October 20, 2010

The Artist’s Museum Exhibition at MOCA Los Angeles

The Artist’s Museum
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)
October 31, 2010 - January 31, 2011


The Artist's Museum. A logotype by Pae White

Artist PAE WHITE designed the graphic identity for the exhibition © Pae White, Courtesy of the MOCA


The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), presents a showcase of works by over 140 artists who have helped shape the artistic dialogue in Los Angeles since the founding of MOCA over 30 years ago. The Artist’s Museum opened on September 19, 2010, at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA; and will open on October 31, 2010, at MOCA Grand Avenue. This exhibition represent the diversity and uniqueness of the Los Angeles community, and highlight important works from legendary L.A. artists who remain vital and influential alongside those emerging from renowned local art schools, visionary artists associated with various street cultures and subcultures, and crossover artists connected to performance, music, and film. This special presentation draw from MOCA’s permanent collection, supplemented by key loans from local collectors and artists, featuring over 250 works, including a number of new projects made especially for this occasion. 

“Los Angeles is an incredibly hospitable city for artists to live and make their work in, and, as a result, this city is rich with the most innovative, talented, and groundbreaking artists of our time,” said MOCA Associate Curator Rebecca Morse. 

The three decades represented within The Artist’s Museum touch on several generations of artists whose careers parallel and intersect with MOCA’s own development as a major contemporary art institution. The exhibition underlines the museum’s important role in shaping and supporting the artistic landscape of Los Angeles while looking beyond the museum’s own history to embrace artists who have helped transform the city into an internationally recognized center for artists from all over the world. It is possible to trace lines of influence and association within the exhibition, as it encompasses a range of relationships—from teachers and students, to mentors, friends, and collaborators.

“The Artist’s Museum pays tribute to the breadth of immense talent in this city, tracing an evolution possible only in Los Angeles, where there is such an active intersection of disciplines,” commented MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch. 

Based on a nickname that has been used to describe MOCA from its inception, The Artist’s Museum also honors artists’ ongoing involvement with MOCA, which was founded in 1979 on the premise that it should exist for the benefit of contemporary artists. During the late 1970s, a group of 150 artists came together to discuss the creation of a new museum dedicated to contemporary art in Los Angeles. As a result, an Artist’s Advisory Council of 15 members was formed to make recommendations on all of the issues associated with building a museum. As part of the exhibition, two galleries will feature works by artists on the Advisory Council, including Lita Albuquerque, Peter Alexander, Karen Carson, Vija Celmins, Guy Dill, Fred Eversley, Sam Francis, Robert Heinecken, Robert Irwin, Gary Lloyd, Peter Lodato, Joe Ray, Roland Reiss, Alexis Smith, DeWain Valentine, and Tom Wudl.

MOCA has continued to honor the legacy of that original group by appointing artists to its Board of Trustees, including current Trustees John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, Catherine Opie, and Edward Ruscha. The museum has consistently aimed to be a major resource for local artists, bringing the Los Angeles arts community into dialogue with nationally and internationally renowned artists—not only through its exceptional collection, but also through a diverse array of exhibitions and programs. 

The Artist’s Museum spans both of MOCA’s downtown Los Angeles buildings. Works at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA will comprise primarily sculpture and installation, and MOCA Grand Avenue will feature painting, photography, and works on paper. Doug Aitken’s Electric Earth, (1999) a hyperkinetic fable of modern life in the form of an 8-channel video installation, will be on view for the first time ever at MOCA as part of The Artist’s Museum. Also included in the exhibition will be work by artist Robbie Conal ; Thomas Houseago’s monumental sculpture Sprawling Octopus Man (2009), a new acquisition; Mike Kelley’s large-scale installation Pay for Your Pleasure (1999); an installation by Amanda Ross-Ho based on Double Tragedy Wall (2007) from MOCA’s collection; and a performance by Vaginal Davis. Jim Isermann will create a new project for the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Reception Hall at MOCA Grand Avenue. Artist Pae White designed the graphic identity for the exhibition.

