The Mount Goes to MOMA

by Catie Kehoe

Last Saturday, March 24th, a small contingent of students gathered outside of Hudson Hall to embark on a trip to NYC’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). Organized by Mount Saint Mary College’s Student Government Association (SGA), this venture offered students an opportunity to behold some of the world’s most acclaimed contemporary art. The sky was overcast and foreboding but the destination promised an enlightening experience for everyone involved.

The students perused the art of greats such as Matisse, Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, Dali, and other celebrated names. They marveled at the dreamy impressionism of Monet and gawked at the avant garde cubism of Picasso. Among the renowned pieces, the staples of the museum, like Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and Dali’s “Persistence of Memory,” there were some thought-provoking exhibitions.

The Cindy Sherman exhibition, on display from February 26th till June 11th, featured portraits of modern women that were grotesque, yet captivating. The subjects were depicted regally as though they were aristocracy, wearing lavish attire, set amidst picturesque backdrops, but were notably flawed. Sherman’s angle and blatant perversion of convention was laced throughout the exhibition. Her other paintings were parodies of popular works such as the famed portrait “Sir Thomas More.” The original, which now resides in the Frick Museum (also in NYC), is lauded for its flawless technique and detail. Yet, Sherman’s rendition portrays Moore with a bulbous nose and oblivious expression—this take is whimsical and almost subversive.

Perhaps the most arresting fixture was that of the Lady Rosa of Luxembourg. This installation is a golden obelisk that towers over swarming visitors. Originally, “Lady Rose” resided in Luxembourg. She was the brainchild of revolutionary feminist artist Sanja Ivekovic. Ivekovic, who was asked to contribute to Manifesta 2, an art initiative launched by the Ministry of Culture of Luxembourg, took the historical statue “Golden Lady” in Constitution Square and replaced the goddess Nike that traditionally graced the top. She substituted Nike, a gilded goddess, with the image of a pregnant woman. Her art was meant to refocus Luxembourg’s view of women in history. Her statue thrust a real woman into the public, making for an unprecedented and controversial creation.

This provocative work was well worth the trip. The exhibitions, along with the usual catalog of work MOMA boasts, ensured a unique and enriching excursion for all.