Mark Bradford, I Will Vent My Anger in Terrifying Books, 2012, mixed media collage on canvas, 103 3/8 × 145 1/4 × 2 1/8 in. (262.57 × 368.94 × 5.4 cm). The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, gift of Brad Pitt © Mark Bradford. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth.
Mark Bradford, I Will Vent My Anger in Terrifying Books, 2012, mixed media collage on canvas, 103 3/8 × 145 1/4 × 2 1/8 in. (262.57 × 368.94 × 5.4 cm). The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, gift of Brad Pitt © Mark Bradford. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

MOCA ANNOUNCES 2023 ACQUISITIONS

One hundred works of art were acquired by MOCA, including significant pieces by Mark Bradford, Dyani White Hawk, Tala Madani, My Barbarian, Simone Forti, and Pope.L, and several works featured in the museum’s exhibition program.

LOS ANGELES — In 2023, The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) added one hundred works by sixty-three artists to its acclaimed collection, now numbering nearly eight thousand objects. The acquisitions reflect a diverse group of artists, including many based in Los Angeles and several that have been featured in the museum’s renowned exhibitions. MOCA’s dedication to expanding and redefining contemporary art through its collection reflects the museum’s DEI&A goals of supporting BIPOC, women, and gender non-conforming artists, as well as the extraordinary generosity and continued engagement of the museum’s Trustees and supporters, both long-standing and more recent. 

“This year’s acquisitions illustrate our unwavering commitment to celebrating a wide breadth of artistic expression, as always with an L.A. point of view,” said Johanna Burton, The Maurice Marciano Director of MOCA. “These works not only enrich our collection but also reinforce our mission to continually explore the contours and boundaries of the art of our time.”

Many of MOCA’s acquisitions were centerpieces of recent exhibitions at the museum or made by artists with important connections to the institution. Comprising a custom-made, 55-foot American flag blown by enormous special-effects fans until it tatters and shreds, the massive installation Trinket (2008/2015) by recently-deceased Chicago-based artist Pope.L was featured in the artist’s 2015 survey at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. The painting I Will Vent My Anger in Terrifying Books (2012), by former MOCA Artist Trustee Mark Bradford, became the celebrated artist’s first canvas to formally enter the museum’s collection, a generous gift from the actor and producer Brad Pitt. 

Straight from Henry Taylor’s acclaimed 2023 retrospective at MOCA, an untitled bronze sculpture (2020) was purchased with funds provided by Nina and Russell Westbrook. The Landscape (2017), a major painting by Tala Madani, recalls several works in the artist’s recent survey at MOCA Geffen, and is a generous gift from the Hong Kong–based Yenn and Alan Lo Foundation. Simone Forti’s Bug Jump(1975–78), a hologram work that shows the renowned dancer performing one of her animal studies, was featured in MOCA’s six-decade career retrospective of the artist’s work in 2023.

“A museum collection reflects the values and priorities of an institution while also speaking to the moment we are living in,” said Clara Kim, Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs at MOCA. “We are proud to have acquired key works by leading contemporary artists, who powerfully ruminate on our world through their work and represent the diversity of voices and perspectives in our society.”

Furthering MOCA’s commitment to interdisciplinary practices, several works by the Los Angeles–based performance collective My Barbarian (Malik Gaines, Jade Gordon, and Alexandro Segade) joined the collection on the heels of their recent survey at the Whitney Museum of American Art. The acquisition of Candice Lin’s Xternesta (2022), a work featured prominently in the 2022 Venice Biennale, The Milk of Dreams, expands the museum’s representation of contemporary ceramics; and a large installation by Karon Davis, entitled Noah and His Ark (2018), was gifted to the museum by Beth Rudin DeWoody.

These works are joined by examples from a wide variety of other Los Angeles artists, both living and deceased, among them: Louise Bonnet, Carole Caroompas, Milano Chow, Alonzo Davis, Buck Ellison, Ishi Glinsky, Channing Hansen, Hannah Hur, Daniel LaRue Johnson, Barbara Kruger, Elad Lassry, Thomas Lawson, Dashiell Manley, Jill Mulleady, Amanda Ross-Ho, Max Hooper Schneider, Ilene Segalove, Barbara T. Smith, Mayo Thompson, and Rosha Yaghmai. Beyond Los Angeles, a recent painting by the Minneapolis-based artist Dyani White Hawk drawing on Lakota traditions of beadwork and embroidery entered the collection–an important addition that expands on narratives of abstraction from indigenous perspectives.

