Posts tagged with "MOCA":

Five shows that stretch the boundaries between furniture and art

While the boundaries between art, architecture, and design are already often quite murky, the following artists are troubling the bounds even further, using furniture’s familiar forms to examine intimacy between people and objects, reconsider how bodies negotiate space, or offer a platform for new activities. These five exhibitions are sure to provoke a reconsideration of furniture and its relationship to domesticity, technology, and history.  A two-for-one, C-L-E-A-R-I-N-G’s Bushwick, Brooklyn location has on display simultaneous shows of artists reinventing domestic forms. Hannah Levy: Swamp Salad C-L-E-A-R-I-N-G 396 Johnson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY Through March 11 Hannah Levy’s fleshy furnishings in Swamp Salad feature her signature space-age grotesque sculptures in molded steel and flesh-hued silicon. Pearl-accented lounge chairs (derived from French modernist Charlotte Perriand’s iconic designs), coat racks of elongated steel bones, and alabaster bicycle helmets circle around a screen, mounted on an intrusive, curvaceous steel bar descending from the ceiling which a video of long-nailed hands plucking pearls from oysters. Categories like natural and artificial, familiar and strange, pull apart to uncanny effect in Levy’s mixed-up alien universe. Daniel Dewar & Grégory Gicquel: Rosa Aurora Rosa C-L-E-A-R-I-N-G 396 Johnson Avenue, Brooklyn, NY Through March 11 Also at C-L-E-A-R-I-N-G, Daniel Dewar and Grégory Gicquel, who have been collaborating since 2003, go on a psychosexual escapade in stone, both reveling in and being irreverent of sculptural tradition. Rosa Aurora Rosa, a name derived from the Portuguese pink marble that makes up the central massive sculptures of the show, blends body and bathroom in forms that seem at once ancient and contemporary. Along the walls are “paintings” in stone, also depicting  with bodies, vessels, and holes. BLESS N°60 Lobby Conquerors Mathew 46 Canal Street, New York, NY Through April 3 BLESS, the Berlin and Paris-based creative collective founded by Ines Kaag and Desiree Heiss, has reimagined classic Artek products as “architurniture.” Expanding on their 1998 BLESS Nº 7 Livingroom Conquerors,. BLESS moved into public space with BLESS N°60 Lobby Conquerors. Originally commissioned for the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, the Lobby Conquerors have been brought to New York’s Mathew gallery in collaboration with architecture magazine PIN–UP and furniture manufacturer Artek. Taking designer Ilmari Tapiovaara’s iconic 1960 Kiki benches and lounge chairs and 1954 Lukki stools for Artek, BLESS dressed up the modernist seating with fur, fabric, and architectural add-ons that invite a whole new confrontation between people and furniture. Welcome to the Dollhouse  Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art Pacific Design Center 8687 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, CA Through April 8 Welcome to the Dollhouse, at L.A. MOCA’s Pacific Design Center, uses objects from the museum’s permanent collection to come to terms with and trouble notions of domesticity. Featuring art across a range of media, the exhibition plays house with artists includinge Lynn Aldrich, Julie Becker, Meg Cranston, Ross Bleckner, Moyra Davey, Judy Fiskin, Robert Gober, Jim Isermann, Mike Kelley, Roy McMakin, Rodney McMillian, Bill Owens, Jorge Pardo, Richard Prince, among others. Jillian Mayer: Slumpies Tufts University 40 Talbot Avenue, Medford, MA and 230 Fenway, Boston, MA Through April 15 Artist Jillian Mayer has been designing furniture for the digital age. These amalgamations of fiberglass, epoxy, resin, wood, and paint are designed to be a new ergonomic solution for perhaps our most common activity, looking at our phones. The so-called Slumpies invite new postures of standing, sitting, and lying alone or with friends to stare at your screen endlessly without having to worry about neck strain. By equal measures practical and parody, the Slumpies are currently on view around Tufts University’s Boston and Medford campuses in conjunction with the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston’s exhibition Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to Today.
Ever popular and prescient, the Slumpies are also currently on view at New York's Postmasters gallery.
Jillian Mayer: Post Posture
Postmasters
Through March 31

