Ada Louise Huxtable on MoMA, Plus Contemporary Art

But we yearn for more than a cloakroom and gift shop in the cavernous entrance; the atrium cries for the really big gesture — even Barnett Newman’s “Broken Obelisk” becomes a decorous gesture that ceases to alarm. This requires a powerful, perception-altering work, a site-specific creation that deals fearlessly with the scale — something new, provocative and outrageous — a naughty newcomer that must wait to be judged worthy enough to be invited in. MoMA has never looked so uptight as in this stupendous new space. Something needs to turn that void into a connection between past and future, something that takes a chance on the transformational experience only art can provide. MegaMoMA is fail-safe and risk-free.

– Ada Louise Huxtable.
It’s odd, considering there are works by Eve Sussman, Chris Ofili, Elizabeth Peyton, Josiah McIlheny, Peter Doig and Jeff Wall literally within spitting distance of each other, not to mention a dozen other living artists a generation or two older, but I feel an absence of contemporary energy, of connection to the immediate practice of art, at the new Modern. I think Huxtable’s phrase, risk-free, is all too apt. Is it still too early to start taking some risks?
… In MoMA’s Big, New, Elegantly Understated Home [WSJ, via archinect]