LACMA’s 50th Culminates With ‘L.A. Exuberance: New Gifts by Artists’

To culminate the celebration of LACMA’s 50th year, the museum will present an exhibit of gifts of art given to celebrate this milestone. “L.A. Exuberance: New Gifts by Artists” will be on view at LACMA Oct. 30, 2016 – Apr. 2, 2017.

One of the artists whose work was displayed this past year was L.A.-based photographer Catherine Opie, whose provocative photos were featured in the exhibition “O.” Opie, who is also a professor at UCLA and active in LGBT rights, is a passionate advocate of Los Angeles areas museums, and she was the first artist to give a 50th-anniversary gift. Inspired by her generosity, LACMA, as well as Opie herself, reached out to other artists who have personal connections with the museum, beginning the gift campaign.

“Artists giving to museums are seeing this as an opportunity to collaborate,” Opie said in a LACMA statement. “In most cases, artists don’t have the final word about what is given or acquired by a museum. It’s important for artists to have a choice in the matter and shape their own legacy.”

“L.A. Exuberance” features 60 works, mostly by artists living and working in Southern California, including Edgar Arceneaux, Uta Barth, Larry Bell, Sam Durant, Shannon Ebner, Charles Gaines, Ken Gonzales-Day, Glenn Kaino, Friedrich Kunath, Sterling Ruby, Analia Saban, James Welling, Mario Ybarra Jr., and Brenna Youngblood.  The exhibit’s title comes from a series of lithographs that British artist Tacita Dean made during a recent residency in Los Angeles.

Highlighted in “L.A. Exuberance” will be John Baldessari, local legend known for his text paintings and teaching career. Baldessari not only gave to LACMA multiple pieces of his art, but also made gifts of works from other artists.

“L.A. Exuberance” groups works that share formal or conceptual approach. The gift campaign is ongoing, so pieces may still be added during the show.

L.A. Exuberance: New Gifts by Artists” will be on display at LACMA Oct. 30, 2016 – Apr. 2, 2017.