Inspired by one of the greatest living NY base photographers Bill Cunninghan IRREVERSIBLE brings a special coverage including the best images, articles and magic moments documenting
a magical festive celebration highlighting MOCA accomplishments celebrating the many illustrious artists who are part of its history.
Special thanks to Valerie Ricordi and Natasha Kertes | www.natashakertes.com & the amazing MOCA staff!
The evening honored Alberto Ibargüen and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in recognition of their extraordinary support
of MOCA and culture in Miami. Since opening in February,1996, MOCA has presented over 150 exhibitions. Many artists who have gone on to international acclaim had their first exhibitions at MOCA,
and the museum has a history of introducing the work of South Florida artists to the international art world. Thanks to an endowment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in 2008,
MOCA is also one of the few contemporary art museums in the nation to have a dedicated source of funding to present the work of emerging and experimental artists.
The dinner for 450 invited guests as well as the after party was a great success.David Stark created an abstract wallpaper of 20,000 images paying tribute to MOCA’s 15 year history and accomplishments in print. “The installation is a radical tribute to the amazing artists and cutting edge thinking that has made MOCA into the singular voice in contemporary art and culture that it is.” Stark added.
The milestone weekend attracted some of the biggest names in the art world. Leading collectors and arts patrons were joined by many of the renowned
artists who are part of MOCA’s history, among them: Frank Stella, Tracey Emin, David Salle, Richard Artschwager, Malcolm Morley,
Isaac Julien, Matthew Ritchie, Enoc Perez, Richard Phillips, Jack Pierson,Shinique Smith and Roberto Juarez. Proceeds benefited museum exhibitions and programs.
The evening celebrated the artists who have been part of MOCA’s history since 1996 including:
Cory Arcangel, Daniel Arsham, Richard Artschwager, Jose Bedia, Hernan Bas, Robert Chambers, George Condo, Pablo Cano
William Cordova, Ann Craven, Thomas Demand, Peter Doig, Tracey Emin, Teresita Fernández, Naomi Fisher, Claire Fontaine,
Dara Friedman, Ellen Gallagher, Luis Gispert, Adler Guerrier, Peter Halley, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Mark Handforth, Isaac Julien,
Ragnar Kjartansson, Karen Kilimnik, Christian Marclay, Malcolm Morley, Ernesto Neto, Albert Oehlen, Laura Owens, Yoko Ono, Gabriel Orozco,
Roxy Paine, Raymond Pettibon, Richard Phillips, Jack Pierson, Bert Rodriguez, Ed Ruscha, David Salle,
Anri Sala, Julian Schnabel, Shinique Smith, Frank Stella, and Bruce Weber, among others.
Few artists can so convincingly transform inert material or provide a transcendent experience. Pablo’s Little Havana studio is filled with objects that he finds or are given to him by friends that he organizes by category, texture and material. There is a box filled to the brim with dolls’ eyes and another with cigarette foils. There are floor-to-ceiling shelves stocked with broken clocks, broken kitchen appliances and utensils, porcelain and plastic dishes, fragments of chairs and tables, lamp shades and other odds-and-ends. He carefully selects each element according to the personality of the character and makes them come to life in the annual productions he has been creating for the Museum of Contemporary, North Miami, since 1998. All of these productions are based on Cano’s own world-view in which beauty, knowledge, kindness and, most of all, art triumph. The stories are written by Cano’s friends or family. Over the years, the productions have become more elaborate and complex. In order to provide the marionettes with greater variety of animation he began collaborating with choreographers, initially with Karen Peterson and more recently with Katherine Kramer. The early marionettes were limited to moving their heads and flapping the hands and legs whereas the more recent characters demonstrate a full range of movement, most notably the amazing break dancing orangutans in The Beginning. Music has always played an important role in these productions whether recordings from his vast collection of records from the 1920s, 30s and 40s, the live classical piano performance of Claude Debussy’s The Toy Box, or the raucous jazz improvisational band that plays along with the marionettes in a number of productions. The amazing MOCA staff provides resources, technical support, construction of the stage and sets, and even the voice overs for the marionettes, when needed. Bonnie Clearwater
to read the full version of essay please visit:
The Artist To Artist conversations:
Naomi Fisher, Daniel Arsham, Jorge Patanjo, Mark Handforth and Dara Friedman discussed the connotation of the label “Miami artist,” in detail and whether such labels are relevant. Nevertheless, everyone agreed on the tremendous importance of MOCA. Says Fisher “MOCA is just such an incredible place, putting on shows that you can’t see anywhere else in the world and definitely not in Miami so I never missed a show at MOCA and I am always inspired when I come here. I am really proud to have shown work here, but it’s more than that. It’s really just being able to see and I think what Bonnie said about how she often thinks about shows here as being for the artists is really true and important. I’m constantly inspired by what she is doing here.”
