The New MoMA

Moma MoMA’s back in Manhattan at its refurbished and redesigned and much-expanded home, after 3 years of exile in Queens. I haven’t had a chance to go look for myself yet (and at $20 a pop, I may have to save up for it!), but the press has been quite uniform in its encomia. Fairly representative of the laudatory responses is this essay by Peter Schjeldahl in the New Yorker:

Reopened now in a lustrous building by the architect Yoshio Taniguchi, MOMA is an effect: historical, conservative, magisterial. It works. The devout, incredibly expensive perfectionism of the building’s lapidary joinery and excruciating lighting may cloy—the God in these details is a neat-freak—but it optimizes looking. That’s all that really matters for the expanded display of a collection whose quantity magnifies its quality.

For a more critical appraisal, you might want to look at this piece entitled “Modern Immaturity” by Jed Perl in The New Republic:

The good news at MoMA–the building and the relatively straightforward installations of selections from the museum’s collections–is so encouraging that when the bad news hits you may find yourself reeling. Far from accepting the hard fact that the time has come to embrace a solid maturity, a maturity grounded in an assessment of its glorious past that is at once forthright and modest, the Modern has insisted on remaining the aging hipster who long ago had one too many of those martinis and fled midtown Manhattan in search of the next snort of art-world cocaine.