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PRINT January 2020

THEY LOST IT AT THE MOVIES

Arthur Jafa, APEX, 2013, HD video, color, sound, 8 minutes 22 seconds. Installation view, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2019. Photo: Denis Doorly.

FILM WILL BE DIGITIZED, or it will not be incorporated into the Museum of Modern Art’s otherwise exciting reconfiguration. I wish I could focus instead on how glorious certain familiar paintings look in their new circumstances, first among them Mondrian’s Broadway Boogie Woogie, 1942–43, always dazzling in form and now, amid many twentieth-century abstractions from South America, revelatory in another way. Or how amazing it was to discover a small, untitled hut-like sculpture constructed by an unknown artist in 1936 from the pages of a Sears, Roebuck catalogue that is as mysterious and alluring as the nearby Duchamp and Cornell works combined. Or how Kerry James Marshall’s new-to-MoMA Untitled (policeman), 2015, is a perfectly composed yet devastating portrait of power run amok. Indeed, the variety and incisiveness of the confrontational strategies on display in the recent work

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