Young designers pop up at L.A.’s Geffen Contemporary

Los Angeles–based design consultancy THIS X THAT has unveiled their new Store Pop-Up, a temporary installation of design objects created by a collection of emerging designers that includes Besler & Sons, Bureau Spectacular, and Welcome Companions taking place at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Geffen Contemporary in Los Angeles. The pop-up shop features “limited-edition objects for home and garden that offer imaginative solutions for everyday life,” according to a press release. The diverse collection of objects includes decorative lamps, paperweights, and even garden gnomes, among others. The display brings together five practices in total, with New York City–based New Affiliates and Syracuse, New York–based Architecture Office rounding out the group. For the store display, Besler & Sons designed a trio of informal mobile kiosks that hold the various objects. The Wabi-sabi look of the display—which is dubbed “Trusses on Trucks” by the designers—is derived from “an interest in the iconicity of vernacular built forms, particularly residential house frames, trusses, and the sloped roof itself,” according to a press release. Made from stacked and butt-jointed sheets of plywood, the displays are held together with industrial tension straps and are made to be assembled and disassembled quickly. In terms of the objects on display Besler & Sons also contributed a series of oversized paperweights made out of pink, white, and blue terrazzo. Bureau Spectacular made two contributions to the store, with principal Jimenez Lai designing a blue neon lamp drawn to resemble a scribble and principal Joanna Grant creating a flexible, tube-shaped body pillow. Lai’s lamp was recently added to the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Describing the so-called “snuggle,” Grant said, “It can function as a pillow or an outrageously large scarf," adding that she envisioned an object with "inexact tendencies" that could "conform to different orientations of the body and take on different readings.” Welcome Companions designed a series of leather charms designed to be affixed to handbag handles and tote bag straps. The charms are shaped like over-easy eggs, slices of toast, popsicles, and pills, among other shapes and represent part of the office’s efforts to “inject a sense of play, suspense, and narrative” into everyday objects. New Affiliates brings a similar playfulness to their work, here manifested as a series of  brightly-colored “garden gnomes,” “quasi-functional ornamental objects” designed by the office as flat-packed objects meant to fit anywhere. For the shop, Architecture Office created runs of bespoke wallpaper “designed, cut, and printed in Upstate New York” and inspired by Los Angeles’s sunrises. The wallpaper comes as a vinyl film that can be applied multiple times over smooth surfaces and is meant to be “put up by anyone anywhere to jazz up a monotonous wall with a graphic sparkle and a splash of color.” The works will be on display—and for sale—at the museum gallery through March 19, 2018.

An exhibition offers in-depth insight into artist Barbara Kasten’s career

The touring exhibition Barbara Kasten: Stages will arrive at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (MOCA) this summer, following presentations at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia and the Graham Foundation in Chicago. The exhibition collects works from four decades in the artist’s career, from the 1970s to present. Barbara Kasten: Stages is the first major survey of the artist’s work, incorporating her sculptures and photography with documentation of her artistic process. According to curator Alex Klein, “stages” refers both to the stages of the artist’s career and her own process of staging sculptures in space.

The exhibition includes many of Kasten’s most well-known photographs from the Architectural Sites series, in which she abstracted works of postmodern architecture, like Frank Gehry’s Loyola Law School using an elaborate staging of light, sculpture, and mirrors and then printed them using the dye-destruction method Cibachrome for better depth of color and clarity. Stages will also include Kasten’s work with cyanotypes, which use the same technique used to make blueprints, and her early work with furniture sculptures.

