MoMA PS1 is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit contemporary art institutions in the United States. An exhibition space rather than a collecting institution, MoMA PS1 devotes its energy and resources to displaying the most experimental art in the world. A catalyst and an advocate for new ideas, discourses, and trends in contemporary art, MoMA PS1 actively pursues emerging artists, new genres, and adventurous new work by recognized artists in an effort to support innovation in contemporary art. MoMA PS1 achieves this mission by presenting its diverse program to a broad audience in a unique and welcoming environment in which visitors can discover and explore the work of contemporary artists. MoMA PS1 presents over 50 exhibitions each year, including artists’ retrospectives, site-specific installations, historical surveys, arts from across the United States and the world, and a full schedule of music and performance programming.
MoMA PS1 was founded in 1971 by Alanna Heiss as the Institute for Art and Urban Resources Inc., an organization devoted to organizing exhibitions in underutilized and abandoned spaces across New York City. In 1976, it opened the first major exhibition in its permanent location in Long Island City, Queens, with the seminal Rooms exhibition. An invitation for artists to transform the building’s unique spaces, Rooms established the MoMA PS1 tradition of transforming the building’s spaces into site-specific art that continues today with long-term installations by James Turrell, Keith Sonnier, Richard Serra, Lawrence Weiner, and others.
For the next twenty years, the building was used as studio, performance, and exhibition spaces, in support of artists from around the world. After a building-wide renovation, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1) reopened in 1997, confirming its position as the leading contemporary art center in New York. True to the building’s history and form, the renovation preserved much of the original architecture as well as most of its unique classroom-sized galleries.
In 2000, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center became an affiliate of The Museum of Modern Art to extend the reach of both institutions, and combine MoMA PS1’s contemporary mission with MoMA’s strength as one of the greatest collecting museums of modern art. 2010 marks the completed merger of the two institutions and celebrates P.S.1’s new and exciting chapter as MoMA PS1.
A true artistic laboratory, MoMA PS1 aspires to maintain its diverse and innovative activities to continue to bring contemporary art to international audiences.