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MOCA Announces 2011 Acquisitions

MOCA is announcing today a gift of 122 works from collector Laurence Rickels and releasing details about other 2011 acquisitions.


Rickels’ gift, mainly photographs and works on paper made between 1993 and 2003, includes several L.A. artists who explore issues of representation, such as Catherine Opie, John Baldessari, Sharon Lockhart, Allen Ruppersberg and Diana Thater. It also includes a group of 13 artworks by the enigmatic image-maker Richard Hawkins, subject of a Hammer Museum retrospective last year.


Rickels, who nows teaches at the Academy of Fine Arts in Karlsruhe, Germany, was for decades a professor in the department of Germanic, Slavic and Semitic studies at UC Santa Barbara. That school’s website lists his specialty as “the genealogy of media (of both occult mediums and media technologies), Freud, psychoanalytic theories, and the overlaps (for example in Frankfurt school thought as in deconstruction) between psychoanalysis and various other critical discourses.” He has published books on vampires, the sci-fi writer Philip K. Dick and Nazi culture in the age of psychoanalysis.


Rickels is not a MOCA trustee, but a couple of museum trustees did step up and make donations last year, including CAA agent Beth Swofford, who donated drawings by RIchard Prince and Matthew Monahan, and billionaire Eli Broad, who with his wife, Edythe, donated a painting by Bill Jensen among other works. (The museum also took full possession in 2011 of partial and promised gifts made earlier by Beatrice and Phil Gersh, including Jackson Pollock’s “Number 3, 1948.”)


One of the biggest 2011 acquisitions — in size and perhaps in stature — was Elliott Hundley’s 2011 work “The Lightning’s Bride,” a six-panel assemblage-as-painting made of photographs, found paintings, magnifying lenses, metal, plastic and the artist’s trademark pins. This acquisition was made with museum funds.


MOCA also acquired through purchase, gift or a mix of the two, a few works from “Under the Big Black Sun,” its Pacific Standard Time show about political art in California in the 1970s. These acquisitions include text-based work from 1979 by Charles Gaines and a 1977 video by Linda Montano.


Suzanne Lacy’s rape map from her original 1977 “Three Weeks in May” project was not acquired, although the show’s curator Paul Schimmel had previously told the L.A. Times that he hoped to purchase the work for MOCA. The artist reports that she is now “in discussions” with major New York museums.


– Jori Finkel


LA Times

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