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Displaying items by tag: Museum of Contemporary Art

The City of North Miami has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed earlier this month by the Museum of Contemporary Art.

The city is calling MOCA's suit to move some of its artwork and spread it out across South Florida "legally deficient."

"We're not going to let anybody take our art collection and move it somewhere else after so many years of establishing the great MOCA," Councilman Scott Galvin said.

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Three of the four artists who resigned from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles’ board in 2012 are returning in support of the institution’s new director, Philippe Vergne. John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, and Catherine Opie will be joined by the board’s newest member, the Los Angeles-based artist Mark Grotjahn. Ed Ruscha, who also resigned in 2012, is currently serving on the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s board. Ruscha did join Baldessari, Kruger, and Opie as a volunteer on the search committee that MOCA formed to find a successor to Jeffrey Deitch, the former New York City art dealer who announced his resignation from his post as the museum’s director in July 2013.

Deitch’s tenure at MOCA was plagued by criticism. After firing longtime chief curator Paul Schimmel in 2012, Baldessari, Kruger, Opie, and Ruscha resigned from the board, leaving it void of artist representation. While the museum was in poor financial standing when Deitch came on board, the museum continued to fall into financial despair during his time as director.

Vergne, who comes to MOCA from the Dia Art Foundation in New York, has an extensive background in museum administration both in the U.S. and Europe. When the museum announced Vergne’s appointment back in January, Baldessari, Kruger, Opie, and Ruscha all expressed enthusiasm for the hire. In addition, his appointment came on the heels of the museum’s announcement that it had reached its goal of a $100 million endowment, most of which was raised in the past year.

Vergne said, “For me it is extremely important to have artists represented on the board. MOCA was founded by artists, patrons and civic leaders as the artist’s museum, and its incredible collection and record of groundbreaking exhibitions pay testament to that. It is a privilege to join MOCA with our new and returning trustees at the moment when MOCA is stronger than ever before.”

MOCA has included artists on its board since 1980, a year after the museum’s founding. 

Published in News
Thursday, 02 May 2013 15:45

MOCA’s Architecture Exhibition in Danger

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles is planning to open A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture in Southern California on June 2, 2013. Funded in part by the Getty Foundation, the show is now in jeopardy of being cancelled.

The Getty provided $445,000 for the exhibition, which is part of the Foundation’s new architecture series “Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A.” An exploration of the last 25 years of Los Angeles architecture, A New Sculpturalism was suppose to feature works by Frank Gehry, Thom Mayne, Michael Maltzan, Barbara Bestor, and a number of young architects. A nearly 300-page exhibition catalogue, co-published by Rizzoli, has already been completed.

Guest curated by Christopher Mount, the former executive director of the Pasadena Museum of California Art, the show may not be fully installed by its opening date. The participating architects have grown wary of the show’s direction and how their works will be presented, which prompted Gehry to withdraw from the show altogether.

The expansive exhibition includes four purpose-built pavilions, which were commissioned from various emerging architecture firms in Los Angeles. There have been some preliminary talks about holding the show later this year.

Published in News
Friday, 22 March 2013 13:05

MOCA to Remain an Independent Institution

After partnership offers from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) has decided to remain an independent institution. The museum has been struggling after a spate of financial issues and widespread criticism of its administration and overall direction.  

MOCA’s board released a statement on March 19, 2013 explaining, “The board is in agreement that the best future for MOCA would be as an independent institution. The Board understands that this will require a significant increase in MOCA’s endowment to ensure its strong financial standing. We are working quickly toward that goal, while at the same time exploring all strategic options, to honor the best interest of the institution and the artistic community we serve.” There are currently no artists on MOCA’s board after a number of high-profiled artists including John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, and Barbara Kruger resigned earlier this year.

Earlier this month, LACMA Director Michael Govan offered to raise $100 million for MOCA’s two locations in exchange for the acquisition of the institution. The National Gallery was not interested in an institutional merger but offered to collaborate with MOCA on programming and research initiatives. Eli Broad, one of MOCA’s major benefactors, was in favor of partnering with the National Gallery.  

Published in News

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has offered to acquire L.A.’s struggling Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). MOCA has been at the center of a number of controversies after the museum’s chief curator, Paul Schimmel, left the institution in June 2012 after 22 years on the job. Critics have bashed the museum for becoming too celebrity focused and all of the artists who once served on the museum’s board including John Baldessari (b. 1931), Barbara Kruger (b. 1945), and Ed Ruscha (b. 1937), have resigned after disagreeing with the institution’s new direction.

