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MoMA

AUTHOR: PAMELA POPESON

Posts by Pamela Popeson
328
June 25, 2014  |  Current Exhibitions
The Cien House: Building Conceptions in Space
Pezo von Ellrichshausen, Mauricio Pezo, Sófia von Ellrichshausen. Cien House, Concepción, Chile. 2009–11. Concrete model, 14 × 14 × 5" (35.6 × 35.6 × 12.7 cm). Photo: Pamela Popeson

Pezo von Ellrichshausen, Mauricio Pezo, Sófia von Ellrichshausen. Cien House, Concepción, Chile. 2009–11. Concrete model, 14 × 14 × 5″ (35.6 × 35.6 × 12.7 cm). Photo: Pamela Popeson

I’m a big fan of buildings, which is to say walking around looking at buildings, taking city architecture tours by bike, or car trips out to a particular site, checking out exteriors, interiors—all of it. But for me, architects’ models and drawings are really where it’s at.

There’s an intimacy to architectural drawings and models that fosters a feeling of a sort of partnership, offering an insider’s invitation to that place where it’s clear that the ideas behind making buildings are about so much more than the plans for access elevators or where to put the closets. Read more

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May 2, 2014  |  Collection & Exhibitions
Ferrari F1: Synonomous with Speed
John Barnard, Ferrari S.p.A. Maranello, Italy Formula 1 Racing Car (641/2). 1990. Honeycomb composite with carbon fibers, Kevlar and other materials, 40 1/2" x 7' x 14' 6 1/2" (102.9 x 213.4 x 448.3  cm). Donor: Ferrari North America.

John Barnard, Ferrari S.p.A. Formula 1 Racing Car (641/2). 1990. Honeycomb composite with carbon fibers, Kevlar and other materials, 40 1/2″ x 7′ x 14′ 6 1/2″ (102.9 x 213.4 x 448.3 cm). Donor: Ferrari North America

There’s nothing in the world like a really fast car, and the MoMA design collection has one of the world’s fastest: the 1990 Scuderia Ferrari Formula 1 High Performance Racing Car (641/2), by British auto designer John Barnard.

Though not a recent acquisition, I thought it fitting to feature the Ferrari now in honor of Fernando Alonso and Ferrari’s first podium of the 2014 Formula 1 season at the recent Chinese Grand Prix.

As designer John Barnard explains in an audio guide segment from the 2002 exhibition AUTObodies: speed, sport, transport, the 641, or F1-90, as it’s become known, was built for speed. And it delivered. Plus it’s red. Fiery red. Ferrari red, in fact. Red means danger, look out, hot stuff coming through; it’s the color of anger, passion, and seduction, and as everyone knows, red cars go faster.

John Barnard. John Barnard.  Sketch for Engine Intake of Formula 1 Car, #639. 1987. Pencil on paper, 11 3/4 x 16 5/8" (29.8 x 42.3 cm). Gift of John Barnard. From left: Sketch for Engine Intake of Formula 1 Car, #639; Sketch for body joints of Formula 1 car, Model #639; Sketch for Radiator Inset, Joint of Formula 1 Car, Model No. 639. All by John Barnard. 1987. Pencil on paper, 11 3/4 x 16 5/8" (29.8 x 42.3 cm). Gift of John Barnard. All photos: John Wronn

From left: Sketch for Engine Intake of Formula 1 Car, #639; Sketch for body joints of Formula 1 car, Model #639; Sketch for Radiator Inset, Joint of Formula 1 Car, Model No. 639. All by John Barnard. 1987. Pencil on paper, 11 3/4 x 16 5/8″ (29.8 x 42.3 cm). Gift of John Barnard.All photos: John Wronn

Scuderia Ferrari has been part of Formula 1 since the beginning, so it’s no wonder that the racing team holds so many F1 records, including the most constructor and driver championships and most overall wins. Each Formula 1 team races two cars; in 1990  two world championship drivers, Alain Prost and Nigel Mansell, drove the 641 for Ferrari, combining for three pole positions, five fastest laps,  and six wins. As reigning champion, Prost’s was the number one car; and he came close to repeating—only to lose out to another world champion, his arch rival Aryton Senna.

