From Dinner Playlist to MoMA Retrospective

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Bjork’s new MoMA retrospective came about in a surprising way

It was a classic epiphany moment. Klaus Biesenbach, MoMA’s chief curator was going through his iTunes library, to find the perfect dining playlist, when he came upon the cover of Icelandic singer Bjork’s 1997 electronic album, Homogenic. He looked deep into Bjork’s hyper stylized Kabuki face and realized with its silver and purple color palette and beautifully rendered skin tones, he wasn’t looking at an album cover, he was looking at a striking piece of modern art.

He concluded that the art wasn’t just in the image but rather in the singer herself. He thought f rom the beginning of her career, from the Swan Dress to her turn as a Robot in love, Bjork has always been a living breathing work of art and her career would make a stirring retrospective, consistent with MoMA’s directive of finding artistic inspiration outside the traditional arena, as in its 2012 Tim Burton retrospective.

Now the hard part was making the call to the extraordinarily private singer herself. His hesitance was unfounded as Bjork considered herself an artist rather than a singer and jumped in immediately, personally providing most of the work in the giant career exhibit.

Bjork Retrospective. Museum of Modern Art. From March 8 – June 7, 2015

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