MCASD ANNOUNCES ACQUISITIONS
San Diego, CA—The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego announced two new acquisitions for its permanent collection: Doug Wheeler’s DW 68 VEN MCASD 11 and Jean Lowe’s Beer Stack.
Doug Wheeler’s immersive light environment DW 68 VEN MCASD 11 was first realized in his Venice Beach studio in 1968 and recently recreated for and prominently featured in the lauded exhibition Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface. The work, a critical highlight of the exhibition, remains on view at MCASD Downtown through August 2012.
In this architecturally scaled installation, Wheeler creates an enveloping, atmospheric experience by calibrating two shades of neon light in an exactingly detailed white room.
The acquisition reflects the Museum’s ongoing commitment to California artists and the depth of its collection in works from the 1960s and ‘70s.
“We have been exhibiting these artists and collecting their work at the time they were making it in the ‘60s and ‘70s,” said Hugh M. Davies, the David C. Copley Director and CEO at MCASD. “More than 40 percent of the work featured in Phenomenal came from the Museum’s own holdings. With the acquisition this room-sized environment, we complement the five other works by Doug Wheeler already in our collection.”
The Museum also acquired Beer Stack, a recent sculpture by San Diego-based artist Jean Lowe, whose work plays with the dichotomies of high and low. Lowe’s art reference ways in which class and consumption are reflected in both high culture and popular media. Her work has been included in several exhibitions at MCASD, and this acquisition complements other objects by the artist that are in the Museum’s permanent collection.
At a glance, Lowe’s freestanding sculpture appears to be stacked cases of brand-named beers. A closer look reveals that the towers are in fact a decidedly hand-made papier-mâché object. With a nod to Andy Warhol’s iconic Brillo boxes and sequenced minimalistic objects, Beer Stack’s primary colors simultaneously reference consumer graphics and a high-art palette.
“Jean Lowe’s work reflects the wit of California Conceptualism even as it aligns with other historical references, such as pop art and minimalism,” said Davies.
MCASD has an ongoing program of art acquisition through gifts, donations, purchases, and two special donor groups: International Collectors and Contemporary Collectors. New acquisitions support and enhance the strengths of the Museum’s collection as well as institutional initiatives, including a focus on emerging artists and site-specific installations. Acquisitions are often directly related to the exhibition program—MCASD will commission artists to create new work as part of an exhibition, and then acquire that work for the collection. In this way, exhibition research bears fruit for the collection, and MCASD is able to serve as a primary patron of artists—a key element of the Museum’s mission.
The MCASD collection includes more than 4,000 works created after 1950, representing all media and genres: painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, video, film, and installation. MCASD is known for collecting works by promising emerging artists and under-recognized mid-career artists, as well as by major figures in contemporary art. Among the greatest strengths of the MCASD collection are Minimalism and Pop art of the 1960s and 70s, conceptual art from the 1960s to the present, installation art, Latin American art, and art from California and the San Diego/Tijuana region. Many works in the collection are the result of artists’ residencies or works commissioned for MCASD exhibitions. The Museum continually seeks to enhance its strengths and to expand the representation of artistic trends in its collection in response to new developments in art locally, nationally, and internationally. At the same time, MCASD preserves, presents, documents, and interprets its holdings for current and future audiences.
ABOUT THE MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART SAN DIEGO (MCASD)
Founded in 1941, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the preeminent contemporary visual arts institution in San Diego County. The Museum’s collection includes more than 4,000 works of art created since 1950. In addition to presenting exhibitions by international contemporary artists, the Museum serves thousands of children and adults annually at its varied education programs, and offers a rich program of film, performance, and lectures. MCASD is a private, nonprofit organization, with 501c3 tax-exempt status; it is supported by generous contributions and grants from MCASD Members and other individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Dr. Hugh M. Davies is The David C. Copley Director and CEO at MCASD.
Institutional support for MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the James Irvine Foundation.
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