Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine
Jan 152013


A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California

MOCA PRESENTS A New Sculpturalism

June 2, 2013–September 2, 2013 The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

The Museum of Contemporary Art presents A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California, the first extensive, scholarly examination of the radical forms that have become prolific in Southern California architecture during the past twenty-five years. The exhibition begins by focusing on work from the mid-1980s, a period when postmodernism was waning and buildings by Frank Gehry, Franklin D. Israel, Thom Mayne, Michael Rotondi, and Eric Owen Moss were expanding the possibilities of form. First identified by Charles Jencks as the L.A. School in the early 1990s, this loose cluster of practitioners evolved into a larger galaxy centered on common theoretical and technical approaches as well as Los Angeles’ unique urban landscape.

The exhibition moves on to highlight the subsequent generations of expressive, experimental, and avant-garde architects in Los Angeles, while also exploring the influence of the city itself—its geography, schools, politics, and socioeconomic character—on their work. Celebrating the ideas, projects, and processes of major and emerging figures in contemporary Los Angeles architecture, the exhibition presents works by over thirty architectural firms based in Los Angeles, including AC Martin Partners, Atelier Manferdini, B + U, Ball-Nogues Studio, Belzberg Architects, Bestor Architecture, Brooks + Scarpa Architects, Coscia Day Architecture and Design, Coy Howard & Company, Daly Genik Architects, Eric Owen Moss Architects, Franklin D. Israel Design Associates, Gehry Partners, Greg Lynn FORM, Hodgetts + Fung, JOHNSTONMARKLEE, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects, MAKE Architecture, Mark Mack Architects, Michael Maltzan Architecture, Morphosis Architects, Neil M. Denari Architects, P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S, Patrick Tighe Architecture, Predock Frane Architects, Randall Stout Architects, RoTo Architects, Saee Studio, Studio Works Architects, Tom Wiscombe Design, Touraine Richmond Architects, VOID, Warren Techentin Architecture, and XTEN Architecture.

Presented at The Geffen Contemporary, whose signature space was created with Frank Gehry’s 1983 renovation and intended by the architect as a kind of active “arts studio”, the exhibition aims to rethink how museums display architecture. A  key concept for the show is that the  visitor experience architecture primarily in its three-dimensional form with models, full-scale maquettes and full-size built structures. Also emphasized is the process of making architecture and how this has changed in the last twenty-five years. In addition to showcasing a range of built work, four pavilions designed especially for the exhibition by younger and emerging Los Angeles firms will be presented. These structures will succinctly demonstrate that many of the earlier innovations that took place in the late 1970s and 1980s are still very much part of the dialogue in architecture today. It will also highlight the changes and advancements in digital technology that have allowed for the use of a plethora of new geometries and materials.

Exhibition curator Christopher Mount observed, “During the past quarter century, a significant proportion of the architecture produced in Los Angeles has been uniquely expressive, unnervingly experimental and challenging.” “Los Angeles provides a special territory for experimentation in architecture,” adds MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch, “and this exhibition continues MOCA’s longstanding commitment to the architects of our time.” A New Sculpturalism:

Contemporary Architecture from Southern California is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, co-published by Rizzoli, featuring a wide range of critical voices on this significant period of architecture in Southern California. In addition to an essay by the curator, the publication includes contributions from University of California, Berkeley professor Margaret Crawford; Los Angeles–based freelance journalist, editor, and photographer Sam Lubell; architectural historian, writer and curator Nicholas Olsberg; and the show’s curatorial research assistant Johanna Vandemoortele. The publication also features an extensive bibliography and charts depicting the overlapping academic and professional influences on the architects of this period compiled for the exhibition.

The exhibition is organized by guest curator Christopher Mount. A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California is part of Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. This collaboration, initiated by the Getty, brings together several local arts institutions for a wide-ranging look at the postwar built environment of the city as a whole, from its famous residential architecture to its vast freeway network, revealing the city’s development and ongoing impact in new ways. Generous support is provided by the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. IMAGES: Neil M. Denari Architects, Alan-Voo House, Los Angeles, 2007, © Fotoworks/Benny Chan; Eric Owen Moss Architects, Samitaur, Los Angeles, California, 1996, © Tom Bonner MEMBERS’ OPENING Saturday, June 1, 2013 The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA MOCA members are invited to join us for the opening of A New Sculpturalism:

Contemporary Architecture from Southern California. Please bring your MOCA membership card to admit you and a guest. INFO 213 621 1794 or; no reservations necessaryMOCA PRESENTS A NEW SCULPTURALISM: CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE FROM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, LOS ANGELES (MOCA) 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 10,000 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 online at