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Guests Include Comedian Hannibal Buress, Drag Icon RuPaul,
The Tonight Show Musical Director Questlove, and Writer/Magazine Editor Tavi Gevinson, Among Others

A Piece of Work Debuts Monday, July 10

NEW YORK, June 28, 2017—WNYC Studios and MoMA will explore works of modern and contemporary art from The Museum of Modern Art’s collection with A Piece of Work, a new 10-part podcast series hosted by Broad City star (and art school graduate) Abbi Jacobson, launching on July 10. Episodes will be released every Monday and Wednesday through August 9 and will be available for download on WNYC’s website, MoMA’s website, Apple Podcasts, and wherever podcasts can be downloaded.

Inspired by frequently asked questions and responses from visitors to the Museum, each episode will explore works of art through different themes as Abbi leads a journey through MoMA. Along the way, she is joined by a roster of voices from both inside and outside the art world, including MoMA curators, conservators, and educators; Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of the Studio Museum in Harlem; artists such as Martine Syms, Jo Baer, and Carolee Schneemann; famous friends, including Hannibal Buress, Samantha Irby, Mark Morris, Questlove, RuPaul, and Tavi Gevinson; and even Abbi’s three-year old niece, Stella. The series will cover art movements ranging from Abstract Expressionism to Pop art to Minimalism; focus on different mediums, including painting, sculpture, performance, video, and design; and highlight a wide range of artists, as well as the ideas, questions, materials, and processes that inform their work.

The debut episode, available Monday, July 10, features Jacobson and Burress, along with Ann Temkin, The Marie-Josée and Henry Kravis Chief Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, and Anne Umland, The Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Curator of Painting and Sculpture at MoMA, in conversation about art made by transforming everyday objects, including Marcel Duchamp’s iconic Bicycle Wheel (1951) and Meret Oppenheim’s Surrealist work Object (1936).

"I'm thrilled to not only be jumping back into the art world, but to be able to explore it in such an intimate way. Until I started this project, I didn't realize how many questions I had, and how much I missed looking at and talking about art. Museums can be intimidating spaces, and I hope this podcast makes them more accessible," said Jacobson.

“At WNYC Studios, we thrive on the challenge of bringing listeners on a journey—as only audio can—into something that might at first intimidate them, then intrigue them, and ultimately delight and inspire them,” said Dean Cappello, Chief Content Officer, WNYC and Head of WNYC Studios. “It’s been a thrill to partner with MoMA to bring a podcast about modern and contemporary art into the world, with a personality as smart, funny and inviting as Abbi. We’re excited to offer a pathway for everyone to get much closer to the art, the ideas that inspired them, and relevance it can have in our own lives.”

“We understand that for many people, encountering works of modern and contemporary art provokes more questions than answers. MoMA is pleased to expand this discussion beyond the museum’s walls with A Piece of Work,” said Sara Bodinson, Director, Interpretation, Research & Digital Learning, in the Department of Education at MoMA. “Subscribe to hear Abbi explore many of the rule-breaking ideas, materials and processes of artmaking today. Through these lively conversations, you’ll hear a broad range of reactions and perspectives about everything you always wanted to know about modern art, but were too afraid to ask.”

A Piece of Work episode descriptions:

Monday, July 10: Everyday Objects

Explore how art made of utilitarian objects transforms our experience of the everyday.

  • Features the following works:

o      Marcel Duchamp. Bicycle Wheel. 1951 (after lost original of 1913)

o      Meret Oppenheim. Object. 1936


Wednesday, July 12: Abstraction

Why would so many artists abandon representation in favor of abstraction?"

  • Features the following works:

o      Cy Twombly. Untitled. 1954; Tiznit. 1953

o      Jackson Pollock. One: Number 31, 1950. 1950


Monday, July 17: Monochromes

Why would an artist make a painting in—or even devote their career to—a single color? Does simplicity make room for more creative thought?

  • Features the following works:

o      Yves Klein. Blue Monochrome. 1961

o      Kazimir Malevich. Suprematist Composition: White on White. 1918


Wednesday July 19: Light

Explore the skill, craft, and variety of art made with light, from neon tubes to an artist-enhanced sunset.

  • Features the following works:

o      Dan Flavin’s light works of the 1960s

o      James Turrell. Meeting. 1980–86/2016


Monday, July 24: Minimalism

Explore the simplified forms and rich ideas behind Minimalist art.

  • Features the following works:

o      Jo Baer. Primary Light Group: Red Green Blue. 1964–65

o      Donald Judd. Untitled. 1967


Wednesday, July 26: Performance

Artists use their bodies to create to work that is both interactive and fleeting.

  • Features the following works:

o      Carolee Schneemann. Meat Joy. 1964

o      Yoko Ono. Cut Piece. 1964


Monday, July 31: Video Art

Artists use video in very different ways—from sweeping shots of public monuments to intimate confessionals.

  • Features the following works:

o      Howardena Pindell. Free, White and 21. 1980

o      Steve McQueen. Static. 2009


Wednesday, August 2: Pop Art

Pop art uses mass culture to blur the lines between art and artifice—and even advertising.

  • Features the following works:

o      Andy Warhol. Campbell's Soup Cans. 1962

o      Beatriz Gonzalez. Zócalo de la comedia.1983; Zócalo de la tragedia. 1983


Monday, August 7: Design

How are little things we use every day—even our text messages—designed to be both functional and beautiful?

  • Features the following works:

o      Shigetaka Kurita. Emoji, 199899

o      Ray Tomlinson, @, 1971


Wednesday, August 9: Text-Based Art

Explore how artists use text in many ways, from writing art-making instructions to using text as the image itself.

  • Features the following works:

o      Sol LeWitt. Wall Drawing #1144, Broken Bands of Color in Four Directions. 2004

o      Glenn Ligon. Untitled (How it feels to be colored me...Doubled). 1991


About WNYC Studios:

WNYC Studios is the premier producer of on-demand and broadcast audio. Born from the team that created some of the most critically acclaimed and popular podcasts of the last decade, WNYC Studios is leading the new golden age in audio with high-quality storytelling that informs, inspires, and delights millions of intellectually curious and highly engaged listeners across digital, mobile, and broadcast platforms. WNYC Studios creates some of the most beloved audio series, including Radiolab, 2 Dope Queens, Nancy, The New Yorker Radio Hour, Freakonomics Radio, Death, Sex & Money, Here’s the Thing with Alec Baldwin, Note to Self, On the Media, The Takeaway, and Studio 360. Their programs include personal narratives, deep journalism, interviews that reveal, and smart entertainment as varied and intimate as the human voice itself. For more information, visit wnycstudios.wnyc.org