The Museum of Contemporary Art Pacific Design Center 8687 Melrose Avenue West Hollywood, CA 90069 Through August 14

The Quotable Eli Broad Weighs in on Los Angeles

Diller Scofidio + Renfro's concrete-veiled Los Angeles art museum and its accompanying plaza, The Broad, named for the billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad who commissioned it,  continue to rise in downtown. Meanwhile, across the street, Broad's longtime project, MOCA, struggles to find its footing. Addressing these two projects, Broad sat down with Los Angeles Magazine, giving an unusually candid interview about the state of the city, his own giving, and much more. Here are some of his most revealing quotes from a man who, this time, departed from his usual tactic of sticking to talking points. "Right now Los Angeles needs a lot of things. It needs better political leadership and better citizen and corporate leadership than it’s had." "I don’t mean to brag, but in Los Angeles I don’t see anyone who has stepped forward to do the number of things that I’ve done." "With regards to Disney Hall, Frank Gehry had a contract as a design architect. He wasn’t supposed to get involved in construction. When I got involved, I had some ideas that Frank didn’t like. But we’re great friends now." "We took a chance on Jeffrey Deitch [at MOCA]. He’s a populist. He did several great shows, like Art in the Streets. He created MOCAtv. But he didn’t have the stomach, frankly, to deal with trustees or raise money or do other things. He was not a manager." "We had a lot of old trustees on the board (at MOCA) who give nothing and create a lot of problems. Four or five of the old trustees didn’t give anything to this campaign for the endowment, but they have no problem talking to the press and complaining. "We (Broad and his wife Edye) want to finish all our work within ten years after our demise. We don’t believe in having a foundation that’s around 50 years from now that has no idea of what the founders wanted done." "Oh, yeah. We’re accelerating our investment."

Unveiled> Gehry Partners’ Renderings for National Art Museum of China Design

Frank Gehry has unveiled renderings of its shortlisted entry for the competition to design the National Art Museum of China (NAMOC), the predestined showstopper of Beijing’s new cultural district. Gehry was shortlisted alongside fellow Pritzker Prize winners Jean Nouvel and Zaha Hadid for the high-profile project. Gehry's submission incorporates transparent cladding, an interior comprised of lofty, geometric courtyards evocative of pagodas and temples, and a layout that would accommodate nearly 12 million annual visitors. [beforeafter] gehry_china_museum_10 gehry_china_museum_08[/beforeafter]   In acknowledging the globalization of art and its role in connecting the world’s various cultures, the firm's plans seeks to address the concept of 21st century Chinese architecture. Gehry Partners has created a unique design tailored to the museum’s framework, as the structure will be situated facing the central axis of Olympic Park, over the course of the three competition stages. To convey delicate movement, the firm considered glass as a facade material, and in doing so developed a new material—translucent stone—that grants the building an imperial appearance suitable for a national museum. The translucent stone, which is part of the inventive sustainable facade system that integrates a ventilated airspace, allows the structure to efficiently transform for the seasons, festivals, diverse exhibitions, and as a canvas for artists. The renderings reveal four dispersed entrances at each corner and expose a structure that can accommodate a record number of visitors. A formal entry resembling a Chinese temple is positioned in the center of the west facade. The interiors are organized around large public spaces linked vertically by escalators. Visible only from the inside, the spaces are inspired by temples and establish a proper connection between the shapes of the building facade and the interior. The project is currently part of Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art exhibition called A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California.

Eavesdrop> MOCA Drama…It’s Still Not Over

Just when we thought the troubled MOCA New Sculpturalism exhibition was finally wrapping up relatively smoothly... There has been no official confirmation, but we've heard from several people involved with the show that Thom Mayne and his firm Morphosis are now leading the show, not curator Christopher Mount. Participants confirm that emails are now coming from Morphosis, not MOCA, while the show's assistant curator Johanna Vandemoortele last week sent out an email that she had already departed from MOCA. Mount was not available for comment, but Mayne's spokesperson Legier Stahl noted: "It is a collective, community effort. We are just helping to facilitate." Rumor has it that Mayne is considering adding more participants, including Wes Jones, John Enright, Hitoshi Abe, and Qingyun. Stay tuned as the saga continues.

