Take An Object

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MoMA_021016B
Flag (Photos by MoMA)

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is wonderful place. Filled with creative, abstract and out of the box art, the MoMA features several unique exhibits throughout a season. One of the last installments of winter, “Take an Object” was inspired by everyday objects that surround us, and how artists envision using them in artistic forms.

In 1964, American painter and printmaker Jasper Johns (born 1930), wrote a note in his sketchbook that read: “Take an object/Do something to it/Do something else to it. [Repeat].” Since then, artists, art historians and critics have followed this set of instructions to describe the revolutionary approaches to art making that developed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This exhibition presents a selection of works from the museum’s collection that all “take an object.” The pieces range from the mid-1950s to the 1970s, and all share a common thread of artists taking everyday objects and other non-fine art materials to create their masterpieces. The exhibit features the works of Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Niki de Saint Phalle, Betye Saar and Katsuhiro Yamaguchi and other artists.

Tomahawk Nolan
Tomahawk Nolan

Objects like lightbulbs, newspapers, furniture, and even taxidermied animals became new canvases for creation. Looking beyond the traditional mediums of oil paint and bronze these artists established a new set of guidelines for art: anything goes.

Johns created “Flag,” in 1954. The work is an encaustic painting and was created when Johns was 24, two years after he was discharged from the U.S. Army. American artist John Chamberlain (1927-2011) is also featured in the exhibit. His piece, “Tomahawk Nolan,” was created in 1965 of welded and painted metal automobile parts.

Come see these works and more at this exhibit, which runs through Sunday, Feb. 28. The MoMA is located at 11 W 53rd St., New York. For more information, call 212-708-9400.

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