Laura Owens - Untitled, 2000 - Acrylic, oil, and watercolor on canvas -110 x 144 in. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Purchased with funds provided by The Scott D. F. Spiegel Endowment Fund

Los Angeles, CA - The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), for the first time in its 29-year history, dedicates the entire MOCA Grand Avenue galleries to the most comprehensive exhibition to date of its permanent collection. The surprising depth and coherence of MOCA’s permanent collection is due in great measure to its being a “collection of collections,” of which key acquisitions and gifts from several important collectors and artists form the armature. Comprising approximately 250 works by over 120 artists, Collecting Collections: Highlights from the Permanent Collection of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, on view at MOCA Grand Avenue. 

MOCA Director Jeremy Strick notes, “This exhibition surveys the major works acquired by MOCA since the museum’s 1979 founding. In a remarkably short period of time, and as a result of the generosity of a core group of collectors who believed in MOCA’s founding mission, the permanent collection now comprises nearly 6,000 objects that have defined and continue to define one of the world’s great groupings of contemporary art.”  On view February 10–May 19, 2008, at MOCA Grand Avenue.
Chris Ofili, Monkey Magic - Sex, Money and Drugs, 1999 - Acrylic, collage, glitter, resin, pencil, map pins, & elephant dung on canvas, 96 x 72 in., The Museum of Contemporary Art, LA, Purchased with funds provided by The Broad Art FoundationMOCA Curator and exhibition organizer Alma Ruiz comments, “MOCA, from its inception, has made collecting collections one of its priorities. This strategy, by which MOCA has been able to develop its world-class collection, has proven beneficial not only to the museum itself, but to Southern California’s artists, art institutions, and viewing public. Inspired by the vision of the most rigorous and engaged
collectors of our time, Collecting Collections: Highlights from the Permanent Collection of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles surveys one of the most coherent public collections of contemporary art in the world, comprising single masterpieces as well as in-depth groupings of works by major, California-based and international artists at key points in their careers.”
Included in the exhibition are works or groups of works from the collections of Michael Asher, Blake Byrne, Beatrice and Phillip Gersh, Lenore S. and Bernard A. Greenberg, Robert H. Halff, the Lannan Foundation, Barry Lowen, Jane and Marc Nathanson, Count Giuseppe and Mrs. Giovanna Panza di Biumo, Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, Rita and Taft Schreiber, Marcia Simon Weisman, Scott D. F. Spiegel, and The Buddy Taub Foundation, among others.
Organized chronologically into a cohesive presentation that reflects a span of important movements—abstract expressionism, minimalism, conceptualism, pop art, postminimalism, postmodernism, figurative sculpture, new figuration, appropriation, and postconceptualism—the exhibition includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, and works on paper that range in date from one of the earliest works in the collection, Piet Mondrian’s Composition of Red, Blue, Yellow and White: Nom III (1939), to recent works such as Maurizio Cattelan’s Charlie (2003). Other key works included are John Baldessari’s This is Not to Be Looked At (1986), Alighiero E. Boetti’s Aeri (1983), and Marlene Dumas’s The Woman of Algiers (2001).
The exhibition displays the international scope of the collection with works by Francis Alÿs, Peter Doig, Rineke Dijkstra, Isa Genzken, Anselm Kiefer, Neo Rauch, Gabriel Orozco, among many others, and reveals the notable and carefully balanced representation of Los Angeles artists, such as Dave Muller, Judy Fiskin, Sam Francis, Robert Irwin, Mike Kelley, Liz Larner, Ed Moses, Raymond Pettibon, Charles Ray, and Edward Ruscha. This weaving together of the regional and the international is a hallmark of MOCA’s collecting philosophy.
Claes Oldenburg, Pepsi-Cola Sign, 1961, Muslin soaked in plaster over wire frame & painted with enamel, 58 1/4 x 46 1/2 x 7 1/2 in., The Museum of Contemporary Art, LA, The Panza Collection - Photo by Douglas M. Parker StudioThe exhibition is occasioned by the publication of the first catalogue of MOCA’s permanent collection, This Is Not To Be Looked At: Highlights from the Permanent Collection of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, a fully illustrated 380-page hardcover catalogue designed by Tracey Shiffman Design. In addition to featuring works by 150 artists in MOCA’s permanent collection, the publication
features text entries on each artist, a foreword by Director Jeremy Strick, essays by Chief Curator Paul Schimmel and Senior Curator Ann Goldstein, and a comprehensive permanent collection exhibition chronology by Assistant Curator Rebecca Morse. Distributed by DAP,
This Is Not To Be Looked At will be available for $59.95 at the MOCA Store and at in March 2008.
Collecting Collections: Highlights from the Permanent Collection of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles is presented by The Jane and Marc Nathanson Family Foundation. This exhibition is supported by The Broad Art Foundation. Major support for the exhibition and publication is provided by The MOCA Projects Council, L&M Arts, the Hillcrest Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, and the Lannan Foundation. MOCA gratefully acknowledges the friends and family of Evy Rappaport for their thoughtful support of this project in her memory.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)
is your source of creativity and inspiration in Los Angeles through innovative exhibitions and programs by significant and compelling contemporary artists. MOCA is a private not-for-profit institution supported by its members, corporate and foundation support, government grants, and admission revenues. MOCA Grand Avenue is 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. For 24-hour information on current exhibitions, education programs, and special events, call 213/626-6222 or access MOCA online at

Follow Us



English French German Italian Portuguese Russian Spanish

Pause For Thought

Dalí on Perfection

"Have no fear of perfection - you'll never reach it."