Nine Ideas for a Better MOMA


It goes without saying that the new Museum of Modern Art needs tweaking. Installations have to be adjusted, and there has to be more than the current 5 percent of women artists included in fourth- and fifth-floor installations of the painting and sculpture collection. Here are some non-installation suggestions MOMA should implement.

There is no longer a “Projects” gallery in the new museum. MOMA is already appallingly squeezed for space. Nonetheless, it can’t only do “New Acquisitions” shows or allow P.S.1 to take up the slack in this critical area. Seeing Mark Dion’s nifty “Project” wedged into the theater lobby of the sub-basement is depressing. MOMA should immediately re-establish a project space. Following this, a large-scale annual exhibition of eight to 10 important young artists (with a catalog) should be instituted. Meanwhile, the space for video should be tripled. Ditto the stupendous drawing collection—even if this means less office or education space.

MOMA should present lectures and panels every month. These events should be free to artists and students, and be available later online. The museum should institute a paperback series of scholarly monographs on individual artists and establish a regular publication along the lines of Tate magazine. All this would make MOMA feel more alive. At the same time, the museum should look into having one more free day or evening a week.

Finally, it’s great that MOMA mounts retrospectives of artists like Gursky, Richter, and Polke. (Thomas Demand is opening next month.) However, it needs to branch out and go lighter on established white guys and Germans.

[email protected]