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One Big Group Show: MOCA's "The Artist's Museum" Opens

By David Markland
Published: Thursday, November 04, 2010, at 07:59AM
Preview of MOCA's 'The Artist's Museum' David Markland

More than 25 of the artists participating in “The Artist's Museum" were on-hand at MOCA last week for a preview of the new show.

The Museum of Contemporary Art’s (MOCA’s) new show “The Artist’s Museum” debuted on Friday, showcasing the work of artists who have had an impact on the Los Angeles art scene over the past 30 years. Over 140 painters, sculptors, photographers, muralists, and artists from other disciplines are showcased between MOCA’s Grand Avenue and Geffen Contemporary locations.

The Grand Avenue installation mainly features photographs, paintings, and video installations, while the Geffen hosts sculptures and other installation art.

At Grand Avenue, guests will be able to walk through a video installation by Doug Aitken projected onto eight screens, before digesting works from Alexandra Grant, Ron Athey, Judy Baca, and others.

Robbie Conal’s “Contra Diction,” an unflattering depiction of Ronald Reagan, may be familiar to anyone who has kept an eye on L.A. street art.

The Geffen Contemporary features a multi-media display by Devo, with the 80’s pop musicians’ trademark hats hungs from a corner wall while a television set shows stills and clips from their performances. The 42 banners encompassing Mike Kelly’s colorful “Pay for Your Pleasure” stretch down one long walkway. Works by Liza Lou, Paul McCarthy and Katie Grinnan are also on display.

The tags next to each work include the artist’s name along with where they went to school and their years active in Los Angeles, reinforcing their local contribution and involvement in the L.A. art scene. Photographer Harry Gamboa Jr.’s selections take the connection one step further by showing photos of ten local Chicano men who had a positive impact on his life.

Two upcoming Sunday Studio events allow the public to explore the museum and interact with one of the artists from the new exhibition. On November 7th, Downtown’s own Gronk will lead guests in a painting activity inspired by his work in the exhibition. Robbie Conal will discuss his process at the December 5th event, followed by a hands-on project that he will lead. The Sunday Salons run from 1pm to 5:30pm and are free but reservations are required (call 213-621-1765 or email

On November 13th, MOCA’s annual fundraising gala will span both buildings housing The Artist’s Museum exhibit. Called “The Happening,” the event will have performances by Beck, Devandra Banhart, and Caetano Veloso, all part of an experiential artwork by Doug Aitken. The project, called “WE,” will serve as the evening’s entertainment intended to, according to a press release, “challenge popular notions of performance, sustenance, art and connection, aiming to inspire new narratives about the role of contemporary art in Los Angeles.”

Both MOCA Grand Avenue and Geffen Contemporary are open Monday and Friday 11am-5pm; Thursday 11am-8pm; and Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm; closed Tuesday and Wednesday.


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