There is a very simple answer to Tyler Green’s question about how to make the MOMA Atrium space work. As such, I have outlined below the AFC Easy-Plan-to-Success redesign. This plan will cure the museum of it’s aesthetic woes and remove the dominant corporate feel to the place.
1. Replace the concrete floor with recycled wood. Corporate “looks” are most often created by the use of standardized prefabricated materials in the construction. The poured concrete floor with a scored surface suggests large uniform tiles and therefore produces a sterile environment. The flaws of recycled wood would be more visually appealing and add a warmth to the space.* See supporting photo below.
2. Remove the piece of shit Newman sculpture in the center of that gallery, and replace it with a Richard Serra. Whatever Serra they get will do a much more effective job at creating tension and a sense of movement within a space that is too static. It will also look good with the new floor. If the museum has storage issues, I suggest they hide the Newman behind a tree in their sculpture garden. See supporting photo below.
3. Rehang. The space looks as though it was hung by a number cruncher who judged the value of work by the price it was appraised for. It makes no sense to hang a show this way. To those who spend any time at all thinking about art it will be off putting, and for visitors who have no experience viewing work it will be confusing. The space needs to be addressed from an educational stand point, and hung chronologically, and/or thematically. In addition, some effort to find larger paintings for the atrium would go a long way. There is no point in having all that space if it’s not going to be used. It currently dwarfs paintings that would otherwise be breathtaking and it’s not like there aren’t plenty of works that are made to be shown on walls that scale.
* The wall construction has very well thought out at MOMA and is raised a 1/4 inch from the floor (this can also be seen in many commercial galleries). It is a technique used to give the wall a feeling of floating and increase the idea of separation between it and the floor. If at all possible, this would be preserved .