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The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

  • Museums
  • Little Tokyo
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  • Recommended
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
Photograph: Time Out/Michael Juliano

Time Out says

The city's premier showcase for post-war art, MOCA started life in a humongous bus barn on the edge of Little Tokyo. That's now the Geffen Contemporary—its spacious, raw interior designed by Frank Gehry in the 1980s—considered by some to be one of his gutsiest spaces. When MOCA's main building, designed by Japan's Arata Isozaki, was completed a block from the Civic Center on Grand Avenue, the museum was able simultaneously to mount ambitious survey exhibitions and to showcase items from its fine permanent collection, which includes pieces by Rauschenberg, Rothko, Twombly, Mondrian and Pollock. MOCA stages the more mainstream exhibits (although such terms are relative; "mainstream" here means the likes of Louise Bourgeois), leaving the Geffen Contemporary to concentrate on more esoteric artists.


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What’s on

KCRW Summer Nights

Everyone’s favorite NPR member station has a hand in a slew of summer concert slates at public plazas and beloved museums, and this summer’s schedule is particularly packed. Familiar KCRW DJs and local buzz bands will be providing free, open-air tunes on select nights from July through September at the Hammer Museum, One Colorado, CAAM, Descanso Gardens, Bowers Museum, the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, JANM and—our favorite—the party-till-midnight bashes at Chinatown Central Plaza. This year’s lineup features Ambar Lucid, Hana Vu and Mark de Clive-Lowe, among others, and KCRW DJs including Anthony Valadez, Jason Bentley, Novena Carmel and more. The details slightly differ at each spot, but you can typically expect a bunch of food trucks, beer gardens and after-hours museum admission. Regardless of the location, you really can’t go wrong with any evening spent at Summer Nights.

Garrett Bradley: American Rhapsody

  • Film and video

A formidable storyteller who employs lo-fi filmmaking to call out systemic racism and America’s social problems, Garrett Bradley became the first Black woman to win Sundance’s directing award for her incarceration documentary Time. For her first solo museum exhibition, a selection of recent single and multi-channel films and videos will be on display at the Geffen, including America, a visual archive of early African American cinema.

Judith F. Baca: The World Wall

  • Painting

The Chicana muralist and Great Wall of Los Angeles artist brings her collaborative mural to the Geffen. A two-and-a-half-decade-long project, The World Wall: A Vision of the Future Without Fear features nine 10-by-30-foot panels that Baca worked on with collaborators as the toured the globe, displayed here in a cathedral-like installation.

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