The Museum of Modern Art announces another dynamic transformation of its collection galleries through Fall Reveal, opening on October 30, 2021. Conceived by cross-departmental teams of curators at all levels of seniority, the Fall Reveal will feature more than 350 newly installed works of art, across 13 galleries.
This new presentation continues a year of constant renewal across all three collection floors, introducing audiences to new artists, works, and galleries during the spring and summer of 2021. The Museum curatorial staff continues to break new ground as it explores the relationships among works of art displayed in dynamic and new contexts.
The new MoMA opened on October 21, 2019, with a collection model that highlights the creative affinities and frictions produced by displaying painting, sculpture, architecture, design, photography, media, performance, film, and works on paper together. Recognizing that there is no single or complete history of modern and contemporary art, the Museum offers a deeper experience of art through all mediums and by artists from more diverse geographies and backgrounds than ever before. The curators have emphasized new voices,
new acquisitions, and new perspectives on well-known works that have been in the collection for decades. The Museum continues to prioritize the collection display in its expanded spaces and honors its commitment to share with the public a greater variety of its
vast holdings on a seasonally rotating basis.
Fifth Floor, 1880s–1940
Motion and Illumination (Gallery 501) highlights how artists in the late 19th century
allowed new lens-based technologies to influence how they perceived and preserved the
happenings of their age. Photography and cinema were perfectly suited to capture the
spontaneous pleasures of everyday life. For the first time in MoMA’s history, lens-based
works like American Mutoscope and Biograph Company’s film The Flying Train (1902) will
be installed in the first gallery on the Fifth floor.
As a product of the Industrial Revolution, photography was modern from the start. Much
like locomotion and electricity, it introduced a new way of seeing the world—a form of vision
that was mediated by machines. Some artists, awed by the speed of railway travel, made
works depicting the blurred landscapes they witnessed from train windows, like Edgar
Degas and his Green Landscape (c. 1890). Others favored domestic interiors, using newly
available gas and electric table lamps like those designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany to flood
their scenes with light. Still others, such as Brassaï and Charles Marville, wandered the city
of Paris, photographing and filming its dazzling illumination as dusk fell.
The miracle and menace of technological advances have been embraced and augmented
by artists and designers throughout the modern era,” says Rajendra Roy, the Celeste Bartos
Chief Curator of Film. Clément Chéroux, the Joel and Anne Ehrenkranz Chief Curator of
Photography, adds, “The early, pioneering works presented in Gallery 501 show how, at the
turn of the 20th century, the Industrial Revolution changed the way of seeing and representing the world, pointing toward the century of exuberant creative invention to come.”
Gallery 516 features Badge of Honor by Pépon Osorio (Puerto Rican, born 1955), a largescale
video installation recently acquired by the Museum and on view for the first time. The
installation breaks chronology on the fifth floor, showcasing a contemporary work in the
circuit typically devoted to modern art from the 1880s through the 1940s. Badge of Honor
emerged from Osorio’s experiences in a predominantly Puerto Rican, working class
neighborhood in Newark in the 1990s.
Weaving together intensely personal narratives from community members about the
profound impact of mass incarceration, Osorio’s installation comprises two dramatically
opposed spaces—a bleak prison cell and a teenager’s room overflowing with consumer
goods. Film footage and sound play on both sides of the wall that separates the two spaces,
allowing viewers to see and hear the long-distance conversations which Osario filmed, and
carried back and forth, between a 15-year-old at his family home and the young man’s
father, who was incarcerated at New Jersey’s Northern State Prison.
“Badge of Honor is one of Osorio’s most thought-provoking and moving works, and remains
as relevant today as when it was made in the 1990s,” said Beverly Adams, the Estrellita
Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art, Department of Painting and Sculpture. “Though the
work has traveled far and wide, from its initial installation in a Newark storefront to South
Africa, our hope is that its debut here at MoMA will continue to have a profound impact on
visitors in New York from all over the world.”
Fourth Floor, 1940–1970
Transparency in Architecture and Beyond (Gallery 417) prominently features a floor-to ceiling
fragment of the United Nations Secretariat Building in New York, one of the first
realizations of the ideal of a fully transparent architecture. As the Secretariat Building rose
on the East edge of Manhattan in 1950, it was meant to communicate the aspiration of a
transparent institution, an intergovernmental organization that would be guided by ethical
principles and unafraid to “expose” its inner workings.
