MoMA celebrates 130 years of art in Melbourne

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Photo: Maddie Mathot

Works from New York’s Museum of Modern Art have travelled to Melbourne. They’re being displayed at the National Gallery of Victoria from June 9 until October 7 to celebrate 130 years of modern and contemporary art at MoMA.

MoMa is part of the 2018 Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition, with over MORE THAN 200 works on display arranged in 8 sections. It is the largest instalment to date, taking up the entire ground floor of the NGV. The artwork flows nicely in both galleries, though the NGV traces the history and growth of design from the late nineteenth-century to the digital present, with works from artists like Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol.

(Photo supplied by the NGV)

MoMA art handlers prepare The persistence of memory, 1931 to travel to the National Gallery of Victoria for the exhibition MoMA at NGV:130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art, on view 9 June through 7 October, 2018.

Photo: Julieta Cervantes

Salvador Dalí
Spanish 1904–89
The persistence of memory 1931
oil on canvas
24.1 x 33.0 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Given anonymously, 1934
© Salvador Dalí, Fundació Gala-Salvador Dalí /
VEGAP, Spain. Copyright Agency, 2018

Tony Ellwood, NGV Director said in a media release that he is delighted to be working with MoMA, brining such a diverse group of works to Melbourne. “This exhibition showcases an unparalleled collection of modern and contemporary art and design, which has been collected by The Museum of Modern Art.

Mr. Ellwood believes that visitors of the NGV will get to experience the change and creativity of modern art that has been developed over time, and gain a greater understanding of contemporary art and design.

Glenn D. Lowry, Director of MoMA says he is also thrilled to work with the NGV. “From the outset The Museum of Modern Art has been committed to sharing our collection with the widest possible audience in order to encourage a rich and vibrant conversation about modern and contemporary art.”

Mr. D. Lowry thinks working with the NGV gives people the opportunity to see really important works from almost every area of New York’s MoMA while also showing MoMA’s history and the history of the art.

(Photo supplied by the NGV)

Exhibition image of MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art, 2018 on display at NGV International from 9 June–7 October

Photo: Tom Ross

The exhibition displays works drawn from the museum’s six curatorial departments: Architecture and design, drawings and prints, film, media and performance art, painting and sculpting, and photography.

The 8 thematic sections include, Arcadia and Metropolis, which shows how artists of the 20th century responded to cities rising. The Machinery of the Modern World highlights avant-garde movements, while A New Unity highlights Russian avant-garde manifestation. Inner and Outer Worlds showcases iconic surrealist paintings with works that negotiate the relationship between interior and exterior landscapes. Art as Action highlights key examples of abstract expressionism. Things as They Are includes works from the 60s and 70s, from pop art to minimalism, while Immense Encyclopedia focuses on appropriation from the 80s and 90s, and finally Flight Patterns considers contemporary ideas of movement, migration and globalisation.

(Photo supplied by the NGV)

Exhibition image of MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art, 2018 on display at NGV International from 9 June–7 October

Photo: Tom Ross

The NGV layout has been well constructed, as is MoMA in New York. The two museums are very different. While some of it’s familiar, many of the pieces weren’t seen on the walls in New York that are in the NGV and the two are presented in different styles.

Much of the artwork displayed in Melbourne includes sculpted pieces and interactive work, whereas, in New York, there wasn’t as much of that though exhibitions are always changing and it’s expected to see different art. In fact, the diversity between the two is what makes both worth seeing.

(Photo supplied by the NGV)

Exhibition image of MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art, 2018 on display at NGV International from 9 June–7 October

Photo: Tom Ross

Some of the most famous pieces featured in the The New York gallery include Vincent Van Gogh’s, starry night, Andy Warhol’s, Gold Marilyn Monroe, and Claude Monet’s, Water Lilies and Agapanthus. The most famous works in the NGV include Roy Lichtenstein’s, Drowning girl and Andy Warhol’s, Marilyn Monroe.

(Photo supplied by the NGV)

Exhibition image of MoMA at NGV: 130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art, 2018 on display at NGV International from 9 June–7 October

Photo: Tom Ross

Andy Warhol
American 1928–87
Marilyn Monroe 1967
screenprint, edition of 250
91.5 x 91.5 cm (image and sheet)
Publisher: Factory Additions, New York
Printer: Aetna Silkscreen Products, Inc., New York
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Gift of Mr. David Whitney, 1968

23-year-old teacher Emily Hensman from Clyde in Melbourne’s southeast, visited the NGV. She says, “It’s really awesome to see artwork from all around the world, plus from different sort of ages and eras as well that are still modern. So you’ve got Pablo Picasso’s absolutely abstract art, you’ve got people like Andy Warhol, where they have all that amazing pop art and then you’ve got Roy Lichtenstein who has inspiration from comic books,like Roy Lichtenstein’s, Drowning Girl, pop art that was created in 1963. Pop art is huge now.”

Emily believes that these are the people who invented this modern way of art. “You know these people really paved the way for future artists. I think MoMA really pulls in all different types of people because of this and because of how diverse the artworks are, while still really modern and contemporary.”

Ticket prices in Melbourne are more expensive than MoMA in New York. They’re set at a $24.50 for a concession and $28 for adults, while New York MoMA offers a suggested donation of $24 for adults and $14 for concession, though each person is welcome to change this to an amount which they think is fair. While you still have to pay, it can be as little as a few dollars.

Though Emily Hensman says, “For $30 or concession which is a little bit less as well, it’s pretty good to be able to go and see these artworks that have come all the way from America. So it really is the chance of a life time unless you go to America to see these really cool artworks.” 

(Photo supplied by the NGV)

MoMA art handlers prepare Moloch floor lamp, 1970-71 to travel to the National Gallery of Victoria for the exhibition MoMA at NGV:130 Years of Modern and Contemporary Art, on view 9 June through 7 October, 2018.

Photo: Julieta Cervantes

Gaetano Pesce
Italian born 1939
Bracciodiferro, Geneva (manufacturer)
Swiss 1970–75
Moloch floor lamp 1970–71
metal alloy and steel
229.9 x 286.7 x 86.0 cm
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Gift of the manufacturer, 1972
©Gaetano Pesce

16-year-old student Charlotte Anika from Berwick, who visited New York’s MoMA says, “I’m really excited that it’s here in Melbourne. Since the moment I left New York, I’ve wanted to go back, but how often do I get to go to New York right? So its truly wonderful that it’s here to able to experience it again.”

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