MOCA: the first 30 years

Robert Rauschenberg’s “Small Rebus”

It seems crazy that MOCA, one of the most important and influential contemporary art museums in the world has only been around for 30 years, and I suppose it speaks to the ingenuity of its founders that it has made such an impact in that time. To celebrate its 30th birthday, chief curator Paul Schimmel has pulled 500 works by over 200 artists and divided them between the museum’s two locations, organized chronologically. The MOCA Grand Avenue takes us from “the abstract expressionism of the 1940s and 50s to pop, minimal and conceptual art of the 60s and 70s.” Then hop over to the Geffen Contemporary to see important works from the 70s onward, featuring pieces like Edward Ruscha’s “Chocolate Room” and Douglas Gordon’s “Between Darkness and Light (After William Blake).”

There are always plenty of opportunities to see work by contemporary artists, but what makes this exhibition so important is that all of them, and I really mean all of them, are together, side by side, in one location.

MOCA’s First 30 Years is open until May 3, 2010.