MoCA Partners with The Underground

DECmuseum1web2"We value Noah’s work and are collaborating with him in realizing his vision of the Underground Museum, stated a senior official of the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles about a new working relationship between the downtown museum and Mid-City’s Underground Museum.  As reported in Dec. 2014 #39 issue of TNN, artist Noah Davis established the Underground Museum last year on West Washington near Arlington Avenue on a mission to bring a high-end non-profit gallery into an area devoid of cultural outlets.  The vibrant Underground Museum offers a cultural center with gallery and performance space, library, shop and sculpture garden -- all with free admission.  Since its opening,  the Museum has hosted several group exhibitions, performances, films and community wellness programs.

The centerpiece of a new exhibition at the undergroundUnderground Museum is "Journey to the Moon" by William Kentridge, which Davis selected from MOCA's permanent collection.  According to Karon Davis of the Underground Museum, MOCA Chief Curator Helen Molesworth visited the Mid-City museum last year and the two institutions have since been in discussion about possible interaction.  The loan of the Kentridge installation piece is the first exhibition in what will be a three-year partnership between the two museums.

Popular South African artist William Kentridge is found in the collections of MOMA, The Tate Modern in London and LACMA to cite a few, and has been shown internationally, including at such preeminent museums as the Louvre and Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  “Journey to the Moon” from 2003 is a composite of film, video and drawings that interrelate collectively in the UM gallery.  Previously shown at MOCA and in Portugal since its 2004 MOCA acquisition, “Journey to the Moon” is based on the film “Voyage dans la Lune” by George Melies, an early film experimenter.  Kentridge makes very exact specifications about the environment in which his temporary installations are shown, and per Karon Davis, neighborhood volunteers helped paint the UM galleries the required color of gray.   Consistent with the low-key MO of the Underground Museum, the exhibition had a soft opening on June 25th and will run until November 15th when it will be followed in January or February 2016 by a second MOCA/UM project.

MOCA’s collaboration with the Underground Museum signals the coming-of-age of the West Washington corridor art scene, which has recently seen the establishment of four significant galleries.  [See previous page]. 

Located at 3508 West Washington, Los Angeles, CA 90018, the Underground Museum is open from 2 pm to 9pm Tuesday through Saturday.  Contact (323) 989-9925 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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Established in August of 2008 by writerartist Dianne V. Lawrence, The Neighborhood News covers the events, people, history, politics and historic architecture of communities throughout the Mid-City and West Adams area in Los Angeles Council District 10.

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