I got to visit the redesigned MoMA last week. The architect for the redesign is Yoshio Taniguchi who has established himself in Japan with eight works variously completed or under construction. The museum is getting favorable reviews and the architect himself seems (mostly) satisfied with his work.
The museum is different from the more famous contemporary works of art/architecture from Gehry and Koolhaas’ studios. The ego of Taniguchi-san seemed wholly subsumed (at least to this completely untrained eye) in the service of presenting the MoMA collection. The space does not distract you in any way from contemplating art which often requires a bit more in the contemplation department. And any surprises, my own personal favorite is captured in the photo above, also serve delightfully to highlight the artworks contained in this pretty box made of glass, whites and grays.
The downside to all this is that if you are an infrequent visitor, as most are, it’s hard to tell exactly what’s changed. But the upside is that the art is what you remember when you leave, not the space it’s hung in, and you can certainly argue that’s kind of the point.
For interested persons, here’s an (incomplete) list of Tanaguchi’s work in Japan:
Shiseido Museum, Kakegawa
Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art, Kagawa
Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi
Higashiyama Kaii Gallery, Nagano
Ken Domon Museum of Photography, Yamagata