MOCA’S “COLLECTION: THE FIRST THIRTY YEARS” PROVES THE MUSEUM SHOULD BE AROUND FOR 30 MORE
John Baldessari's 9/11 musing is a show highlight...
Despite MOCA's financial woes of late and near collapse last year amid the chaos of the economic holocaust, the veritable Southland institution seems on to a bright future now, having secured ST buddy JEFFREY DEITCH as its new director (starting June 1) and financial security (for the moment). If ever there was a time to celebrate, it is now.
"Collection: MOCA's First Thirty Years" does just that, simultaneously paying homage to the museum's storied history while looking ahead towards what seems like a newly bright horizon (thanks to Eli Broad there might just be another 30 years in store). Spread evenly across the Grand Avenue and Geffen locations, the true depth and brilliance of MOCA's holdings is laid out chronologically, to staggering effect in this must-see two part exhibit.
Beginning at the Grand Ave space, curator PAUL SCHIMMEL traces the years 1939 to 1979, juxtaposing works by Barnett Newman and Mondrian with pieces by Ruscha, Billy Al Bengston, and Johns, among others. The pace picks up quickly beginning in 1980 at the Little Tokyo Geffen Contemporary wing where Chris Burden's massive motorcycle sculpture decidedly sets the tone. Prime offerings by Raymond Pettibon, Wangechi Mutu, Catherine Opie, and Neo Rauch vie for attention amid the visual overload.
It's been a long time since the LA area has seen a survey so comprehensive and overwhelming and this show should be considered essential viewing for all but the most sight-deprived public. If ever there was an exhibit worty of busing every grade school in the region to, it is this. Luckily, the show is also viewable online with interesting text accompanying every image, providing a bit of art history 101 for the uninitiated. HAVE A LOOK:
Read the LA Times review HERE
BILLY AL BENGSTON
WILLEM DE KOONING
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