Top 5 Pieces at MoMA That the Google Art Project Should Digitize

02/02/2011 1:20 PM |

Google Art

Yesterday we found out that MoMA, along with hometown museums the Frick and the Met, as well as over a dozen institutions around the world, had joined the Google Art Project, in which museum galleries and individual works are digitized for Street View-style exploration. The pickings at the digital Modern are especially slim, so we’re gonna suggest they convert a few more pieces to pixels. We can think of at least five that would benefit from the Art Project treatment.

Ursula von Rydingsvard wall pocket 2003-04

Ursula von Rydingsvard, “Wall Pocket” (2003-04): The German-American sculptor’s massive cedar assemblages are so intricate and complex that they may actually be more fully explored through Google, because in the gallery people flock to them like termites to a log, and you’re not 13 feet tall (but you can be, on the internet).


Andreas Gursky, “Tote Hosen” (2000): The German photographer’s amazing photos of crowds and architectural and natural patterns are infinitely zoom-in-able. In this sweeping view of a concert we’d get to see every single reveler’s face.

Martin Kippenberger, Martin, Into the Corner, You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself (1992)

Martin Kippenberger, “Martin, Into the Corner, You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself” (1992): This self-concealing self-portrait would be as aggravating as ever in Google’s museum-adapted Street View, allowing users to move around it but, like the embodied museum visitor, never see Martin’s shamed face.

Julie Mehretu, Empirical Construction, IstanbulL

Julie Mehretu, “Empirical Construction, Istanbul” (2003): Have you ever stood there and tried to parcel out all the various layers, materials and forms in a Julie Mehretu piece? We’re pretty convinced it’s impossible, especially with pieces that are 10 feet by 15 feet, such as this one, but being able to zoom in on even the highest-up architectural fragment would undoubtedly add to our appreciation of her work.

Richard Serra Circuit II 1972-86

Richard Serra, “Circuit II” (1972-86): Really, any Serra sculpture that one can walk through merits Google-viewing, but this one has the advantage of allowing movement in multiple directions, not just along one tunnel-like route.

Images courtesy the Museum of Modern Art.