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Courtesy of brando.n/Flickr
Courtesy of brando.n/Flickr
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MoMA Spotlights Works by Artists from Trump-Targeted Nations

Picture of Rachel Gould
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 28 February 2017
In response to President Donald Trump’s executive order denying immigrants from Yemen, Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Sudan, and Syria entry to the United States, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has replaced European artworks otherwise permanently on view with eight pieces by artists from recently-banned Muslim nations.

MoMA has made numerous headlines for replacing works by Picasso and Magritte with pieces by Ibrahim El-Salahi (Sudanese), Marcos Grigorian (Iranian-Armenian), Tala Madani (Iranian), Parviz Tanavoli (Iranian), Siah Armajani (Iranian), Zaha Hadid (Iraqi), Shirana Shahbazi (Iranian), and Charles Hossein Zenderoudi (Iranian).

Reborn sounds of childhood Dreams I, Ibrahim El-Salahi, 1961-1965. Courtesy of Gautier Poupeau/Flickr
Reborn sounds of childhood Dreams I, Ibrahim El-Salahi, 1961-1965. Courtesy of Gautier Poupeau/Flickr

Works by Iraqi, Iranian, and Sudanese artists can be found in MoMA’s fifth floor galleries, accompanied by the following note:

“This work is by an artist from a nation whose citizens are being denied entry into the United States, according to a presidential executive order issued on Jan. 27, 2017. This is one of several such artworks from the Museum’s collection installed throughout the fifth-floor galleries to affirm the ideals of welcome and freedom as vital to this Museum as they are to the United States.”

Zaha Hadid, Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park drawing. Courtesy of Flickr
Zaha Hadid, Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park drawing. Courtesy of Flickr

The gesture is MoMA’s way of expressing solidarity with fellow artists from targeted countries. The rehang is unprecedented for the world-class museum, and involved a dedicated team of curators who spearheaded the exceptional initiative in a short period of time.

The peaceful protest is a means of showcasing a new selection of works already in the museum’s permanent collection whilst simultaneously advocating for tolerance and beauty through the exhibition of exceptional modern works by artists from less-explored regions.

Parviz Tanavoli, Last Poet of Iran. Courtesy of Creative Commons
Parviz Tanavoli, Last Poet of Iran. Courtesy of Creative Commons

Due to a limited time frame, works by artists from Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Syria are not amongst the first round of newly-installed pieces. However, MoMA curators are due to install additional artworks as part of this collective effort once the remainder of the museum’s fifth floor galleries re-open to the public following a period of renovation. The museum plans to screen a series of films by artists from more targeted countries later in February.