Modern Immaturity

November 2004
New Republic;11/29/2004, Vol. 231 Issue 22/23, p29
The article presents the author's assessment of renovations made to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. The re-opening of the Museum of Modern Art is exhilarating and dismaying in almost equal proportions. The museum, which has spent more than $400 million on a renovation and expansion so vast that it amounts to a whole new building, has surely found the right man for the job. Yoshio Taniguchi, MoMA's architect, brings an opulent delicacy to this daunting project. The artists and the museum-goers whom I know want this renovation to work--they want MoMA to shimmer--precisely because so many of them grew up in the Museum of Modern Art and there discovered what excellence was, and now they know how desperate is the need for a place where a new generation can go and grapple with questions of quality. The disjunction between the museum's classic collections and the business that it does in contemporary art is now more pronounced than ever before. With his subtle re-imagining of the Museum of Modern Art, Yoshio Taniguchi has shown us what the monument can look like, but his makeover has also given a new lease on life to the museum's by-now-inveterate status as an aging hipster with some life left in it yet.


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