moca: first 30 years {kara walker}

From Collection: MOCA's First 30 Years Website:

GO SEE - COLLECTION: MOCA'S FIRST 30 YEARS! The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), Collection: MOCA's First Thirty Years, the largest-ever installation of its renowned permanent collection featuring more than 500 artworks by over 200 artists. MOCA’s collection, which numbers nearly 6,000 works dating from 1939 to the present day, is internationally regarded as one of the most important collections of postwar art in the world. While works from the collection have been seen in more than 100 thematic exhibitions at MOCA since the museum's founding in 1979, the new installation will make a significant portion of the collection accessible to the public on a long-term basis. The layout of Collection: MOCA's First Thirty Years will be chronological, providing a comprehensive survey of the past 70 years of contemporary art history. Filling the galleries at both of MOCA's downtown Los Angeles locations, the installation will occupy 24,000 square feet of exhibition space at MOCA Grand Avenue with works dating from 1939 through 1980, and an additional 26,000 square feet of exhibition space at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA with works dating from 1980 to the present.

Kara Walker About the title—I had wanted to title this “sketch after my Mississippi youth” or “the Excavation” as I pictured it a sort of introduction to the panorama to come. However the image, which is partly borrowed, is of an Indian mound—painted by Mr. J Egan in 1850—is meant to remind the dear viewer of another place altogether, from which we suckle life. Perhaps my rendering is too subtle… 2002

Kara Walker is best known for paper cut-outs, which come out of the tradition of Victorian-era women’s crafts, composed of large-scale black silhouettes of people and objects applied directly to white gallery walls to create nightmarish tableaux about slavery. These works challenge viewers’ ability to identify and construct narratives with only the rough outlines of figures in landscapes, presenting ideas about stereotypes and how assumptions are formulated and perpetuated. About the title is a drawing that depicts the excavation of a grave mound in the antebellum American South. The work links archaeological excavation with the process of confronting cultural memory and mythology; Walker has used “excavation” to refer to the digging up of dormant elements within psychological, emotional, and physical states.

Kara Walker (b. 1969, Stockton, California; lives and works in New York) About the title—I had wanted to title this “sketch after my Mississippi youth” or “the Excavation” as I pictured it a sort of introduction to the panorama to come. However the image, which is partly borrowed, is of an Indian mound—painted by Mr. J Egan in 1850—is meant to remind the dear viewer of another place altogether, from which we suckle life. Perhaps my rendering is too subtle…, 2002 Graphite on paper 66 3/8 x 138 3/4 in. The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles Partial and promised gift of Manfred and Jennifer Simchowitz