Object Lessons

Object Lesson: America by Will Ryman

Will Ryman’s large-scale sculpture America is a reflection on the industries and economies that built the United States of America over the past few centuries. America is made of many materials, each of which have been carefully selected and arranged by Ryman to reflect the legacy of capitalism in this nation. The overall structure is… Read More

Object Lesson: Breath by Lee Krasner

“I never violate my inner rhythm. I loathe to force anything… I listen to it and I stay with it. I have always been this way. I have regards for the inner voice.” –Lee Krasner Krasner’s paintings explore the role of the body in art, treating painting as a form of self- exploration. In Breath,… Read More

Object Lesson: French Porcelain Soup Tureen

Porcelain imported from China was one of the most prized commodities in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe. Europeans had not yet figured out the secret formula to produce a pure white ceramic that was stretched so thin it became translucent to light. The earthenware and stoneware clays used in Europe could not compete with Chinese porcelain’s… Read More

Object Lesson: Platinum-print photography

All photographs depend on different combinations of chemicals and minerals to turn light into pictures. This week, as NOMA focuses on the materials and processes that artists use to create, we’d like to give some special attention to a unique and beautiful variety of photograph: the platinum print. It may come as no surprise that… Read More

Object Lesson: What is a Photograph?

As NOMA explores the theme of process and materials, this essay looks back at an exhibition from 2011, What is a Photograph?, and some of the treasures that it included from the museum’s collection. What is a photograph? How do we define its history? Over the past 190 years, photography has infiltrated almost every aspect… Read More

Object Lesson: Wing by Lynda Benglis

Lynda Benglis’s art is simultaneously subtle and imposing, subdued and sensual, earthy and surreal. In the 1960s, the Louisiana native shocked the New York art world with her electric-hued sculptures and provocative video and performance work, whose vibrant colors and free-form compositions ran counter to the more austere aesthetic of much art of the time…. Read More