Thursday, Jan 24, 2013 - 6:06 pm

San Diego, CA—On Thursday, March 14 from 7-10 PM, TNT (Thursday Night Thing) returns to the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego's downtown location to celebrate the exhibition Scoli Acosta: ELEMENTALISTHMUS.

TNT is a signature event held three times per year that brings together artist talks and performances, hands-on activities, live music, and cocktails, all inspired by recently opened exhibitions.  Scoli Acosta: ELEMENTALISTHMUS opens to the public on February 3, and TNT on March 14 gives Members and visitors an opportunity to explore Acosta’s work in a dynamic environment, which will include a live performance by the artist.

Working in a range of mediums—painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video, and performance—Acosta’s work is characterized by what he describes as an “aesthetics of resourcefulness.” The Los Angeles-based artist favors humble materials, economic gestures, and transparency with respect to craft. His installations emerge as poetic constellations that reveal traces of his research and production processes, as well as his movements through various landscapes.

Acosta’s presentation at MCASD is his first solo exhibition in a museum on the West Coast and will feature a series of the artist’s Pentagonal Monochromes (Tambourines), which are composed of canvas stretched over handmade stretcher bars, edged by jingles made from flattened bottle caps.  The exhibition will debut a body of new work by Acosta, made during a recent residency in Morocco. The artist’s new “totems” comprise circular, double-sided monochrome paintings strung together and hung from the ceiling, and are inspired by Morrocan Bendir drums and the work of local craftsmen. Other works in Scoli Acosta:  ELEMENTALISTHMUS draw out thematic relationships to geography and the traversal of landscapes.  From his Earth and Sky Monochromes (2012) to his Orange Floating Moiré Effect (2011-ongoing)—a painting designed to float in the ocean—Acosta’sworks describe not only the elements of painting, but also elements of the natural world, as they index the artist’s passageways across earth, sky, and sea.

Acosta first became interested in the pentagonal form that recurs in his work after seeing Chris Marker’s film, The Sixth Side of the Pentagon, which documents the 1967 Pentagon March in protest of the war in Vietnam. It was in the context of Marker’s film that Acosta encountered Yippee prankster Abbie Hoffman’s performative attempt to levitate the Pentagon, which Hoffman claimed could be achieved by using psychic energy to raise the building until it turned orange and began to vibrate. At TNT, Acosta will stage a performance referencing Hoffman’s action, as well as engaging his own vibrating, pentagonal tambourines. The performance will also incorporate a screening of Marker’s The Sixth Side of the Pentagon.

Select works from the permanent collection will also be on view during TNT, as well as The Very Large Array: San Diego/Tijuana Artists in the MCA Collection. This expansive group show features more than 100 artists and represents five decades of collecting, highlighting many of the region’s most beloved and accomplished artists. Presented in the spacious Farrell Gallery of the Jacobs Building, two-dimensional works are displayed in a dense, salon-style hanging covering the walls. A separate white cube space designed for the exhibition occupies the center of the room, presenting focused selections of works inside the cube, which change seasonally. TNT will also serve as the debut for a new selection of works in the cube space that explore activist art focused on border issues, including works by David Avalos, Louis Hock, Victor Payan, Marcos Ramírez ERRE, Elizabeth Sisco, Perry Vasquez, and others. For a complete list artists included in The Very Large Array please visit

MCASD Members are invited to a Member-exclusive hour from 7-8 PM, where they will enjoy complimentary drinks on the Figi Concourse. TNT guests will enjoy art-making activities, live music, as well as cocktails and delicious bites from MIHO Gastrotruck.

TNT is an all-ages event. Admission is $10 for the general public, $8 for students, and free for MCASD Members. Tickets are available in advance at both MCASD locations and at, or at the door.

About the Exhibitions


Los Angeles-based artist Scoli Acosta is part of a lineage of artists who embraced the found object, from the Surrealists to later funk and assemblage artists of the 1960s, but his practice emphasizes recycling and reclamation. Acosta’s solo presentation at MCASD, which opens to the public on February 3, 2013, will feature a number of the artist’s Pentagonal Monochromes (Tambourines), as well as a new body of work made during a recent residency in Morocco.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Acosta left that city at age eighteen, only to return many years later after periods spend in various U.S. cites and extended stays in Cologne and Paris. Acosta has had solo exhibitions at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena (2011) and at LA><ART (2008). His work was featured in last year’s Los Angeles Biennial, Made in L.A. 2012, organized by the Hammer Museum and LA><ART, and he was included in the 2006 California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art, the Biennale de Montréal 2007, and LACMA’s Phantom Sightings, also 2007. He is represented by Galerie Laurent Godin in Paris.

Scoli Acosta: ELEMENTALISTHMUS is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego with the support of Dar al-Ma’mûn International Residency Center for Artists. Institutional support for MCASD is provided, in part, by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

The Very Large Array: San Diego/Tijuana Artists in the MCA Collection

This expansive group show features more than 100 artists in the Museum’s permanent collection. Works presented in the exhibition range from Russell Baldwin’s A Study (1959)—one of the exhibition’s earliest works, which entered the collection the year it was made—to photographs from Glenna Jennings’s Raskolnikov series of 2008, which were purchased after they appeared in 2010’s Here Not There: San Diego Art Now. Taken together, works such as these bookend fifty years of collection building, demonstrating the Museum’s ongoing commitment to artists living and working in San Diego and Tijuana, as well as those hailing from the region.

About TNT   

TNT is held three times per year to celebrate the opening of exhibitions at MCASD Downtown. TNT was launched in August 2002 as a monthly event on the first Thursday of every month. The last monthly TNT took place in April 2009, when it took a brief hiatus before returning in November 2009.


Funding for MCASD programs comes from Qualcomm Foundation, the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Program and contributors to MCASD's Museum Fund. In-kind support for TNT is provided by San Diego CityBeat, 91X, and Stone Brewing Company. Institutional support for MCASD comes, in part, from the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture. 



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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