The day is cold, the air crisp and clean and the sun is bright. It is a chilly Friday morning in the fall, where the ground is covered with leaves, an assortment of oranges, browns, and reds, the leaves warm the ground and the sun warms the leaves. The colors signify the end of summer and the beginning of winter, likewise the various pictures that hang on the wall in the Museum of Modern Art also send a message, although not a change in weather, but a change in the style and content of art, as artist of the 1930’s began to reject modernism and European art movements began to influence art work in New York. Over Thanksgiving break, two close friends exploring 53rd Street in New York decide to escape the chill of dawn and find themselves wandering into an art museum, known as the Museum of Modern Art. MoMA is known for its numerous displays of European modernistic art, and through its collections defined contemporary art during its establishment.
On this particular day, the exhibit is displaying the work of artists from the 1930’s and 1960’s; Asia and Sandra had received fliers beforehand of the event at MoMa and Sandra was very excited to see what type of paintings would be shown during the exhibition. Sandra, who was currently taking an art class, had a slight knowledge about the history of art and the various famous artists whose paintings were shown in this museum. Asia having never taken an art class, had no prior knowledge of art’s history, its products (the artists themselves), or the dynamic changes that it underwent, after the 1920’s. Although Asia was not as enthusiastic as her friend was to go to the art exhibit, she reluctantly followed pursuit. It was a Friday morning, she was bored, and there was nothing better for her to do.
Inside MoMa, they enter a massive space where other viewers congregate and then disperse, venturing off to other parts of the building. Asia and Sandra take in the scenery; the walls, white, wide, and long, the floors, waxed, glossy, and a light tan. The few paintings that are presented on the wall in the lobby are distinct from one another. Some abstract, others saturated with color and vivid, and others non-objective. Standing from the middle of the museum, they look up and can see, through the opening, the many floors above them, as they notice other people holding conversations in the narrow walkways of each floor. Asia and Sandra do not know where to begin; the museum is large and contains many passageways, bends, corners, and many levels of floors. For fear of getting lost, they decide to follow a group that was being led by an art instructor. They do not intend to be a part of the crowd, but use the group to indirectly guide them through the museum. They follow the crowd to a secluded room away from the main area, as they enter the rectangular, narrow room, they stare intently at the work of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Max Ernst, and Picasso. As Sandra passes each painting mounted on the wall, she begins to notice some familiar paintings from her lectures in art class. Asia standing awkwardly, legs crossed, and one foot in front of the other, with her head tilted, gazes, as if in thought, at a painting that is very recognizable to Sandra, it is the work of Salvador Dali. Within the painting, titled The Persistence of Memory, Asia sees the clocks that seem to be melted in the painting; she sees the strange figure in the middle of the painting that is not quite distinguishable at first sight, and she begins to stare heavily at it. Asia, who is very emotionally expressive and assertive about her feelings towards certain things, turns to Sandra and asks confusingly,
“What is that, it looks like some creature is lying in the middle of the painting? “ says Asia with a scornful look.
“And what’s with the clocks, why are they drooping like this?”