MoMA’s new look brings Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night,’ other icons to NYC

Claude Monet's iconic 'Water Lilies' on display at MoMA on Oct. 21. (Todd Maisel)
MoMA’s West 53rd Street entrance on Monday, Oct 21. (Photos by Todd Maisel)

The Museum of Modern Art just became a bit more modern.

The six story creative haven reopened on Monday, Oct. 21, after a four-month renovation that added more open space in and around the esteemed galleries and converted its ground level into exhibit space, which is now now open to the public free of charge.

The opening attracted an out-the-door line of aficionados who were greeted by a wall welcome back message, “Hello. Again.”

The real treat for art connoisseurs is up the stairs between levels two and five, which now have 30 percent more gallery space thanks to the revamp.

The heart of MoMA’s new lineup is on the fifth floor — that’s where Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night,” Claude Monet’s “Water Lilies,” and works by Georges Surat and other icons like Pablo Picasso all hang to the delight of New Yorkers (and tourists).

For those that don’t know the difference between a paint brush and a hair brush, “modern art” references works from the 1860s and beyond more so than it does with paint being splattered randomly at a canvas.

Though, more abstract art is also now represented in MoMA through acquired Jackson Pollock works, which are on the museum’s lower levels.

The MoMA’s second level features much of the most contemporary art dating from the 1970s to current day. Exquisite large scale, wall-mounted sculptures are shown in addition to other prints and paintings, such as a room-length, black and white, untitled Keith Haring mural from 1982.

Claude Monet’s iconic ‘Water Lilies’ on display at MoMA on 10/21/19. (Todd Maisel)

Level two also features photos of Tiananmen Square at both night and during and other works relevant to current geopolitical climates and social issues.

Some of the more dimensional works in the brand new MoMA are a series of David Tudor mobiles which feature fellow composers and unique, hanging works made of everyday items like symbols and bottom pieces to chairs and tables.

The MoMA sculpture garden also features plenty of icons of 3D art in an open environment. Adjacent to its fountain and waterway are the sculptures of Alexander Calder, Picasso, among others.

A museum goer appreciates a Jackson Pollock painting at MoMA. (Todd Maisel)

Back inside on the museum’s mid-levels, Frank Lloyd Wright’s nearly 7-foot-tall model of the San Francisco Call Building is displayed next to a Piet Mondrian linear composition.

Those floors also showcase unique photography works from different time periods, such as a black and white still of the inside of a large Soviet radio tower. More than just a unique and internal angle, Richard Pare’s shot also encapsulates a nearly perfect Fibonacci spiral of the metal radius.

MoMA’s renovations also include terraces and a cafe to look out on the sculpture garden and Midtown skyline — a work of art in itself.

Standard adult tickets for the new MoMA are only $25, but get to the West 53rd Street museum with time to spare because visitors are coming in droves to see the renovations.

Mobile sculptures paired with audio displayed at MoMA on 10/21/19. (Todd Maisel)
MoMA’s sculpture garden captured from the museum’s top level. (Todd Maisel)

Standard adult tickets for the new MoMA are only $25, but seeing the museum’s renovations is definitely in high demand- so plan accordingly and get to West 53rd Street with time to spare.

Alex Mitchell