The formula, or the overall guiding regulations of Formula 1, has changed over the years with countless modifications and improvements. And big changes came this year with the hybrid 1.6-litre V-6 turbo engine with ERS (Energy Recovery Systems), a major shift from the 2013 2.4-litre V-8. Overall design changes accompanied the new, greener 2014 engines, but likely the most notable and most talked about change is the new engine sound—or lack of it. Drivers have said they can hear the wind over the engine noise; used to be all you could hear was the engine.

The sound of the 1990 641 Ferrari 3.5-litre V-12 engine is familiar to race fans the world over. Like none other, it screams exhilaration, excitement, and pure power.

The world of Grand Prix motor racing is one of precision, with its rigorous formula, and exacting calculations; it’s a culture unto itself with a complicated set of rules and statistical systems of points and penalties spoken in a language of strange numbers and acronyms. But it’s the visceral experience of raw power, crazy kinetic energy, and speed of the cars that ignites our imagination—the remarkable talents and mad skills of drivers the draws us in.

Irma Boom. Ferrari S.p.A.  Tutti i Motori Ferrari. 2002. Photo offset lithography, 9 11/16 x 7 3/4 x 3/8" (24.6 x 19.7 x 1 cm). Gift of Irma Boom. Photo: Jonathan Musikar.

Irma Boom. Ferrari S.p.A. Tutti i Motori Ferrari. 2002. Photo offset lithography, 9 11/16 x 7 3/4 x 3/8″ (24.6 x 19.7 x 1 cm). Gift of Irma Boom. Photo: Jonathan Musikar

“Tutti i Motori Ferrari,” a catalogue of Ferrari engines designed by the Dutch graphic artist Irma Boom is also in MoMA’s design collection. Its soft, outer cover displays the Ferrari prancing horse logo on a silver-colored background that looks to be made of a fluid version of same the aluminum alloy used for F1 engine blocks; the interior plates showcase the evolution of the engines throughout Ferrari’s history. (A flip through of the pages of “Tutti I Motori Ferrari” begins at the one minute mark in the video “20 books by Irma Boom.”)

Before AUTObodies MoMA’s Ferrari 641-2 was first on view in the 1993 exhibition Designed for Speed: Three Automobiles by Ferrari. It can presently be found hanging on the wall in MoMA’s Lewis B. and Dorothy Cullman Education and Research Building lobby, like a perfect portrait of a high-performance machine.

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March 7, 2014  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Design
Considering the Camcopter S-100

Gerhard Heufler, Hans Georg Schiebel. Camcopter S-100 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. 2004. Carbon fiber and titanium, 41″ X 49″ X 10′ 1 5/8″ (104.2 x 123.8 x 310 cm). gift of Schiebel Electronische Gerate GmbH. Photo: Jonathan Muzikar

Gerhard Heufler, Hans Georg Schiebel. Camcopter S-100 Unmanned Aerial Vehicle. 2004. Carbon fiber and titanium, 41″ X 49″ X 10′ 1 5/8″ (104.2 x 123.8 x 310 cm). Gift of Schiebel Electronische Gerate GmbH. Photo: Jonathan Muzikar


When we think of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), aka drones, we generally think of drone strikes. But they aren’t all used for state surveillance and military sector attacks. Read more

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January 16, 2014  |  Collection & Exhibitions, Design
Mine Kafon: Design Demines
Massoud Hassani. Mine Kafon wind-powered deminer. 2011. Bamboo and biodegradable plastics, 87 x 87 x 87" (221 x 221 x 221 cm). Gift of The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art. Photo by Rene van der Hulst

Massoud Hassani. Mine Kafon wind-powered deminer. 2011. Bamboo and biodegradable plastics, 87 x 87 x 87″ (221 x 221 x 221 cm). Gift of The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art. Photo by Rene van der Hulst