Heike Wollenweber http://www.miamiartzine.com/issue_main.cfm?btitle=MOCA+Celebrates+its+15th+Anniversary&id=2078&keyx=163849030
Under the guidance of chief curator Bonnie Clearwater, the institution has emerged as an influential voice in the art world.
The museum has played an important role in the development of the Miami art scene over the past 15 years too, not only by exhibiting local artists,
but also in championing emerging international artists. It was the first US museum to acquire work by Tracey Emin
and will now be the home of her first solo show in the USA.
Emin participated in the celebrations and was clearly excited about her upcoming MOCA show.
“It’s going to be a big, big show. It will probably be the most neons I have ever shown.
There will be some old, classic ones but I will pick up inspirations and feelings when I am here.”
Heike Wollenweber http://www.wonderlandmagazine.com/2012/03/moca-turning-15-miami-style/
The museum has experienced enormous growth in major gifts to its permanent collection, its membership, and fundraising events, and has steadily increased public programming.
In February 2007, MOCA received its single largest gift of artwork in its history from collectors Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz. The gift, which is jointly shared with London’s Tate,
includes the groundbreaking works, No Ghost Just A Shell, a multi-media project by 17 international artists originated by Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno, and the monumental installation, Zero Hero by artist John Bock.
MOCA 1981 – 2012
1981 Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, FL. MOCA was originated as a alternative space for local artists.
1990 Clearwater’s arrival in South Florida coincided with a burgeoning emerging local art scene.
Since then the museum director has been at the forefront of recruiting some of the region’s top young talent for her shows.
1994 Miami did not have a Contemporary Museum until Ms. Clearwater was hired as a Chief Curator to what is was known then as the MOCA original Gallery space.
1996 The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) opened its state-of-the-art building to the public in February. The 23,000 square foot structure was designed by
the internationally acclaimed architect Charles Gwathmey of Gwathmey Siegel, New York who worked in conjunction with the Miami firm of Gelabert Navia to create an
exquisite space in which to experience art. The museum has been an essential part of the City of North Miami, which paid $3.75 million for the 1996 building, and continues
to provide part of its annual operating budget.
2001 Daniel Arsham, part of an alternative space called The House held his first museum show at age 20 which included 15 members of The House group.
“I wanted to prove that you could create an institution in which everybody mixed together at the same level”, Ms. Clearwater said,
adding that “One of my concerns about the art world is that, due to fund-raising needs, museums are offering people exclusivity to the point where donors
and top members never intermix with artists anymore…”
2007, MOCA received its single largest gift of artwork in its history from collectors Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz. The gift, which is being jointly shared with The Tate Museum, England’s premier museum includes the groundbreaking works, No Ghost Just A Shell, a multi-media project by 17 international artists originated by Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno, and the monumental installation, Zero Hero by German artist John Bock. In 2007, MOCA also received a $5 million endowment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to establish the MOCA Knight Exhibition Endowment. It enables MOCA to present exhibitions and multi-media projects each year featuring the work of emerging and experimental artists, as well as to develop innovative public and education programs.