Architects—such as Lucio Costa, Le Corbusier, and Oscar Niemeyer in their Ministry of
Education and Health (1937–42) in Rio de Janeiro—engaged with the aesthetic potentials
and symbolic pitfalls of transparency throughout the 20th century. Acutely aware of the
loss of privacy that glass buildings brought about, artists—among them Elizabeth Diller +
Ricardo Scofidio, Haus-Rucker-Co, and Dan Graham—investigated the sense of voyeurism
and the threat of all-encompassing surveillance of the individual. Using transparency as a
metaphor, they uncovered hidden power structures and demanded accountability from
institutions—from privately owned museums to multinational corporations.
“Transparency and its other—opacity—are among the key aesthetic tropes of modern
architecture throughout the 20th century,” said Martino Stierli, the Philip Johnson Chief
Curator of Architecture and Design. “This gallery is an opportunity to explore not only how
architects capitalized on the many aesthetic potentials of glass, but also to address the
larger political and societal dimensions of transparency in the built environment.”
Body on the Line (Gallery 420) brings together works by an international group of women
artists from the late 1960s to the early 1980s, an incredibly rich period in the history of the
struggle for women’s rights around the world. These artists engaged with feminism and
femininity by drawing on personal histories or staking positions on social issues. Some took
a distinctly conceptual approach in establishing the ground for the intermingling of art and
politics or in offering a feminist critique of the traditional boundaries of gender in their
societies. Others communicated the experiences of women in more sensuous or intuitive
ways. “I always feel the painting come from my soul,” declared the artist Kamala Ishag.
Her evocative painting of a commune of women amid a supernatural transformation anchors
this wide-ranging ensemble of works by extraordinary women who have inspired myriad
artists after them.
“Gallery 420 highlights the works of women pioneers whose innovative and empowering
visual expressions reflected a range of the physical, intellectual, and inner psychic
conditions of women around the world from the late 1960s through the early 1980s,” said
Ugochukwu-Smooth C. Nzewi, the Steven and Lisa Tananbaum Curator, Department of
Painting and Sculpture. “It is anchored by a dynamic painting of distorted female figures
encircling a transparent cube, by the Sudanese modernist Kamala Ishag, acquired earlier
this year. Visitor favorites, such as Eva Hesse’s Repetition Nineteen III (1968), composed of
19 transparent container-like forms, are juxtaposed with a slew of new acquisitions,
including I Tried Everything (1972), an installation comprising photographs, advert
placements, products, and handwritten notes by Suzanne Lacy and her feminist
Second Floor, 1970–Present
The works in Guadalupe Maravilla: Luz y Fuerza (Gallery 212) take inspiration from a
variety of Indigenous myths, like that of the Mayan feathered serpent, as well as ancestral
traditions, such as the Salvadoran game of tripa chuca. Maravilla (American, born El
Salvador. 1976) creates sculptures from both natural materials and readymade objects,
each component selected for its therapeutic, historic, symbolic, and aesthetic properties.
Many, too, are meant to act as healing instruments; the Disease Throwers populating this
space will be played by the artist and his collaborators.
Two events from Maravilla’s life animate his work above all: crossing the southern border of
the United States as an undocumented eight-year-old and, later in life, surviving colon
cancer. From this personal history grows a multidisciplinary artistic practice that addresses
trauma, contagion, rehabilitation, and rebirth. Often Maravilla works with communities in
need, especially those experiencing illness and extreme stress. Throughout the duration of
this presentation, he will offer soundbaths to those best helped by the practice, such as
individuals living with cancer, and to general audiences. A full schedule has been announced
“The power of Guadalupe’s work begins in the materiality of his sculptures and extends far
beyond,” says Paulina Pobocha, Associate Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture.
Martha Joseph, the Phyllis Ann and Walter Borten Assistant Curator of Media and
Performance, Department of Media and Performance, continues, “To the viewers who see
their own histories reflected in the mythology, to the healing his performances aim to
provide, and to his unwavering commitment to building and strengthening community.”