MOCA’s “New Sculpturalism” Show Moving Forward

AN just heard from MOCA that their embattled show, A New Sculpturalism, Contemporary Architecture in Southern California, is moving ahead. The date has been pushed back from June 2 to June 16, but it will still take place inside MOCA's Geffen Contemporary, presumably featuring the same roster of both emerging and star architects, minus Frank Gehry, of course. The show had been put on hold for several weeks for reasons that vary according to whom you ask. Curator Christopher Mount had blamed mismanagement at MOCA, while others had blamed apprehension about the show's direction, and Gehry's withdrawal. The following is the statement released by MOCA at 12:43 PST:
MOCA will present its exhibition on contemporary architecture from Southern California, A New Sculpturalism, opening June 16, 2013 at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA as part of Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A.  The museum is excited to bring the architecture community in Los Angeles together in recognition of the world-class architecture that has been and continues to be conceived in the city by some of the most renowned and emerging firms and practitioners working today.
MOCA did not make clear if Mount would still be directing the show, and Mount was understandably unable to comment. Many in the community had been outraged at the possible closure of the show, and a petition to keep it going garnered more than 100 signatures. The show received more than $400,000 in grants and gifts from the Getty Foundation and other sources. It is the only exhibition on contemporary architecture in the Getty initiative, Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in Los Angeles. One of its participants, LA architect Tom Wiscombe, still needs help to get his part of the show done. He's raising funds on USA Projects for his pavilion, called Surface-to-Volume, a sixteen-foot-high inhabitable pavilion that will take its mutated form by having large indentations pushed into its thin exterior skin. The composite monocoque structure will be made of a water-based, fireproof composite with carbon and glass fiber reinforcement called M1, a material used primarily in aerospace engineering. "This is more like building an aircraft wing than a wall," said Wiscombe, who noted that the project's thin, large walls could only be created using such a material. Large seams will be engraved onto its surface, like tattoos. The project,which is already being fabricated by LA firm Barnacle Bros., will be complete in ten days if it reaches its fundraising goal by May 20.

Petition Launched To Save MOCA’s New Sculpturalism Exhibition

Los Angeles architect Arshia Mahmoodi, founder of the firm VOID, has launched an online petition to try to help save the troubled exhibition, A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture in Southern California at MOCA. The show, scheduled for a June 2nd opening, is currently in a holding pattern, and its curator Christopher Mount told AN he feared it would be cancelled. Mount blames mismanagement at MOCA, while several news reports have pointed to general apprehension about the show, and the recent withdrawal of Frank Gehry. Mahmoodi released the petition—directed to MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch—yesterday. "The cultural and educational significance of this exhibition certainly outweighs any hindrance surrounding it," wrote Mahmoodi in the petition, which has been circulating in the local architecture community. Mahmoodi told AN she was inspired by Mount's call, documented in the LA Times, for a "community uprising" to keep the exhibition alive. She added that she doesn't want the petition to be "antagonistic or condemning in any form," since there is still so much haziness around the situation. "The show," she wrote, "is quite possibly the most important exhibition among the many curated under the Pacific Standard Time umbrella, as it is to provide a front for the emergent architecture in Southern California rather than the familiar historical or subjective curatorial discourse." The last pitch to Deitch: "We respectfully urge you to champion this mission to its resolution and ensure you that the support of the undersigned for this exhibition is unwavering." As of this posting the petition had 42 supporters. "It could act as a referendum of sorts to show the decision makers who and how many care about this," Mahmoodi told AN.

Where’s the Money, MOCA? Questions surround the possible cancellation of A New Sculpturalism

