Art Close-Up: Bjork Retrospective @ MoMA….What’s Really Going On?

March 30, 2015

A certain exhibition has critics in an uproar. That should be the name of this post. As some of you already know or don’t know, is that Icelandic pop icon Bjork has an exhibition that is now held at MoMA and will be there till early June of this year.

I was surprised by this because, I mean I know who Bjork is. I’m familiar with her music, it just took me off guard, because I didn’t think she would even consider doing that type of thing. Too bad I can’t just pop up at MoMA to see the exhibit, but that’s alright. What’s really got my attention is the press the exhibition is getting. So far it’s generating pretty bad reviews. Art critics have pounced and they are holding no punches. Some reviews have been blunt to downright biting….

“Scant, cramped overview….jammed into a tacky little two-story pavilion….Bjork should have said no-not because her work isn’t museum-worthy, but because, as proved here, the Modern is not up to the task.” Roberta Smith – New York Times

“bad, really bad.” Artnews

“Fairyland meets the Hard Rock Cafe in this exhibition.” The Guardian

Christian Viveros-Faune for Artnet News said simply that the MoMA curator should be fired. Jerry Saltz, a critic for New York Magazine went so far as to burn his press pass. I’m not joking about this….. The curator and director of MoMA’s PS1 is Klaus Biesenbach. This is the man behind the idea of Marina Abromovic’s exhibition, The Artist Is Present back in 2010. It took Biesenbach twelve years to convince Bjork to the idea and it took three years to create and assemble it. She did make a brief appearance, in a cactus outfit, thanking everyone for coming to the retrospective, but quickly left before the press could ask any questions. Unfortunately, all that effort has already began to go up in smoke.

There were problems from the get go. As Michelle Lhooq‘s article for Thump Why Does Everyone Hate the Bjork Retrospective at MoMA? explains just what Roberta Smith was saying before….

“Biesenbach failed to elaborate on how he went about this temporal hopscotch or what a future-retrospective even means. Nothing about the exhibition or its accompanying wall texts seem to follow this conceptual thrust. More damning is the museum’s inability to live up to Björk’s own aspirations for what this could have been. Her goal, according to Biesenbach, was an art exhibition that makes sound–not visuals–its focus, rather than an afterthought.”

Google about the Bjork MoMA exhibition and I’m sure you’ll see this from other critics. Three editors from Hyperallergic went to the exhibition and neither of them were familiar with Bjork. First of all, I will say this, to clearly get an understanding about her, they should’ve done their research before. I’m just saying this because they really didn’t get who she is as an artist. I’m not able to see the exhibition. If I could, I would definitely give my two-cents, but I probably would’ve like it. I may not be a fan fan per say, but I do appreciate her music and where she’s coming from in an artistic viewing point.

If you guys went to the exhibition, tell us what you think.

Here are some of the articles:

Enjoy your Monday…be blessed art peeps!

featured image of Bjork-like manquin wearing costume dress courtesy of



  1. I gave it the benefit of the doubt at first. But… it was too small, amongst other things…

    • L. Richelle Murry says

      Hello….my apologies, I’ve been busy. I pretty much figured the exhibit was small. They should’ve known to have at a much larger place.

Comments are closed.