Donations of artwork or supporting funds from MOCA Trustees continued to be significant in 2023. William J. Bell and Life Trustee Maria Bell gifted a large-scale “Hulk” sculpture by Jeff Koons. Pete Scantland donated paintings by Louise Bonnet and Louise Giovanelli. Maurice Marciano supported the purchase of a painting by Jill Mulleady. Two of Anselm Kiefer’s iconic “Brides” sculptures were donated by Heather Podesta. Cliff and Mandy Einstein, Karyn Kohl, Maria Seferian, and Jeffrey and Catharine Soros supported the purchase of a large sculptural work by Max Hooper Schneider. Jennnifer Hawks Djawadi, Ramin Djawadi, Vida Yaghmai, and Kourosh Gohar contributed to the purchase of work by Rosha Yaghmai. Longtime MOCA donors Alan Hergott and Curt Shepard made a major gift of nine Raymond Pettibon drawings and nine Jack Pierson drawings. Funds generated from the museum’s three acquisition committees were also key to MOCA’s acquisitions. The Acquisition and Collection Committee is co-chaired by Trustees Kathi Cypres and Christopher V. Walker. The Emerging Art Fund is co-chaired by Trustees Jennifer Hawks Djawadi and Corinne Opman. The Drawings and Photography Committee is co-chaired by Margaret Morgan and Paula Rudnick. Additional acquisition funds were raised from the Kwon Asian Art Acquisition Endowment. 

The full list of artists whose work MOCA acquired in 2023 includes: Michael Armitage, Louise Bonnet, Mark Bradford, Justin Caguiat, Cynthia Carlson, Carole Caroompas, Milano Chow, Aria Dean, Alonzo Davis, Karon Davis, Buck Ellison, Mounir Fatmi, Louise Giovanelli, Simone Forti, Robert-Edgar Gillet, Ishi Glinsky, Channing Hansen, Jacqueline Humphries, Hannah Hur, Kahlil Robert Irving, Daniel LaRue Johnson, Rachel Jones, Isaac Julien, Ellsworth Kelly, Anselm Kiefer, Josh Kline, Jeff Koons, Barbara Kruger, Pat Lasch, Suzanne Lacy, Jonathan Lasker, Elad Lassry, Thomas Lawson, Candice Lin, An Te Liu, Tala Madani, Dashiell Manley, Robert Morris, Jill Mulleady, My Barbarian, Diane Severin Nguyen, Robert Overby, Mai-Thu Perret, Raymond Pettibon, Jack Pierson, William Pope.L, Pamela Rosenkranz, Amanda Ross-Ho, Mark Ruwedel, Analia Saban, Mohammed Sami, Jacolby Satterwhite, Max Hooper Schneider, Gedi Sibony, Ilene Segalove, Barbara T. Smith, David Smith, Henry Taylor, Mayo Thompson, Dyani White Hawk, Hannah Wilke, Betty Woodman, Rosha Yaghmai, and Barbara Zucker.

Additional donations of artworks or supporting funds were made by: Anthony Fortier; Barbara Zucker; Betsy Greenberg; the late Chara Schreyer; Cliff Benjamin; Craig and Lynn Jacobson; Cynthia Carlson; David Hoberman; David Knaus; The American Friends of the Arts in North Africa; Dean Valentine; Donna Perret and Ben Rosen in honor of Dr. Russell Albright; Erik Feig and Susanna Felleman; Gemini G.E.L.; the Gerstenblatt Family; Hannah Wilke Collection & Archive, Los Angeles; Jacqueline Humphries; Janelle Reiring and Helene Winer; Jeffrey and Marla Michaels; Jacolby Satterwhite; Jeff Magid; Joel Wachs; Marc Lee; Marc Selwyn; Margaret Morgan and Wesley Phoa; Marilyn Pearl Loesberg; Marsie, Emanuelle, Damon, and Andrew Scharlatt; Mayo Thompson; My Barbarian; Nicholas Leonidas Goulandris; Patrick Collins; Pete Franciosa; the Pohlad Family; Susan and Darrell Ross; Susanne Vielmetter; Suzanne Lacy; Thomas Lawson; the VIA Art Fund; and an anonymous donor.

WHO

ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART (MOCA)
Founded in 1979, MOCA is the defining museum of contemporary art. In a relatively short time, MOCA has achieved astonishing growth: a world-class collection of nearly 8,000 objects, international in scope with deep holdings in Los Angeles art; hallmark education programs that are widely emulated; award-winning publications that present original scholarship; groundbreaking monographic, touring, and thematic exhibitions of international repute that survey the art of our time; and cutting-edge engagement with new modes of media production. MOCA is a not-for-profit institution that relies on a variety of funding sources for its activities. 

MUSEUM ADMISSION:
General admission to MOCA is free courtesy of Carolyn Clark Powers. Admission to Paul Pfeiffer: Prologue to the Story of the Birth of Freedom and other special exhibitions at MOCA is $18 for adults, $10 for students with ID and seniors (+65), and free for children under twelve and jurors with ID. MOCA members always receive free admission to special exhibitions. 

 

CURRENT EXHIBITIONS:
Mapping an Art World: Los Angeles in the 1970s–80s
MOCA Grand Avenue
On view through March 10, 2024

Long Story Short
MOCA Grand Avenue
On view through April 28, 2024

Paul Pfeiffer: Prologue to the Story of the Birth of Freedom 
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
On view through June 16, 2024

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