In Sky Hopinka’s I’ll Remember You as You Were, Not as What You’ll Become (Gallery
213), which serves as a tribute to the Native poet Diane Burns, markers of time and place
bleed together to form a vivid meditation on mortality and reincarnation. Burns is seen
performing at the American Indian Community House in New York in an archival recording
from 1996. The footage is punctuated with powwow dancers, filmed by Hopinka and
partially obscured by folds of shimmering color created through digital editing. The
rhythmic sound of Sacred Harp singing, traditional to the rural American South, makes up
the film’s soundtrack.
Hopinka (Ho-Chunk Nation, born 1984) often studies language as a conduit for culture and
incorporates text into his films. Here, lines from Burns’s poems alternate with an
ethnographic text on the Ho-Chunk concepts of rebirth and the afterlife. Some of these
excerpts are recast in geometric arrangements of text called calligrams, an example of
which is installed at the gallery entrance. Shaped after Ho-Chunk effigy mounds, these
nonlinear texts, like the film, ask what forms the spirit can take.
To celebrate the installation of I’ll Remember You as You Were, Not as What You’ll Become
(2016), MoMA also presents a weeklong run of Hopinka’s feature debut, maɬni–towards the
ocean, towards the shore (2020), through November 3 in the Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters.
This film similarly explores Indigenous perspectives on mortality, rebirth, and the afterlife.
This presentation marks maɬni’s first theatrical set of screenings in New York City.
“The power and generosity of Hopinka’s films is in their ability to create new pathways,
connections, and questions through emotional resonance,” says Sophie Cavoulacos,
Associate Curator, Department of Film. “The gentle interplay between image, text, and
sound in Hopinka’s tribute to Anishinabe/Chemehuevi poet Diane Burns models a way of
creating space for all who came before us. It is a thrill to build on a moment of renewed
scholarship and attention to Burns’s legacy—which is also celebrated this fall in Greater New
York at MoMA PS1.”
Fall Reveal Digital Programs
In conjunction with MoMA’s installation of newly acquired copies of the Black Panther
newspaper, artist and graphic designer Emory Douglas will participate in a range of digital
programs on moma.org. Douglas’s work will also be featured at the Museum in a new
collection presentation this fall. As former Minister of Culture and Revolutionary Artist of
the Black Panther Party, Douglas created many of the most recognizable images associated
with the Party, and facilitated their distribution to a broad readership through this popular
publication. Douglas joined curators on Thursday, October 14, at 7:00 p.m. EST for a livestreamed
discussion of his work.
He will also hold a workshop with emerging artists as part of MoMA’s Art and Practice series,
moderated by Professor Colette Gaiter, on Wednesday, November 3 (prior registration
All 30 copies of the Black Panther newspaper acquired by the Museum are
available for viewing in their entirety on moma.org, and a selection will appear in the new
gallery Divided States of America (Gallery 415), which focuses on art, activism, and politics
in the 1960s and ’70s. It will include works in a variety of mediums and visual styles by Sam
Gilliam, Lee Lozano, and Martha Rosler, in addition to Douglas and others.
Visitor Information Updates
New York City now requires that all visitors (ages 12+) to museums, including MoMA, be
vaccinated against COVID-19. For more details on the vaccination mandate, please visit the
Key to NYC website. The health and safety of our community remains MoMA’s top priority,
and we continue to follow the guidance of City officials and health experts to help curb the
Starting September 10, in accordance with the City mandate, all visitors (ages 12+) to The
Museum of Modern Art and its stores must show proof that they have received at least one
dose of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized by the United States Food and Drug Administration
or by the World Health Organization. Masks are still required for visitors (ages 2+) and staff
in all indoor areas of the Museum; complimentary face masks are available.
To enter the Museum and its Stores in Midtown and SoHo, visitors may show any of these
accepted forms of proof of COVID-19 vaccination (together with a photo ID):
• A photo or hard copy of an official immunization record of a vaccine administered
from within or outside the US.
• For visitors who received an immunization within the US, a photo or hard copy of
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Bioscience, Serum Institute of India/COVISHIELD and Vaxzevria, Sinopharm, or
• NYC COVID Safe App
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