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Architect US

E5 – Whitney and MoMA

In this post, I will continue with my review of the most beautiful museums in New York.

A few weeks ago, I visited, at last, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the MoMA. As you know the Whitney is an interesting building designed by Renzo Piano in Chelsea. (They have the RPBW office in front of the museum). It is facing the Hudson River and it is connected to the Highline. There is an impressive permanent collection in the museum. I highly recommend the exterior terrace with great views from the downtown and midtown, a great spot to take pictures! There was a temporary exhibition about American art and there was a reproduction of the painted wall (Man at the Crossroads) that Diego Rivera design for the Rockefeller center, that was destroyed by the owner because he included a portrait of Lenin. The impressive wall represents the confrontation between the two political blocks. The exhibition included some sketches and the first approach to the final wall. Despite being destroyed, Rivera had the opportunity to recreate a replica in Mexico (Man, Controller of the Universe) that survived until today.

 MoMA is impressive. I had the same feeling I had in the Louvre in Paris but for contemporary art. There are some works that I didn’t know were exhibited in this museum and I was fascinated. Apart from that, the permanent exhibition is amazing. A piece of advice for architecture students: they will learn more of the XX architecture and art there in a couple of hours than in a whole semester in the school. All work from the most relevant architects of the last century is related to the arts and movements of the moment so you can understand what is going on in each decade. There was a Donald Judd exhibition on the sixth floor. Highly recommended if you want to fully understand and experience his work with the colors, the volume, and space. The new extension by Diller Scofidio + Renfro has a nice stair that appears floating between the glass facade and the interior only supported by a vertical steel sheet between the treads. I have pending a second visit to have more time to admire all the works!

Stay tuned for the next post! I will talk about The Met, Guggenheim and a way of having membership in all the museums for a year if you live here in NYC!

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Juan Carlos Bragado

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