10 pictures that will test your knowledge of modern art

If you can stare at the above work for longer than 20 seconds, congratulations on your resilience. I get all dizzy and nauseous. Weird.

MoMA. The Museum of Modern Art. New York’s finest museum. Personally, I don’t see its charm and I’m not crazy about their exhibitions. Maybe it’s because I’m ignorant when it comes to modern art and I cannot comprehend how some works of art become popular.

moma-art

I photographed a few artworks from each one of the five floors. And then I thought of a test I could run on you guys.

Answer these two questions:

1. Which of these works are you familiar with?

2. Which ones are you impressed with?

Two heads

Two heads

Wood, brass, varnish, paint.

Wood, brass, varnish, paint.

Fifteen hundred and one speakers.

Fifteen hundred and one speakers.

Broadway Woogie Boogie

Broadway Woogie Boogie

Red, green, blue.

Red, green, blue.

Conjoined panels

Conjoined panels

Return 1

Return 1

Oil on canvas

Oil on canvas

Painting: enamel and oil on canvas

Painting: enamel and oil on canvas

Campbell’s soups

Campbell’s soups

By the way, you’re not getting a point for that last thing. Everybody’s familiar with these soups.

Test results: if you’re familiar with more than one painting, you’re a 100% more acquainted with modern art than I am.

I may ruffle the feathers of a few experts, but I have to say I’m not impressed by any single one of these pieces. I accept that they are art, high art even, and I have nothing against other people being in awe of them. But if we are to be equally impressed by two squares on a canvas and van Gogh’s paintings, one could be forgiven for coming to the quick conclusion that everything can be art. Therefore, can we still say in clear conscience that areas like art, architecture and, to go further, literature (journalism and blogging included) are in better shape than they used to be or, on the contrary, that they are slowly finding themselves in a state of decay?

How to determine quality?

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