NEW YORK, NY.-
Exquisite Corpses: Drawing and Disfiguration brings together around 90 works from MoMA
's collection that explore the various operations to which artists have submitted the human figure since the turn of the last century. In a series of cross-chronological groupings, works from a range of moments and movements are brought together, highlighting shared strategies for disrupting the body's order. MoMA's five exquisite corpse drawings are on view, along with works by artists from Joan Miró and André Masson to Louise Bourgeois and Robert Gober to Mark Manders and Nicola Tyson. Art's academic tradition regards the human figure as a symbol of perfection and a primary system of organization, yet these works prove that artists have just as persistently been driven to disfiguration. Exquisite Corpses: Drawing and Disfiguration is organized by Samantha Friedman, Curatorial Assistant, with Jodi Hauptman, Curator, Department of Drawings.
In a collaborative, chance-based drawing game known as the exquisite corpse, Surrealist artists subjected the human body to distortions and juxtapositions that resulted in fantastic composite figures. This exhibition considers how this and related operations in which the body is dismembered or reassembled, swollen or multiplied, propped with prosthetics or fused with nature and the machine recur throughout the twentieth century and to the present. Artists distort and disorient our most familiar of referents, playing out personal, cultural, or social anxieties and desires on unwitting anatomies. If art history reveals an unending impulse to render the human figure, as a symbol of potential perfection and a system of primary organization, these works show that artists have just as persistently been driven to disfiguration.
Born out of Necessity
March 2, 2012-January 28, 2013
Architecture and Design Galleries, third floor
Amongst the most common and enduring definitions of design is problem-solving. An issue arises. A designer analyzes the needs that arise from it, distils them into goals, and creates a design within the means availablefocusing on an elegant, functional, and economical solution to the problem. From this perspective, good design is almost born out of an inspired syllogism. Design is often not problem-solving, but rather problem-making, where the process is focused on finding a possible solution to problems that dont yet exist.
Born out of Necessity showcases objects from MoMAs collection that can be read according this traditional view of design and yet can veer dramatically from its visual and functional catalogue. The exhibition focuses on issues chosen by or assigned to a designersome being real and urgent needs while others responding to foreseen or imagined needsto describe possible future scenarios. Some examples include designs for emergencies at home or at sea; equipment for medical intervention and natural disaster prevention; objects celebrating everyday staples of problem-solving, such as band-aids and earplugs; and designs describing a future issue, such as a redesign of our gastro-intestinal system as a inventive solution for a potential food shortage. These objects, that respond to pressing needs in developing countries to offering new solutions that are tailored to the western urban environment, address the problems of a few but eventually turn into products that improve everybodys lives, becoming a solution for all. This exhibition is organized by Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, and Kate Carmody, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design.