MoMA PS1 – New York

MoMA PS1 – New YorkMoMA PS1 – New YorkMoMA PS1 – New York

Operating as the contemporary wing of the New York Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1 located just across the East River from Manhattan in Long Island City, Queens, is one of the largest museum and exhibitions spaces in the United States devoted solely to contemporary art. While it does not maintain a permanent collection in the traditional sense, there are a variety of long-term, site specific installations on view ranging in scale and medium that were created on location by a roster of the most challenging and renowned contemporary artists and integrated into the environment of the institution itself, a renovated public elementary school building constructed in the late nineteenth century.

Perhaps the most acclaimed of the fourteen works on display as well as the most popular with visitors is James Turrell’s, “Meeting,” one of the artist’s, “Skyspaces,” in which four viewers sit in a square room under a rectangular opening cut directly into the ceiling. Created in 1986, “Meeting,” is an exploration of light and perception in which artificial lights project an orange glow on the white walls of the enclosed space heightening the intensity of the sky’s color above, transforming the hole in the ceiling into a canvas for the firmament itself and its dynamic palette of pigments, illumination and shadow.

The oldest work on view, “Crayola Square,” is a simple square drawn in crayon on a cinder block wall by Sol LeWitt at the museum’s opening in 1971 when it was known as The Institute for Art and Urban Resources. Richard Artschwager, who gained renowned as a graffiti artist during the 1970s by using painted shapes to call attention to the architectural detail of public buildings is responsible for two other early works created in 1976, “Exit–Don’t Fight City Hall,” which consists of five light bulbs each with the word, “Exit,” painted on them that lead viewers down a dead-end hallway and “blps,” featuring the artist’s signature oval forms strategically placed throughout the building, directing the viewer’s eye to elements of the structure’s design that would ordinarily go unnoticed.

Using a beam of sunlight as its medium is another work dating to 1976, Alan Saret’s, “The Hole at P.S.1, Fifth Solar Chthonic Wall Temple,” which can be found in a former classroom on the top floor. A carefully sized and shaped hole has been dug out of the brick wall and when the sunlight faces the exterior side of the building, a focused stream enters the hallway and shines down to the floor creating what the artist describes as a non-static sculpture. The metal front door that hosted the original 1976 version of conceptualist Lawrence Weiner’s work of words, “A Bit of Matter and a Little Bit More,” is no longer extant after being removed in a renovation but the artist was invited back in 1997 to recreate it on a both sides of a new glass door and the quirky phrase still welcomes visitors who enter the museum.

Staircases serve as the backdrop for several distinct individual works created in 1997 under the rubric of, “Vertical Paintings,” that evoke in subject matter and medium the building’s original function as a public school including William Kentridge’s, “Stair Procession,” a drawing of childlike figures rendered in a style reminiscent of white chalk graffiti, Cecily Brown’s untitled mural of bright colors and child-like, free-flowing, abstract forms and Alexis Rockman’s series of, “Magical Animals,” executed in gouache and hidden in mysterious trompe l’oeil cracks and crevices. In 2004, Ernesto Caivano created the immersive, “In the Woods,” transforming a staircase into a larger-than-life sized environment of naked and gnarled tree branches that wind around the walls and sprout up and out onto the ceiling, entangling viewers in a dark and magical embrace.

A long passage is the setting for Abigail Lazkoz’s, “Cameraman,” from 2002 comprising three large-scale drawings that reinterpret Jose Guadaulpe Posada’s 1914 engraving, “The End of the World is Near.” One of the most singular displays involves visual artist Pipilotti Rist’s 1994 video work, “Selfless in the Bath of Lava,” which can be seen by peering into a hole cut into the lobby floorboards.

Among the most impressive of the installations is, “Central Governor,” by Saul Mellman who spent six months in 2010 gilding the massive, original boiler, transforming a piece of industrial age machinery into an enormous golden object. Adjacent the boiler is an untitled piece from 1997 made of five steel flagstones set into the boiler room floor by Matt Mullican, an artist who draws from a personal source of forms and symbols to create sign-like works that are reflections of the familiar pictograms found in the halls of an airport or a train station.

Most prominently, MoMA PS1 is the premiere venue throughout the year for group and solo exhibitions devoted to established as well as up-and-coming, innovative and experimental contemporary artists with gallery space to host even the most monumental installations. There is also a calendar of live dance, music and spoken word events including the highly anticipated Warm Up series of outdoor concerts on summer Saturdays and Sunday Sessions, a weekly presentation of discussions, lectures, movies and performances programmed throughout the year. MoMA PS1 is also home to the M. Wells Dinette, a retro café that salutes the building’s former identity as a schoolhouse with a menu and communal tables reminiscent of an elementary school cafeteria.


Visiting Hours:

Open Thursday through Monday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.



$10 for and adult ticket.

$5 for a senior or student ticket.

Free for children 16 and under.

Free with a paid MoMA admission ticket if presented at MoMA PS 1 within fourteen days of purchase.

Pay what you can all day Monday and on Saturday and Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Special exhibitions and programs may require a separate admission ticket at an additional charge.


"Meeting" (1986) - James Turrell

“Meeting” (1986) – James Turrell

"Central Governor" (2010) - Saul Mellman

“Central Governor” (2010) – Saul Mellman

MoMA PS1 - Long Island City, Queens, NY

MoMA PS1 – Long Island City, Queens, NY


Official Museum Site


22-25 Jackson Ave. at the intersection of 46th Ave.

Long Island City, NY 11101

(718) 784-2084







Current Exhibitions:

Sascha Braunig – Shivers

October 23, 2016 through March 5, 2017


Projects 105 Cinthia Marcelle

October 23, 2016 through March 5, 2017


Mark Leckey – Containers and Their Drivers

October 23, 2016 through March 5, 2017







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