Thursday evening, a friend and I attended the opening of MoMA’s new Dada exhibition. The sixth floor of the building has been turned over to a collection of hundreds of objects from the French, German, Italian, and American participants of the first truly conceptual art movement. I took issue with a few selections that I consider more to be in the Surrealist (Max Ernst) or German Expressionist (George Grosz) traditions, but overall it’s a comprehensive and thought-provoking show. This was the first reception I’ve attended there; wine was flowing freely (best enjoyed while wandering around the sculpture garden), no food, but I have to give them props for the numerous full-size ice sculptures of Marcel Duchamp’s famous “readymade” urinal. There was prime people-watching among the hundreds of guests: Upper East Side benefactor types, Williamsburg hipster types, Chelsea gallery types, even a few model types hanging on the arms of banker types. I’ll be interested to see how the tourists receive this show–summer is one of the biggest seasons for out-of-towners in New York, and this show is somewhat out of the mainstream for the crowds who arrive for the sole purpose of looking at “Starry Night” and Monet’s waterlilies. We’ll see what they make of signed snow shovels and Duchamp in drag.

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