Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Exploring the Art of the MOMA in Louisiana, Copenhagen

Outside the Entrance of the MOMA. Henry Moore Sculpture 

A few months ago, in mid May, myself and a university friend flew out to visit one of our other friends in Lund, Sweden on her semester abroad. As art history students it was essential to visit as many artistic establishments as we could during our short stay. Throughout the trip, our primary source of transport was via train; in both Sweden and Denmark the railway system appeared to be remarkably efficient as well as rather futuristic and monochromatic in aesthetics. The trains allowed us to commute from Lund, Sweden to Copenhagen very easily and with minimal confusion; we were informed that the MOMA situated in Louisiana, Copenhagen was a must see. The first few days of our trip were spent exploring various independent cafes and shops before going on to explore the harbors, beaches, botanical gardens and traditional churches; we were very fortunate with the weather as the days we visited the beaches it was glorious sunshine. However the weather took a turn and the wind and rain came at us full force, it was time to escape the dull weather and visit the MOMA, an artistic retreat away in the suburbs of Copenhagen. Upon arrival in Louisiana there was much confusion as signposting was not the most helpful for tourists. Eventually after a rather long trek in the rain, we arrived at what appeared to be a house. Other than a single sign outside the house reading 'Louisiana MOMA' the fact that it was an art establishment was rather subtle, although standing proudly nearby the entrance was one of our dear friend Henry Moore's sculptures. Moore features strongly in our study of art as being art history students at UEA (University of East Anglia), there are many of Moore's sculptures dotted around the campus near the SCVA (Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts) where our course building resides. It felt as though we were entering someone's estate, rather than an art establishment, nonetheless it was an impressive exterior to walk up to and its popularity was noted from the get go as people were crowding around the entrance in mass numbers. After paying for a tickets (which we got a student discount for), it was time to explore the multitude of art concealed within.

Above are photo edits that were followed on by a video installation. 

As I walked through the MOMA collection, I noticed that there were two  reoccurring themes within the choices of art; many of the artworks either related to or were sculpted figures and the surrounding landscape was heavily incorporated into the collection through the use of glass. The man made materials are almost used as an architectural frame for nature. Below are a few photographs of both sculpted figures and nature intertwining with one another. 

Below are two more sculpted figures that grabbed my attention. 

A few snapshots that I took which I think capture this idea of nature being framed by the architectural structure of the MOMA. Through materials such as glass, the exterior and the interior merge, therefore allowing art and nature to become one. In many ways we could see nature as becoming art itself as we glance through the frame to the outside world. The MOMA could be viewed as following American architect, FLW (Frank Lloyd Wright)'s values, through the use of steel framing and glass; FLW's philosophy "nature almost becomes the wallpaper" can indeed be applied to this building. 

Not only was the the landscape framed, but it also acted as a backdrop to many of the sculptures. As we can see below in the two photos, the sea is a significant part of the artwork and the artist has incorporated the everlasting landscape with a temporary artwork.

This image above was taken from inside a light installation created by Yayoi Kusama. The room was dark, light solely by colour changing lights, reflected through the use of mirrors on each wall. One person was allowed into the room at a time and had to close the door behind them. It was an intimate experience and no one knew what to expect before they opened the blank white door and stepped inside this colourful illuminated tranquil space that Kusama created. 

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to the MOMA, Louisiana and I would definitely recommend going if you are ever in Sweden or Denmark as you can easily take a one day trip via train. Leave some suggestions of places you would recommend visiting in Denmark/Sweden as I would love to go back, as well as any other destinations you have on your travel bucket list :) 

- Olivia Charlotte Alice 

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