Innovative Structure Designed by Farshid Moussavi
Public Opening October 8, 2012, Features 13 International Artists on Themes of Space and Architecture
The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA) will hold a public opening in celebration of its new building in the emerging Uptown district of University Circle on October 8, 2012. The inaugural exhibition, Inside Out and from the Ground Up, features an international roster of artists at all points in their careers and provides an in-depth look at how they engage with architecture and concepts of space.
Organized by David Norr, Chief Curator at MOCA Cleveland, Inside Out and from the Ground Up will feature sculpture, painting, installations, photography, and video.
The exhibition will bring together significant works by pioneering figures, such as Louise Bourgeois, David Hammons, and Gordon Matta-Clark, alongside works by established and emerging artists, including David Altmejd, Walead Beshty, Katharina Grosse, Jacqueline Humphries, Corey McCorkle, Henrique Oliveira, Barry Underwood, William Villalongo, Rachel Whiteread, and Haegue Yang. The works will create an expanded dialogue on contemporary art and space, approaching this central theme through a range of tactile, visual and conceptual means.
Many of the artists will exhibit new works. Featured in MOCA’s Toby Devan Lewis Gallery, David Altmejd will create his largest vitrine piece to date. In addition, Altmejd will create a new series of figurative plaster works, which will be embedded in the gallery’s walls, drawing viewers into the artist’s unique vision of entropy and regeneration.
MOCA has commissioned three of the artists to question the logic of the building itself through deliberate additions, subtractions or alterations to the architecture. Berlin-based Katharina Grosse will create a vibrant, massively scaled painting in the Donna and Stewart Kohl Atrium, covering three stories of MOCA’s elevator shaft and spilling out into the adjoining museum store and stairwell.
Henrique Oliveira will create a cave-like environment made from materials gathered from the streets of São Paulo, suggesting organic growth or parasitic invasion. Barry Underwood is photographing MOCA’s new building throughout its construction, staging temporary light installations to reveal the building in a dynamic process of becoming. These commissioned projects will reframe MOCA’s architecture, drawing the institution itself into a dialogue on the phenomenology of space.
About the New Building
The nearly 34,000-square-foot structure, which is 44 percent larger than MOCA’s current rented space, will demonstrate that a museum expansion need not be large in scale to be ambitious in all respects. Devised for both environmental and fiscal sustainability, the design is at once technically inventive, visually stunning and highly practical.
The dynamic structure was designed by Iranian-born Farshid Moussavi of London, formerly with Foreign Office Architects (FOA) and now principal of Farshid Moussavi Architecture (FMA). This is her first U.S. commission and her first museum.
The four-story building, which anchors the Uptown district, rises 60 feet from a hexagonal base to a square top, where the primary exhibition space is located. All four floors contain areas for either exhibitions or public programs.
Clad primarily in mirror-finish black Rimex stainless steel, the façade will reflect its urban surroundings, changing in appearance with differences in light and weather. Three of the building’s six facets, one of them clad in transparent glass, will flank a public plaza.
Upon entering the building, visitors will find themselves in an atrium where they can see the dynamic shape and structure of the building as it rises. This space leads to MOCA’s lobby, café and shop, and to a double-height multi-purpose room for public programs and events. From there, visitors may take MOCA’s monumental staircase, a dominant architectural feature of the building, to the upper floors. On the top floor the 6,000-square-foot gallery space has no fixed dividing walls, allowing for a variety of configurations. This floor also contains a gallery designed for new media work and a lounge with a view of the plaza and Uptown.
For additional information: www.mocacleveland.org
FITZ & CO