The exhibition is organized for MOCA by Associate Curator Rebecca Morse, in collaboration with a curatorial team that includes Director Jeffrey Deitch, Director of Publications Lisa Gabrielle Mark, Curator Alma Ruiz, and Associate Curator Bennett Simpson. The Artist’s Museum expands on a collection show originally conceived by Chief Curator Paul Schimmel, that considered the work of Los Angeles artists in a local context, following Collection: MOCA’s First Thirty Years, which presented Los Angeles artists in an international context.

Support: The Artist's Museum is made possible by endowment support from the Sydney Irmas Exhibition Endowment. The exhibition is generously supported by Mandy and Cliff Einstein. Major support is provided by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation.


Amy Adler
Doug Aitken
Lita Albuquerque
Peter Alexander
Carlos Almaraz
Edgar Arceneaux
Ron Athey
Judy Baca
John Baldessari
Devendra Banhart
Uta Barth
Vanessa Beecroft
Larry Bell
Billy Al Bengston
Cindy Bernard
Walead Beshty
Jeremy Blake
Jonathan Borofsky
Andrea Bowers
Mark Bradford
Chris Burden
Karen Carson
Vija Celmins
Guy de Cointet
Robbie Conal
Meg Cranston
Vaginal Davis
Guy Dill
John Divola
Roy Dowell
Sam Durant
Fred Eversley
Morgan Fisher
Judy Fiskin
Simone Forti
Llyn Foulkes
Sam Francis
Charles Gaines
Harry Gamboa Jr.
Charles Garabedian
Frank O. Gehry
Jack Goldstein
Piero Golia
Joe Goode
Robert Graham
Alexandra Grant
Katie Grinnan
Mark Grotjahn
Richard Hawkins
Tim Hawkinson
Wayne Healy
Robert Heinecken
George Herms
David Hockney
Patrick Hogan
Evan Holloway
Thomas Houseago
Douglas Huebler
Elliott Hundley
Robert Irwin
Jim Isermann
Richard Jackson
Cameron Jamie
Larry Johnson
William E. Jones
Miranda July
Glenn Kaino
Craig Kauffman
Mike Kelley
Mary Kelly
Martin Kersels
Toba Khedoori
Edward Kienholz and Nancy       
Reddin Kienholz 
John Knight
Barbara Kruger
Lisa Lapinski
Liz Larner
William Leavitt
Gary Lloyd
Sharon Lockhart
Peter Lodato
Liza Lou
Machine Project
Florian Maier-Aichen
Kerry James Marshall
Daniel Joseph Martinez
Paul McCarthy
John McCracken
Rodney McMillian
Matthew Monahan
Ivan Morley
Ed Moses
Dave Muller
Kori Newkirk
Ruben Ochoa
Catherine Opie
Rubén Ortiz-Torres
Kaz Oshiro
John Outterbridge
Laura Owens
Jorge Pardo
Helen Pashgian
Jennifer Pastor
Raymond Pettibon
Lari Pittman
Monique Prieto
Stephen Prina
Charles Ray
Joe Ray
Roland Reiss
Jason Rhoades
Amanda Ross-Ho
Nancy Rubins
Sterling Ruby
Allen Ruppersberg
Edward Ruscha
Mark Ryden
Betye Saar
Kenny Scharf
Lara Schnitger
Allan Sekula
Jim Shaw
Peter Shelton
Paul Sietsema
Alexis Smith
Frances Stark
Jennifer Steinkamp
Henry Taylor
Diana Thater
Robert Therrien
DeWain Valentine
Jeffrey Vallance
Bill Viola
Marnie Weber
James Welling
Eric Wesley
Charlie White
Pae White
Christopher Williams
Robert Williams
Tom Wudl
Bruce Yonemoto
Andrea Zittel



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