LACMA Director, Michael Govan, offered to raise $100 million for MOCA’s two locations in exchange for the acquisition. LACMA made a similar offer to MOCA, which is currently helmed by former New York gallery owner Jeffrey Deitch, back in 2008. LACMA officials believe that the merger would strengthen both institutions and provide MOCA with stability and strong leadership.

MOCA’s contributions, grants, and operating profits have all declined in recent years.

Published in News
Tuesday, 05 March 2013 11:49

Google Launches Art Talks Series

Following the lead of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and PBS, Google will launch a series of monthly digital “Art Talks.” The project aims to bring gallery and museum collections to life through virtual hangouts with curators, museums directors, historians, and educators from the world’s most distinguished cultural institutions. The talks will explore various arts-related topics including the curating process, popular themes throughout art history, art education, and the significance of specific masterpieces and artists.

The first Art Talks hangout will take place at 8PM on March 6, 2013 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Deborah Howes, the museum’s Director of Digital Learning, will join a panel of artists and students to discuss the process of teaching art online.

Upcoming Art Talks include Caroline Campbell and Arnika Schmidt from London’s National Gallery discussing depictions of the female nude throughout art history (March 20, 2013) and a panel discussion of Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s (1525-1569) Tower of Babel featuring Peter Parshall, curator at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. (April 2013). Additional talks are planned for the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and the Museo Nacional de Arte in Mexico.

The talks will be posted on the Google Art Project‘s YouTube channel after they air.

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When John Baldessari was looking for an L.A. gallery to show his work 20 years ago, he narrowed his choice to three and ultimately chose Margo Leavin.

"I thought she would be around for a long time," he said. "And it turned out to be true."

For more than four decades, Leavin has occupied a prominent perch in the Los Angeles contemporary art scene. Her gallery, which opened in 1970, is one of the most enduring and recognizable in the city, with a roster of top-tier artists that includes Jeffrey Vallance, Alexis Smith and William Leavitt as well as Baldessari.

Published in News
Wednesday, 15 June 2011 03:31

MCA 2.0

Finally, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is going to make sense, if all goes according to plan. Like a new owner in an old home, chief curator Michael Darling is overseeing a philosophical gut rehab whose ultimate goal is clarity.

"As an outsider, I wasn't 100 percent sure what the MCA stood for," says Darling, who was hired last summer in what has since been acknowledged as the catalyst for a nearly complete overhaul of the curatorial department. "I didn't have a great sense of what was in the collection, what defined the museum, etc. This (re-imagining) is a way to tie the ID of the museum to its collection and also have a clearer message about the exhibitions that we do and the types of shows that we're doing, building these competencies and reputations with different through-lines."

Needless to say, this kind of change doesn't happen overnight.

Darling's vision began last summer, within weeks of when he landed on his new turf. During a lengthy interview in August at the MCA's cafe, the museum building came up, along with its reputation as an overpowering venue whose overscaled walls dwarf most of the exhibitions it has housed.

Darling, at the time, was careful in his word choice. "I think (rethinking the layout) would help to streamline things," he said. "I think it would help to build our identity in a clear way. I'm getting to understand the building and the collection, and the curators are trying to start to understand some of those patterns that we can create for people."

Nearly 12 months later, Darling's curatorial clarity is beginning to manifest itself physically, most immediately in the museum's front yard: A massive yet playful four-piece installation by Hong Kong-born sculptor Mark Handforth will live on the front plaza beginning July 8 (pending weather) through autumn. By then, every last corner of the building at 220 E. Chicago Ave. will have been re-imagined, perhaps for the first time in its 15-year history, with the museum's permanent collection in mind.

It's a comprehensive overhaul that doesn't end with the property. Over the course of the next year, the MCA will adopt revamped graphic and digital identities, ultimately including a searchable online archive similar to what large institutions such as the Art Institute of Chicago have.

It's due time, according to director Madeleine Grynsztejn.

"The last time the MCA engaged a major change to its design identity was 15 years ago with the opening of the new building," Grynsztejn wrote last week via email from Italy, where she was attending the Venice Biennale. "It was right for its time, and as we've changed and evolved, we again need to create a new visual identity for the MCA Chicago that fits with our current and future vision."

The plan is to roll out physical changes gallery by gallery, floor-by-floor, like a progressive supper, allowing visitors to digest one newly rebranded area at a time.

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