MoMA’s West End Expansion

Two weeks ago, I went to the MoMA Expansion opening to check the new gallery spaces designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Gesler.

Since the first time I went to MoMA in 2018, I wanted to see the design approach that the architectural office would take since it’s the expansion of one of the most popular museums in the world.

We got there at 4.00 pm and it was raining a lot, which was actually a blessing. For me, the best time to visit museums while in New York is when the weather is really bad and most of the people don’t want to get out of their cozy houses. That way, you can wander around the space and look at the masterpieces as long as you want because no one will bother you.

Below the beautiful canopy, some people were waiting for cabs to leave the museum and the Museum employees waited for the visitors to go in. Soon we found out that the admission was free. How lucky were we?

The main lobby immediately informed that the architectural language was different from the main building. The materials palette changed. Steel, wood and charcoal paint and furniture combined with the accentuated vertical lines of the reception counter and staircase turn it into a sophisticated reception space. This was one of the intentions of the architects, who beautifully connected the double-height lobby to the store in the lower level.

But the most impressive thing was the gallery spaces at the street-level. They invite the people walking in the streets of Manhattan to get in and connect with the masterpieces. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay long because it was almost closing time when we arrived. But the short period of time I spent there allowed me to see one of my favourite artist’s painting.

Jean-Michel Basquiat was a new-yorker artist, contemporary of Andy Warhol, who painted the most beautiful neo-expressionist canvas as a tool to show his experiences of a young black man living in a profoundly racist America.

Most of Basquiat’s masterpieces are displayed right now in a temporary exhibition at the Guggenheim and I hope that my next post will be about exploring his visual poetics.

visit the MOMA







Sofia Melo


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