The Knight Foundation Endowment makes MOCA one of the few contemporary art museums in the nation to have a dedicated source of funding of this nature. Since its launch in December 2008, MOCA’s Knight Exhibition Series has featured the exhibitions: Anri Sala: Purchase Not by Moonlight (2008-09), The Possibility of an Island (2008-09), Luis Gispert (2009), The Reach of Realism (2009-10), Ceal Floyer : Auto Focus (2010), and Cory Arcangel : The Sharper Image (2010).
2010 Funded by a variety of public and private sources expansion plans for the Museum of Contemporary Arts’ Joan Lehman Building will triple MOCA’s current exhibition space in North Miami allowing the public ongoing access to the museum’s permanent collection. Currently, the museum has to close to the public for up to two and a half weeks at a time during the installation of exhibitions. The city of North Miami will pay $18 million for the expansion, expected to be completed in 2012. Funding for the concept plan phase was generously provided by MOCA Board member Michael Collins and his wife Sandy.
MOCA outgoing expanding education programs, aimed primarily at teenagers, have helped tremendously to involve the Miami community’s populace which is predominantly African-American, Haitian, and Hispanic. Today MOCA’s director celebrates the museum’s expanding education outreach programs that include a museum-studies partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools and impacts over 7000 students from kindergarten through the12th grade.
“I always get a kick out of one of our MOCA kids who write a letter telling us they just finished a college degree or are pursuing a career in art education,” Clearwater is passing on her life-long love of art to teenagers through a junior docent after-school program geared at training youths to give museum tours to peers and even journalism workshops teaching kids to think creatively and write about art. “From MOCA we build our community is our motto here”, the museum director says.
2012 The expansion of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Joan Lehman Building will more than double MOCA’s overall space to 54,000 square feet and more than triple its current exhibition space to 23, 730 square feet. The expansion will allow the public ongoing access to the museum’s permanent collection, provide an education wing for classes and public programs, expanded space to present concurrent exhibitions and permanent collection, a new art storage facility and enhanced public areas. The LEED certified building will be iconic while providing the ultimate flexibility in programmatic space. The expansion plan is designed by Gwathmey Siegel Kaufman + Associates Architects.
An IRREVERSIBLE deeper look…
Bonnie Clearwater was raised in Rockland County New York in a milieu of artist and intellectuals who treated her as a little adult while she was still a toddler, encouraging her independent and creative nature. “My parents were told they couldn’t have children so they never treated me as one” she revealed during a recent visit to North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art. Her father, Herbert Janowsky, was a concert producer who exposed Clearwater at a young age to avant garde performers like John Cage and Paul Taylor, as well as folk, classical, jazz and rock music and once even delighted his daughter by presenting her to Big Band legend, Count Basie, after a show. “It was wonderful,” recalled Clearwater. “I grew up in show business”. A maternal uncle, Dr. Morris I. Stein, was a pioneer in the psychological study of creativity and regularly engaged his precocious niece in intellectual discussions on a variety of topics, including the arts. “As kids we were treated with the same respect as adults. We were always involved in stimulating conversations that have been sort of a springboard for me understanding and trusting how artists work,” Clearwater says. As a young teen she became interested in ideas about conceptual art and attended adult classes every Saturday at the Art Students League while only thirteen years old. Later she studied at New York University where she received on-the-job training at the school’s Grey Art Gallery where she got “a career and a husband out of the job.” Her spouse, James Clearwater, was the gallery’s assistant director at the time, and she went on to pursue her graduate degree at Columbia University where she specialized in modern and medieval art. From there she went on to run the Rothko Foundation in New York City before moving on to direct the Lannan Foundation in Los Angeles then taking over current post at MOCA in 1994.
Thanks to Bonnie Clearwater devotion to budding generations of young art lovers and the community in general, a new level of awareness and cultural consciousness in the community is shaping her institution into our ideal notion of an irreversible space.
“I don’t discover them,” she states. “They exist, our paths cross. I have never been afraid to have confidence in what I see”.
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large scale installations, theatrical events, mixed media, video projections, massive sculptures, music, live performances, unlimited kids programs and THE MAGAZINE.”
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