Details

Keywords Change this

Postmodernism

Project timeline

1984 – 1986

Type

Museum

Location Change this

250 South Grand Avenue
90012 Los Angeles
USA
www.moca.org

Current state

Original

Also known as Change this

MOCA

Architect Change this

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Article last edited by Bostjan on
March 07th, 2019

Museum of Contemporary Art Change this

Los Angeles, USA
by Arata Isozaki Change this
1 of 2

Description Change this

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA) is a contemporary art museum with three locations in greater Los Angeles, California. The main branch is located on Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, near the Walt Disney Concert Hall. MOCA's original space, initially intended as a "temporary" exhibit space while the main facility was built, is now known as the Geffen Contemporary, in the Little Tokyo district of downtown Los Angeles. The museum's exhibits consist primarily of American and European contemporary art created after 1940. Since the museum's inception, MOCA's programming has been defined by its multi-disciplinary approach to contemporary art.

The MOCA Downtown Los Angeles location is home to almost 5,000 artworks created since 1940, including masterpieces by classic contemporary artists, and inspiring new works by emerging and mid-career artists from Southern California and around the world. The MOCA is the only museum in Los Angeles devoted exclusively to contemporary art.

In 1986, the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, who had never worked on a project in the United States before, completed the downtown location's sandstone building to international critical and public acclaim, marking a dramatic achievement in the contemporary art world and heralding a new cultural era in Los Angeles. Its chief exhibition spaces are under the courtyard level, lit from above by groups of pyramidal skylights.

The construction and $23 million cost of the MOCA Grand Avenue building was part of a city-brokered deal with the developer of the $1 billion California Plaza redevelopment project on Bunker Hill, Bunker Hill Associates, who received the use of an 11-acre (45,000 m2), publicly owned parcel of land. On the grounds that the law said that 1.5% of the construction costs of new buildings had to be spent on fine-arts embellishments, MOCA's board of trustees had struck a deal with the Community Redevelopment Agency to have the project developer build a 100,000-square-foot museum, designed by an architect of the trustees' choice, at no cost to the museum. In return for the free building, the agency required the trustees to raise $10 million for an operations endowment. Original plans had been for the building to open in time for the 1984 Summer Olympics. However, the project broke ground in 1983 and completed the museum, Omni Hotel and the first of two skyscrapers (One California Plaza) by 1986. The second skyscraper (Two California Plaza) was completed in 1992. Nancy Rubins' monumental stainless-steel sculpture "Mark Thompson's Airplane Parts" (2001), purchased by MOCA in honor of founding member Beatrice Gersh in 2002, was installed at the museum's plaza.

The Grand Avenue location is used to display pieces from MOCA's substantial permanent collection, especially artists who did much of their work between 1940 and 1980. There is also an extensive set of rooms used to display temporary exhibits, usually a major retrospective of an important artist, or works connected by a theme.

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