Just in case you thought Marketman is so obsessed with food and markets that I do nothing else but flit from butcher to baker then to the cheesemaker, I thought I would throw in a post on the new Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) which re-opened November 2004 after a serious architectural makeover that took several years. The new building is simply superb. I like it a lot. The new museum has lots of open space, clean lines, high ceilings (4+ stories in some atriums), and very modern materials and furniture. Matte muted stone in grey and green, glass, and steel combined with white walls make the building itself worth a visit, but even better, it provides a tremendous venue for the museumâ€™s priceless collection of art. The galleries are extremely spacious and while starkly white, the walls seem to â€œfloatâ€ and are an excellent foil for the spectacular collection of â€œmodernâ€ art that spans the over 110 years from the late 1890â€™s to the present and includes works by Monet, Manet, Matisse, de Kooning, Pollock, Botero, etc. The sculpture garden is also stunning and a wonderful open space in midtown Manhattan.
The collection on display is highly edited (a downside for me because so much of the art is in storage) and it leaves a lot of wall spaceâ€¦ bringing sharper focus to the works that are actually on display. I was a bit amused by a particularly stark gallery that had a large canvas that was just black paint, and another around the corner that had just white paint. Hmmmâ€¦ I kind of like some imagination on the canvas, not all in my brain. In the photo above, Marketman is viewing a painting by one of my favorite painters from the Impressionist period, Pierre Bonnard. A superb colorist that might strike most as just another artist following in the vein of Monet or other impressionists, Bonnard was a quiet, modest soul with a superb sense of color, composition and light. The painting above is La Salle a Manger Sur le Jardin (Dining Room Overlooking the Garden, or The Breakfast Room) which shows a breakfast laid out on a table overlooking the gardens. A nice brioche appears to be on a plate near the tea (or coffee) pot. It is a wonderful painting. Bonnard painted dozens of still lifes and scenes that revolve around the dinner table or food or mealsâ€¦ His depictions of fruit are also stunning and I covet them.
The new MOMA is at itâ€™s old location on 53rd Street just west of 5th Avenue. Get there early as there are lines (we waited 30+ minutes on a busy weekday). Tickets for adults are $20 but it is well worth it. And just in case you were wondering, Marketman also did a couple of visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue and his best discovery â€“ the spectacular cafeteria in the basement that is the snazziest cafeteria he has ever eaten in.