Dena Yago

The Modern Window
MoMA, New York

Dena Yago, 'Not for Long' (detail), 2023, inkjet, dye, and acrylic on canvas

Ongoing from Nov 1

MoMA, Floor 1, The Modern Window

How do images and phrases become sticky with meaning, capturing the anxieties or beliefs of a cultural moment? Dena Yago explores this question in paintings that pair image and text. She draws inspiration from advertising, memes, classic cartoons, and the political comics of the Situationist International, a mid-20th-century avant-garde art movement.

Yago’s installation features close-up images of the Modern restaurant’s “Eggs on Eggs on Eggs” dish and a fried egg on a cobblestone street of Industry City, Brooklyn, a former industrial complex recently rebranded as a creative hub. The superimposed text “down for now / not for long” uses a font borrowed from Florent, a diner that opened in 1985 in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, then a center for artistic and queer communities, which shuttered in 2008 because of rising rents. “The paintings build on a previous body of work, which utilizes eggs as signifiers of temporal flux . . . sites of potentiality, life, and a form of—at first bounded, then released—excess,” the artist explains.

Organized by Jody Graf, Assistant Curator, MoMA PS1

This installation is part of The Modern Window..

The Modern Window is a series of site-specific installations by contemporary artists commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art and designed for the exterior window of The Modern restaurant on West 53rd Street.

Since 2008, artists including Korakrit Arunanondchai, assume vivid astro focus in collaboration with Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir, Xaviera Simmons, Mickalene Thomas, Andrea Zittel, and Firelei Báez have created installations that respond to and engage with the architecture of the window.