Massoud Hassani’s wind-powered land minesweeper, the Mine Kafon, was inspired by the handmade toys from his childhood growing up in the desert north of Kabul, Afghanistan. As a boy, Hassani and his brother would fashion small paper toys to roll in the wind, racing them across the local fields. Read more

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September 12, 2013  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Let Them Eat Delia’s Cake, or Robert Brownjohn’s Let It Bleed
Robert Brownjohn, American, 1926-1970. Let It Bleed.1969. Lithograph. 12 3/8 x 12 3/8″ (31.4 x 31.4 cm)

Robert Brownjohn. Let It Bleed (front cover). 1969. Lithograph, 12 3/8 x 12 3/8″ (31.4 x 31.4 cm)

One of the recent additions to MoMA’s design collection is the record jacket for the Rolling Stones album Let it Bleed, with cover art by Robert Brownjohn. Those of us of a certain age are likely to remember not only our first LP purchase Read more

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The Sublime Imaginings of Architectural Drawing
Filip Dujardin, Untitled from the series Fictions. 2009.  Pigmented inkjet print, 43 5/16 x 61" (110 x 154.9 cm). Gift of Andre Singer. © 2013 Filip Dujardin/Highlight Gallery

Filip Dujardin, Untitled from the series Fictions. 2009. Pigmented inkjet print, 43 5/16 x 61″ (110 x 154.9 cm). Gift of Andre Singer. © 2013 Filip Dujardin/Highlight Gallery

I find there is something wonderfully sublime about architectural drawings, and lucky for me, as the preparator for the Department of Architecture and Design, I get to see a lot of them, particularly when the curators prepare a new exhibition of works from the collection like the current installation Cut ‘n’ Paste: From Architectural Assemblage to Collage City. Read more

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May 2, 2013  |  Collection & Exhibitions
Watching the Sweeper’s Clock

According to Albert Einstein, “The only reason for time is so that everything doesn’t happen at once.”

Sweeper'sClock

Maarten Baas. Sweeper’s Clock. 2009. Video, 720 min. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the designer

As much as I like that idea, and really I do, it seems to me that all too often time stops doing its job, and instead everything starts happening at once, or at least not happening in a timely fashion. Read more

Dome-post-006
April 11, 2013  |  MoMA PS1
MoMA PSI VW Dome 2: Rocking My Rockaways
Dome 2 at the end of the day. Photo by Pamela Popeson

Dome 2 at the end of the day. Photo by Pamela Popeson

If you can picture that moment in an adventure movie when the adventurers come crawling up to the crest of a hill to scope out what’s next on their horizon, then you can imagine the scene in Rockaway Beach as the MoMAPS1 VW Dome 2 first appeared on our horizon, which is to say on  Shorefront Parkway and Beach 94th and 95th Streets, just a stone’s throw from the ocean and the former boardwalk. Read more

1751
February 28, 2013  |  Collection & Exhibitions
Watching the Wind: Viégas and Wattenberg’s Wind Map
Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg. Wind Map. 2012

Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg. Wind Map. 2012. Interactive software

What’s more poetic than the wind? The moon comes close I suppose, but I wonder if even the moon can hold a candle to the wind. Read more

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January 3, 2013  |  Artists, Collection & Exhibitions
Artist’s Choice: Trisha Donnelly in the Making
Polaroid Sunglasses. American Optical Corp., Southbridge, MA. c. 1946. Plastic, l. 6 1/8" (15.6 cm). Manufactured by American Optical Corp., Southbridge, MA. Gift of Edgar Kaufmann, Jr.

Polaroid Sunglasses. c. 1946. Plastic, l. 6 1/8″ (15.6 cm). Manufactured by American Optical Corp., Southbridge, MA. Gift of Edgar Kaufmann, Jr.

A favorite childhood pastime of mine was digging for buried artifacts of the Leni Lenape in my backyard. Another was making maps of the neighborhood. Neither pursuit was entirely productive in any real sense Read more