MMK 1, Frankfurt am Main


On January 2nd, 2018, we walk along the river Main and the awe-inspiring building of the European Central Bank. The Museum of Modern Art, the MMK is a few blocks away, right in the center. There are three MMKs: 1, 2 and 3. The main building is special architecture by Hans Hollein, which is called The pie slice because of its triangular shape.

   We enter a room and attention immediately is drawn to an old crashed and rusted sports car, beautiful and ugly at the same time. I look at the battered bodywork and wonder if anyone has come to the end of his life with it. The objet trouvé, by the French-American Arman, has an impact. Title: White Orchid.

   Marta Minujín, who made The Parthenon of Books at Documenta, worked with what she found in the streets of Paris and folded her mattress here and painted it black. That is told in the video about Marta, but on the sign I read that My mattress is made of papier-mâché, plaster and paint. Good thing, because that doesn't make Tracey Emin a copycat.

   The back room is triangular. About a hundred eggs are spread widely on the floor. Anna Maria Maiolino (1942) calls it Entrevidas: Between the lives. The hard glossy light gray tiles with the white eggs on them give a fragile impression, reinforced by the fact that there is no demarcation.

There are bright red and orange painted and openwork wooden boxes with glass by Hélio Oiticica.  

Around the corner is a room where a blue elastic as a quadrilateral is stretched from the wall to the floor and back. The first impression is a mirror that is against the wall because you can see the floor running through it. This 1967 optical joke is by Fred Sandback.

Via a staircase with interesting views, we reach the triangular room, one floor higher. In addition to a thick gray mat of nine square meters are four pairs of shoes that you can put on. This installation is by Lygia Clark. It turns out the shoes are magnetic. Sometimes they repel or pull you towards the mat. Just imagine how that feels, it is as if you are walking over and through an uneven and non-homogeneous matter.  

There are three large sculptures by Charlotte Posenenske. They are composed of square cardboard tubes of about 70 cm in diameter. This is just like the object from the 1967 Tate but in many ways better: it is not a readymade and not functional so you can use your imagination.

In a space where you can look outside through tinted glass, you can sit on a bench and watch a video quietly. Crane Ballet is an endearingly frayed 16mm black and white film from 1971 in which the artist Leopoldo Maler (1937) makes dance movements while hanging from a crane.

Thus we find our way and get even higher to a corridor where you can look into the downstairs room from four niches, from balconies. Evelien notes that this architecture is more functional than Frank Gehry's: "The MMK is a maze like such a building with stairs drawn by M.C. Escher but it does not distract from the art".

In a room with pop art is a shiny red puddle by Ricardo Carreira, on the floor close to the plinth is called Blood stain. It is red epoxy resin.

Here in the triangle shaped room are dozens of small paintings on which only a date is painted. This is by On Kawara: Date Paintings from Today, acrylic on canvas, 1966-2013.

There is a lot to see, you can easily spend two hours here and have not seen everything yet. In the back a painting by Roy Lichtenstein at least four meters wide.

I look at the big dots, Lichtenstein's own style that you always recognize immediately. There is a loud beep that slowly subsides. Did I get too close to the canvas? Yes, but the attendant seems to like it. I look around where the laser is located. The attendant also does it himself once, next to the painting with his hand. There is the beep again. We cannot find the sensor. He can laugh about it.

Joseph Beuys has a high and light, room that extends to the transparent roof. A piece of rails hangs meters high and from it hangs a dark bronze shape that extends wide until it just touches the ground. There is a small cart and a piece on a tripod with smaller shapes of broken sausages in bronze and some aluminum plate shapes. According to the title, it depicts a lightning strike illuminating a deer. It is from 1558-1985.