As the story goes, artist Frank Stella decided to reread the novel Moby-Dick after visiting an aquarium with his family and becoming intrigued with a beluga whale. Stella’s response to Herman Melville’s 1851 account of the now-legendary great white was a pledge to make a painting for each of the book’s 135 chapters. The Modern is showing five magnificent works from the artist’s Moby-Dick series in Frank Stella: A Retrospective.
In response to Stella’s pledge, Modern Reading: Moby-Dick is an opportunity to read or reread a great American novel, considering its structure and implications as both ancient myth and futuristic prophecy. Participants will meet once a month from June to September, discussing approximately 45 chapters each meeting and visiting Stella’s works in the Modern’s galleries—works that, while not direct responses, share the novel’s fascination with boundless forces.
June 9, July 7, August 11 and September 8
3 to 5 pm
This program is free and open to the public. Reserve a space by June 3 to receive further program details. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with Modern Reading in the subject line and include how to best contact you in the body of the e-mail.