Art in 2020 is increasingly the domain of the young, with millennials, Gen Xers, Generation Y and Z inaugurating change in museums. These visitors have little time to walk around art museums, so demand that art be clearly organized. In the Instagram age, when messages are quickly read, with words summarized, connections must be quickly and clearly made, so boredom does not set in, and the message is read before the next text or newest artist comes in.
We are now a social audience. Artist communities have been influential and collaborative, influenced by what art is being made and shown, and the issues and discoveries that propelled it. The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City has reorganized its collection to group like artwork together, leading viewers to quickly notice and assess those connections, be they color, topic, material, style, directionality or medium.
The thematic is no longer the only leader of the curation, but rather community prevails. Who knew whom? Recognizing which artists worked together or were at least aware of each other’s practice and philosophy is apparent in the progression of work at the new MoMA. There are no hero walls; the group prevails; the connections are important. As I walk from one room and one artwork to another, a color, a form, a subject included in the first piece is present in the next. The new piece is a meme of the first and those that went before it. The reorganization works. The collection provides a dynamic mini course in art history linking the times and places of artmaking and artist’s associations with each other.