BN Obelisk MoMAThe Museum of Modern Art in New York City has long been one of my favorite places to visit and fortunately through my job it has also been free. I met my wife there yesterday to see the Le Corbusier exhibit before it closed. That show was interesting but also a lot to take in on a single pass. We still had some time before the museum closed so we made a quick walk through the painting and sculpture floors. I never fail to be impressed when you turn that corner and Picasso’s Demoiselles is staring you in the face. The MoMA’s permanent collection may be the best in the world but apart from all the landmark pieces housed there I always manage to find something new to focus on. Yesterday that was Barnett Newman – not once but twice. First I was drawn to the simple beauty of his painting Vir Heroicus Sublimis (Latin for Man, heroic and sublime) and later was reminiscing about when his obelisk sat in the main space only to find it on permanent display in their outdoor sculpture garden. There’s a timeless mystery to his obelisks that continues to fascinate me every time I encounter them. I had a similar experience at the Nationalgalerie in Berlin last fall. More and more frequently these days the every second grind of New York wears on me but sometimes all it takes is slowing down enough to enjoy some of the amazing things the city has to offer to remind you why every day thousands of people travel from around the globe to be here.

barnett newman

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