Art from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

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Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Mark Rothko - Brown, Blue, Brown on Blue
Brown, Blue, Brown on Blue
Mark Rothko
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Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

Founded in 1979, MOCA’s mission is to be one of the defining museums of contemporary art. The institution has achieved astonishing growth in its brief history—with three Los Angeles locations of architectural renown; more than 13,500 members; a world-class permanent collection of more than 6,700 works international in scope and among the finest in the nation; hallmark education programs that are widely emulated; award-winning publications that present original scholarship; and groundbreaking monographic, touring, and thematic exhibitions of international repute that survey the art of our time. MOCA is a private not-for-profit institution supported by its members, corporate and foundation support, government grants, and admission revenues. MOCA Grand Avenue and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA are open 11am to 5pm on Monday and Friday; 11am to 8pm on Thursday; 11am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday; and closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. General admission is $12 for adults; $6 for students with I.D. and seniors (65+); and free for MOCA members, children under 12, and everyone on Thursdays from 5pm to 8pm,courtesy of Wells Fargo. MOCA Pacific Design Center is open 11am to 5pm, Tuesday through Friday; 11am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday; and closed on Monday. Admission to MOCA Pacific Design Center is always free. For 24-hour information on current exhibitions, education programs, and special events, call 213 626 6222 or access MOCA at


Until March 18, 2013
MOCA Grand Avenue
Los Angeles—The Museum of Contemporary Art presents Jason Schmidt: Some Los Angeles Artists, now on view at MOCA Grand Avenue through March 18, 2013. Since 1997, photographer Jason Schmidt has been making intimate portraits of artists around the world as part of his ongoing project Artists. Selected from over 500 photographs that currently make up this series, the 23 images on view at MOCA represent several generations of artists working in an array of disciplines—painting, sculpture, video, performance, and installation—all of whom are based in Los Angeles. Schmidt photographs each artist in a place significant to each artist’s work. ‚Unlike some other photographers of artists who work in series and record multiple images, Schmidt crystallizes his experience of the artists and their work into a single image. His ‘one shot’ approach results in some of the most iconic images of the leading artists of our time,‛ said MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch.

Carting a Linhof 4x5 and Nikon cameras past warehouses and deserts, up and down several hundred flights of stairs, into living rooms and garages, next to beaches, canals, and pools (as well as in them), in fields and gardens, half-naked and barefoot, in cemeteries and next to stripper poles, Schmidt documents artists as they make their work. Both portraits and environments, each experience with an artist is singular—the resultant photograph is often a mixture of collaboration and on-the-spot inventiveness. Schmidt attempts to capture the artists in a concise, material way, given the restrictions that the studio or location provides. Schmidt never editorializes, fakes scenarios or concocts clever, telltale demonstrations; he never imposes his conception of what an artist should be doing, but simply documents the sudden moment where the photographer enters into the special domain of the artist.
Jason Schmidt is a New York City based photographer. He received a Bachelors degree in Art History from Columbia University in 1992. Schmidt specializes in portraits of artists and cultural figures as well as documenting interiors and architecture. Since 2000 Schmidt has photographed over 500 contemporary fine artists, in their studios and with their work. His first book Artists was published in 2007, by Steidl. His second book on the subject will be published in 2013. His work has been anthologized and collected and the entire series of artist pictures is in the collection of Martin Marguiles. Schmidt regularly shoots for magazines and advertisers including The New York Times Magazine, Harpers Bazaar, Vanity Fair, Wallpaper, IBM, Microsoft and J.Crew.

APRIL 21, 2013 – AUGUST 19, 2013

In 2013, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) will present the first comprehensive museum retrospective of works by the internationally acclaimed Swiss-born artist Urs Fischer. One of today’s most important contemporary artists, Fischer is known for using a range of media to express the transience of art and, concomitantly, the human condition. Jessica Morgan, Curator, International Art, at Tate Modern in London, is curating the exhibition, which will occupy a total of 65,000 square feet at both MOCA Grand Avenue and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, from April 21, 2013, to August 19, 2013. Presenting his work of the last decade, the show will bring together for the first time Fischer’s many iconic works from leading international collections as well as recent production. Using the two spaces of MOCA, the exhibition will showcase Fischer’s propensity to bridge the banal and the fantastical. Each location will have a distinct character and approach responding and adapting to the unique spaces of the museum. At MOCA, Fischer will weave together the storyline of his work: skeletons will meet movie stars, toys will greet grave-like holes, and our accustomed sense of disinterested distance will be simultaneously embraced and destroyed.

Urs Fischer specializes in making jaws drop. [His work] percolates with uncanny destructiveness, operatic uncontrollability, and barbaric sculptural power . . . Fischer’s wizardly ability to present objects on the brink of falling apart, floating away, or undergoing psychic transformation, and his forceful feel for chaos, carnality, and materiality, make him, for me, one of the most imaginative powerhouses we have.
—Jerry Saltz, New York Magazine, 2009

Exhibition Overview
Rooted in a twisted take on reality, Fischer’s work unabashedly declares its affiliation to Pop, Surrealism, and Dada, while its production techniques and imagery place the work firmly in our contemporary sphere. Fischer’s oeuvre is characterized by a morbid glamour—sex, the macabre, and the violent effects of fracture and collage make frequent appearances. But this adult and consumer-conscious world abuts a (not unrelated) fairytale landscape populated with giant teddy bears, houses made of bread, and melting objects. In the artist’s imagination anything is possible, including the drastic escalation in scale of a fist-size clay sculpture to a towering monolith of forty feet, apparently produced by the hands of a giant.
Fischer’s world is mutable and unexpected, and the pleasure that we derive from his sculpture and painting is based on our attraction and simultaneous repulsion to the dreamlike appearances that he constructs. Fischer’s work is characterized by an unending diversity. Sculptures are constructed from an elaborate aluminum casting process, roughly hewn in wood, glued together like a mosaic from broken mirror, or cast in wax only to melt away during the run of the exhibition. The artist delights in the possibilities of surface, contrasting, for example, the highly reflective planes of an aluminum box with a photo-realistic image of a consumer object that is printed on its sides to confuse the perception of flatness and depth, real and unreal, object and image. Even works that suggest the handmade touch of the artist turn out to have been produced through a range of digital processes in order to create the oddly surreal appearance of reality gone wrong.