Saturday, December 4, 2010

Abstract iPadexpressionism.

As an iPad owner, I haven't been that impressed with the device.  I also haven't been afraid to voice my complaints.  Sure the touch interface is amazing.  But it takes more than that to win me over.  And there's plenty wanting when it comes to the iPad. I mean really, I couldn't even turn the thing on when I first got it because my iMac isn't new enough.  I had to borrow a friends computer to get it running. And just try to post to Blogger from your iPad. It's impossible unless you know HTML.  HTML!?!  Why don't you just ask me to code my blog in DOS?

All that said, there are a few things that are starting to make me appreciate the iPad, and most of those things are the apps. It's proof that when you give a so-so product to a bunch of inventive techno wizards, you get some really amazing results.  A couple of my favorites include the Glee app and the Scrabble app.  But the app that has me all abuzz is the Museum of Modern Art's (MoMA) new app developed in conjunction with it's current exhibit, Abstract Expressionist New York (Ab Ex NY). The app is free and you can download it here.

Now  I'm not the biggest fan of Abstract Expressionism but I'd love to see this show which boasts some of the best artists from the middle of last century. Unfortunately, I may not make it to NYC before this show closes on April 25, 2011.  That's why I want to say thanks to the curators at MoMA for offering such a great way to experience the show digitally.  The Ab Ex NY app let's you browse the show.  When you select a specific work, you can get more info about the artist and the painting or sculpture.  Plus, you can zoom into the high-res photos and get a decent idea of what the paint looks like on the canvas; or the texture of the finish on sculptures. It's still not like seeing the real thing, but it's a lot better than any other reproduced format I've experienced.

Plus there are plenty of other goodies.  You can watch engaging videos about the artists and their works.  There's a great interactive map of New York City that relates the exhibit to the city itself, showing you where the artists lived and worked or where you can see other works by the artists featured in the exhibit.  You can even shop for Ab Ex NY art books and merchandise directly from the app.

Beatifully art directed and ingeniously organized, I give MoMA's Ab Ex NY app a big thumbs up.  And I hope other museums will take a cue from thismake it possible to enjoy other exhibits

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