14 Nov
Opening TONIGHT and running till May 3rd, come see the most expansive exhibition in MOCA's history

rothko

At first glance it seems fairly overwhelming  when considering the works that MOCA has collected and assembled over the last 30 years. And tonight they open a retrospective exhibition, proudly boasting one of the most expansive and influential Post-War collections in the world including Jasper Johns, Willem De Kooning, Jackson Pollack, Alberto Giacometti, Franz Kline, Claes Oldenberg, Diane Arbus, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Mike Kelley, Mark Rothko, Robert Rauschenburg and Edward Ruscha. These luminaries all grace title billing, and still there are nearly 200 more artists in queue! MOCA is somewhat the modern, postmodern, expressionist, modern art equivalent to the Musei Vaticani. As the Vatican boasts the richest collection in antiquities and religious art, MOCA (and MOMA) certainly  have a foothold as the main forum for Modern Art. For any art student, aficionado, novice, painter, artist, thinker, intellectual or those simply seeking inspiration, today is a must go! Personally, it is these artists that had a hand in shaping my path, my way of thinking, my world — and it was purely by serendipity that I was surrounded by and immersed in the expression, post-expression, modern art movement.

My sister and I had the great privilege to have a mother who worked as one of the Administrative Directors for what was at the time the Newport Harbor Art Museum, later to be renamed OCMA (Orange County Museum of Art). A young and very brilliant curator, Paul Schimmel started at Newport Harbor Art Museum. Paul and our mother became fairly good friends. Subsequently Paul became our part-time babysitter and also made a fairly deep impression on my sister and I. [As a side note, I used to be afraid to sleep in his house because he had a very large collection of African Masks. Scared the piss out of me. As retribution I ended up with his TV which I finally threw away when I was nearly 30.] Paul Schimmel is and has been for quite some time the head curator at MOCA and his vision, influence and brilliance is still prevalent. In recalling some of the past MOCA exhibitions, I would have to say that we were able to see many as they went up and had met quite a few of who turned out to be the shapers of thought and innovation. However, it wasn’t until studying art history that I knew what I had been exposed to. Like the time I met Richard Nixon, had him sign an autograph for me on his Presidential card and I unwittingly threw it away because I was ten years old and really had no idea who Richard Nixon was.

30 years at MOCA is a special event. I have been going there for 30 years. I couldn’t think of something I would hate to miss more than this unbelievable Retrospective and the idea that MOCA is rolling out their permanent collection, 500 Works by over 200 artists!  Incredible! The largest installation in MOCA history. If you are interested in the creative process, the true divinity of man and ideas that helped shape our intellectual world I encourage everyone to check this event out. It is open to the public Sunday November 15th and goes until May 3rd 2010. Saturday is for members only so please support the arts, buy a membership so institutions like MOCA can have another birthday 30 years from now.

Some of the featured pieces below (btw, isn’t that Rothko the painting in Bertram Cooper’s office?)…

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