The intrigue continues at MOCA, whose upcoming show A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture in Southern California, is close to being cancelled, according to multiple sources. The show's curator Christopher Mount has told AN that Frank Gehry’s withdrawal is not the cause for the exhibition’s possible demise, as was suggested yesterday in the Los Angeles Times. The real reason, he said: MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch, who halted installation of the show a few weeks ago, claiming that money for the undertaking had run out. Mount, however, says there is plenty of money left in the show’s budget. The New Sculpturalism show, scheduled for a June 2 opening, received a $445,000 grant from the Getty Foundation (made up of a $170,000 research grant and a $275,000 implementation grant) as part of its Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in Los Angeles initiative. It also received a $15,000 grant from the Graham foundation as well as other smaller private contributions. Mount said that he has only spent $280,000 so far, and that the total cost of the show will be about $340,000. That leaves over $100,000 remaining. “The Frank Gehry thing is a total smokescreen,” said Mount, of the LA Times report, which pointed out that the show was being jeopardized because of that architect’s recent refusal to take part. Mount did acknowledge that Gehry had issues with the show (as have some others in the architecture community), and that he wasn't happy with the amount of pages dedicated to him in the exhibition catalogue, but he said that was irrelevant.  “I don’t know where the money went. Somebody has to ask Jeffrey,” said Mount.  He added: “I think it’s appalling that a museum can’t support an exhibition that explores some of the most important architecture of the last 25 years. I’ve never seen a show with all of its money raised just stop construction.” It is still unclear what Deitch or MOCA’s position is on the show’s status, or if the Getty, which donated most of the funds for the show, will step in to resolve the matter. The Getty has refused to comment, while efforts to reach MOCA on the record have thus far not been returned. Mount also acknowledged that Thom Mayne and others involved with the show have investigated moving it to another space, although he does not support such a move. "I'll certainly be disappointed if this comes to pass," said Neil Denari, who was scheduled to be part of the show, and noted that he has had doubts about MOCA's dedication to architecture. "I looked at it as a way to raise the consciousness of architecture in general.  This raises questions about the ability to have a public discourse about architecture, which I think LA desperately needs." Disclosure: Sam Lubell was an on the advisory board for A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture in Southern California.

Wait, What? Now MOCA Might Team Up With National Gallery

Now we're really confused. Amidst reports that LA's MOCA might be taken over by LACMA or USC, now we hear via the New York Times that the struggling institution might now join forces with the National Gallery in Washington D.C. According to John Wilmerding, the chairman of the Gallery's board of trustees, MOCA is "close to working out a five-year agreement...to collaborate on programming, research and exhibitions." The deal wouldn't include fundraising assistance, but would obviously bolster MOCA's ability to raise money with the National Gallery's high profile assistance on programming, exhibitions, research, curation, and staffing. Oh, and guess who approached the National Gallery, according to the story: MOCA board chair Eli Broad, who has made it clear he doesn't want to be swallowed by LACMA. Stay tuned as this saga plays out.

LACMA Makes Move For MOCA Los Angeles

As confirmed on its blog yesterday, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has made a proposal to acquire the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (MOCA). "Our chief desire is to see MOCA’s program continue and to serve the many artists and other Angelenos, for whom MOCA means so much," said LACMA director Michael Govan in an online letter. Reportedly LACMA would preserve MOCA's two buildings, located on Grand Avenue and in Little Tokyo in Downtown Los Angeles. According to the LA Times, the offer was made back on February 24. As part of the arrangement, LACMA would raise $100 million for the combined museums as a condition for completing the deal, according to their story. Another suitor for struggling MOCA is the University of Southern California (USC), which has been reported to have been in talks to merge with MOCA as well. That arrangement has a model in UCLA, which is partnered with the Hammer Museum in Westwood. Either way, it looks like something has to be done about financially-troubled MOCA: “If not us, who?” Mr. Govan said in an interview with the New York Times yesterday.

The Coolest Video We’ve Ever Seen

Street artist Blu recently made LA headlines when his commissioned mural for MOCA's Geffen Contemporary (featuring coffins draped by dollar bills) was subsequently whitewashed by MOCA itself. In a statement, MOCA called the mural, which was across from the LA Veterans' Affairs Hospital, "inappropriate," and the move has angered (to say the least) the street art community. For those of you unfamiliar with Blu, please take a look at this video, called Big Bang Big Boom. There are no special effects, just stop-action animation; a dazzling combination of architecture and art. It's unclear where he shot this piece, but he obviously needed to find an area with lots of empty, and largely abandoned, walls and lots. We're blown away, so to speak.