Internationally recognized, the MOCA is Los Angeles’s go-to place for modern art and its newest exhibit, The Art of Our Time, offers breath and depth that will offer a new perspective on modern art.
The Art of Our Time showcases post-World War II art from some of the greatest contemporary artists of the 20th century. The large collection consists of pieces from each including Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Jasper Johns. The lesser known but still very impressive artists who were exhibited included Alberto Giacometti, Cady Noland, and John Waters.
Pollock has almost an entire room dedicated to his works. Seen in person, the three-dimensional texture of the splatter paintings add a whole new aspect to the pieces and create a unique viewing experience. One iconic splatter painting stretches eight feet across a wall, its size accentuating its emotion. Additionally, the museum displays more than Pollock’s stereotypical splatter paintings that exhibit an array of different abstract styles. This assortment exposes the viewer to his full range of artistic abilities.
Rothko’s pieces dress the next room with 360 degrees of his simplistic yet significant paintings. Although both Rothko and Pollock are abstract painters, the linear quality of Rothko’s work and limited color pallet contrast with the busy, colorful work of Pollock’s pieces in the adjacent room. Rothko’s pieces are even more massive than Pollock’s, helping him achieve the goal of engulfing the viewer as he or she gazes into the paintings.
Lichtenstein’s “Rib” piece is my favorite out of his 17 exhibited pieces because he makes such an uninteresting subject of a slab of meat intriguing by painting it in his classic bold-line, distinct coloring style. Likewise, one of Warhol’s 14 pieces titled “Telephone” compliments the exhibit as the viewer can see Warhol fuses some of Lichtenstein’s bold-line stylistic qualities into his painting, creating a synergy between the two pieces displayed in the same room. The museum displays 12 pieces by Johns, but the one that stands out is “Map,” a map of the United States painted in his abstract style, giving an entirely new view to an image seen almost every day.
Some of the lesser-known artists created some of the most impressive. Giacometti’s large sculptures appropriately named “Tall Figure II” and “Tall Figure III” reach nearly ten feet tall. The two tall, humanlike sculptures facing each other create a dramatic atmosphere, making the whole room feel as if it is their canvas. A controversial piece by Cady Noland exhibits the famous image of Lee Harvey Oswald getting shot. A lot of Noland’s work deals with the failed promise of the American dream. Noland manipulates the image by adding large red, white and blue dots to the image, adding a modern flare to the black and white image allowing the viewer to feel the intensity and shock of the surprise shooting. John Waters’ series of self-portraits are unique because the viewer never actually sees Waters’ face. Waters manipulates normal photographs of himself with everything from duct tape to cockroaches in order to shroud his face.
MOCA is directly across the street from The Broad (see Voice Oct. 13). Although both museums boast modern art collections, they are both unique in different ways. One of the great attributes about the exhibit at the MOCA is the diverse collection of over 7,000 objects of art. This variety gives the viewers the option to go for an hour and hit on some of their favorite artists or to spend three hours and get to know some artists they have never met before. This exhibit will be on view through April 30, 2016, giving you plenty of time to visit.
Visit the MOCA at 152 N Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012