the visual, the olfactory, and the tactile in a sensual installation of bulbous sacks filled with spices and Styrofoam, topped by a canopy of lycra.

An extensive film program complements the gallery exhibitions. Separate, in-depth press releases on each exhibition, the film program, and the Garden Hall installations are available.

A two-hour Acoustiguide tour of Open Ends is one of the most ambitious ever produced by the Museum. The guide features commentaries by MoMA Director Glenn Lowry, by curators Kirk Varnedoe, Paola Antonelli, Joshua Siegel, Terence Riley, and Judith B. Hecker, and participating artists and designers, including Janine Antoni, John Armleder, Shimon Attie, James Casebere, Sue Coe, Willie Cole, Tom Friedman, Steven Holl, Mike Kelley, Rem Koolhaas, David Leventhal, Allan McCollum, Vik Muniz, James Rosenquist, Judith Joy Ross, Edward Ruscha, Laurie Simmons, Phillipe Starck, James Turrell, and Rachel Whiteread.