Monday, August 25, 2008

The New MoMA

The renovations at MoMA are fabulous. Maybe a little too much so in places. All that money and technology seems to have magnified and hyper-realized the austere modernist aesthetic of the original building. Its giganticism reminds one in a slightly creepy way of Mussolini or that other guy – little people amongst huge furniture dwarfed by rooms of galactic proportions. The second floor atrium is magnificent, but intimidating. Here is a view of the ceiling:

The sunlit patterns are gorgeous, but they don’t warm.

The galleries and the restaurant are much better. The restaurant's human-scale preserves the New York post-war aesthetic – comfortable industrial-style furniture with chrome legs, beautifully sculptural flower arrangements, long bar with impressive bottles.

The food is simple, but elegantly prepared to the point where the simplicity of the dish is something of a riff. I had liverwurst (tangy and sophisticated) with pickled vegetables (out of this world -- or perhaps one should say "Only in Japan are there pickles like this):

And then, a poached egg cooked in its own Mason jar with lobster meat and corn. I didn't think the corn worked -- the egg and lobster were already sweet, and the corn added a vegetal sweetness that didn't quite match

Definitely an A-.

No comments: