Ramblings of a "New American" Gardener

MOMA Garden (yes, on iPhone)

January 28, 2015

Went to see Matisse cutout exhibition. Of course, I stopped to visit the garden.

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The Sony (formerly AT&T) building, with the Chippendale top, in the upper left, was designed by Philip Johnson, who also designed the original MOMA sculpture garden.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Diana Studer January 29, 2015 at 5:03 pm

the bound and tripod men are horrifying. What’s that about?

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James Golden January 30, 2015 at 11:20 pm

Diana, they are horrifying. I can’t find any information on them, not even a google search reveals anything. Next time I go there, I will ask. It’s very strange that there appears to be no information on them on the Internet.

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Clare January 29, 2015 at 5:15 pm

Interesting pics. All trees look really good, what is the series of three twisted distorted branches, do you know? But the hard landscaping is much too busy for the density of art work they need to show. All those itty bitty changes in direction and fragmentation are really irritating and distracting. You neither get a sense of the trees co-habiting the space with the art nor a space or sensibility that complements the viewing the art itself. The decorative qualities of the garden seem to compete unhappily with its function as an art gallery and so I think it fails.

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James Golden January 30, 2015 at 11:22 pm

Please don’t judge it from these photos. I don’t agree with you, but the photos may make it appear more crowded than it is. I find it to be a very tranquil space.

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Clare January 29, 2015 at 5:18 pm

Is it Betula pendula? I’ve never seen it in winter, it looks bloody fantastic. What a tree.

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James Golden January 30, 2015 at 11:23 pm

I assume they are some kind of Betula pendula.

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Desert Dweller / David C. January 31, 2015 at 11:57 am

Looks like a very pleasant space, edgy and tranquil…worth a visit even for the garden space. I appreciate your shot of how it’s set into the context of a sleek urban canyon, a good contrast from my area’s rugged canyons and desert mountains. Much inspiration in either for private gardens – bookmarked.

Will be interesting to find out what those figures lashed to the tripods are about. At least as disturbing as many public art pieces at Denver Int’l Airport.

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James Golden February 1, 2015 at 2:35 pm

It’s very tranquil, David, especially on a breezy day in the 20s. I think much of the garden’s effect is the soaring space above it (your canyons), between the museum towers. That’s some very valuable real estate. And yes, those sculptures. A big question mark for me.

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Pat Webster February 1, 2015 at 9:04 am

The MOMA garden is a wonderfully calm spot in the midst of the city. Taking the photos through the branches of the trees gives the impression of a busy space but I have never found that to be the case. Your photo taken from inside the building conveys a better sense of the whole.

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James Golden February 1, 2015 at 2:36 pm

I agree, Pat. In the photos taken down in the garden, distances are foreshortened, so everything appears compressed into two dimensions. The impression of crowding is only an illusion.

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Nell February 5, 2015 at 3:56 pm

MOMA makes it harder than it should be to look up items in the collection, but here is the sculpture — United Enemies I, bronze, by Thomas Schuette, German (born 1954), acquired 2011.

http://www.moma.org/collection/browse_results.php?object_id=174098

Yikes.

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James Golden February 5, 2015 at 10:22 pm

Thank you very much, Nell, for removing the mystery. I spent hours trying to identify this work. As you say, yikes. I won’t say it doesn’t belong. Almost anything can belong if appropriate to a garden. Gardens should deal with serious issues, not just be pretty.

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Les February 6, 2015 at 8:35 pm

The three of us had a pleasant lunch there back in the summer of 2010. Yes it was crowded, and the food was just OK, but the views were fine. We were entertained by Europeans dealing with the heat while wearing thick fashionable scarfs around their sweaty necks.

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