Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland Announces Inaugural Exhibition in New Building

March 5, 2012

CLEVELAND – 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 Columbus Day, Monday, 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 these artists engage with architecture and concepts of space.  

MOCA Executive Director Jill Snyder says, “We believe MOCA is contributing a great building to Cleveland, one that will stimulate critical thinking and animate social exchange. MOCA is expanding its scope and activities on all fronts, supported by new architecture that allows for flexibility, unconventionality, and technological capacity in the presentation of contemporary art.”   

Organized by David Norr, Chief Curator at MOCA Cleveland, Inside Out and from the Ground Up presents a wide range of contemporary practices, from physical constructions and monumentally scaled painting, to sound installation and minimal gestures that engage and challenge the building. 
The exhibition will bring together significant works by pioneering figures, such as Louise Bourgeois, and Gordon Matta-Clark, alongside works by established and emerging artists, including David Altmejd, Walead Beshty, Jeremy Blake, Katharina Grosse, David Hammons, Jacqueline Humphries, Oliver Husain, Corey McCorkle, Henrique Oliveira, Barry Underwood, William Villalongo, Jennifer West, 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.  
Norr says that this expanded discourse will have particular resonance in MOCA’s new building, as the architecture creates striking effects through transparency, openness, and scale. 
Significant works by pioneering figures Gordon Matta-Clark and Louise Bourgeois ground the exhibition with historical context. Matta-Clark’s radical engagements with architecture transformed contemporary performance and sculpture; in this exhibition, his rarely seen Sous-Sols: Paris Underground series, including photomontages and a video, delves into the Paris Underground. Bourgeois’s psychologically rife, autographical practice holds a significant place in twentieth and twenty-first century art. She often used structural elements, including staircases, bedrooms, and cells to evoke sites of trauma and memory. MOCA Cleveland will be exhibition one of Bourgeois’s largest and most powerful cell structures. 
Recent works by Walead Beshty, Corey McCorkle, Rachel Whiteread, and Haegue Yang create an altered awareness of space, rounding out the exhibition with a diverse range of media and conceptual approaches.
Norr, along with Rose Bouthillier, Assistant Curator, and Brett Kashmere, independent curator and editor of INCITE Journal of Experimental Media, have organized a video salon, to be featured in the Rosalie and Morton Cohen Family Gallery. Including works by McCorkle and Yang, along with Jeremy Blake, David Hammons, Oliver Husain, and Jennifer West, this program will examine how artists have used time-based media to engage space and architecture through duration, performance, and embodied perspective. Ranging over stage sets, empty streets, an abandoned zoo, a historical house, and a physics lab, these works consider the social, psychological, and physical qualities of these places.
Altmejd’s works will be on view in the Toby Devan Lewis Gallery until December 30, 2012. Katharina Grosse’s installation will be on view in the Donna and Stewart Kohl Atrium until June 10, 2013. All other work will be exhibited in the Main Gallery until February 24, 2013. 
Megan Lykins Reich, Director of Programs and Associate Curator, will also oversee an ambitious slate of accompanying public programs, including artist conversations, educational initiatives, and collaborative world premiere concerts and dance performances. These programs are designed to connect diverse audiences to the art and architecture. 
Artists featured in Inside Out and From the Ground Up:  
David Altmejd (1974, Montréal, Canada) lives and works in New York.  
Walead Beshty (1976, London, UK) lives and works in Los Angeles. 
Jeremy Blake (1971, Fort Sill, OK – 2007, New York)  
Louise Bourgeois (1911, Paris, France – 2010, New York) 
Katharina Grosse (1961, Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany) lives and works in Berlin, Germany. 
David Hammons (1943, Springfield, IL) lives and works in New York.  
Jacqueline Humphries (1960, New Orleans) lives and works in New York. 
Oliver Husain (1969 Frankfurt, Germany) lives and works in Toronto, Canada. 
Gordon Matta-Clark (1943 –1978, New York) 
Corey McCorkle (1969, La Crosse, WI) lives and works in New York. 
Henrique Oliveira (1973, São Paulo, Brazil) lives and works in São Paulo. 
Barry Underwood (1963, Wilmington, DE) lives and works in Cleveland. 
William Villalongo (1975, Hollywood, FL) lives and works in Brooklyn. 
Jennifer West (1966, Topanga Canyon, California) lives and works in Los Angeles. 
Rachel Whiteread (1963, London, UK) lives and works in London. 
Haegue Yang (1971, Seoul, South Korea) lives and works in Seoul and Berlin, Germany. 
MOCA’s new building is designed to serve as a catalyst for creativity and growth in a cosmopolitan Cleveland neighborhood, which is home to one of the country’s largest concentrations of cultural, educational and medical institutions. 
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.
In addition to FMA, the design team includes executive architects Westlake Reed Leskosky, headquartered in Cleveland and designers of more than 50 cultural buildings throughout the United States.
Moussavi says that museums today are not just homes for art, but serve multiple functions and host a variety of activities. “Our design for MOCA Cleveland aims to provide an ideal environment for artists and visitors and to foster creativity and variety in exhibitions and programs.”
Because MOCA is a non-collecting institution – one of the relatively few such contemporary art museums in the country – its new building does not need to accommodate collection galleries, says MOCA Executive Director Jill Snyder. “This building’s design is a perfect expression of the museum’s philosophy and programs. Flexibility is key to a program like ours that embraces aesthetic, conceptual and cultural diversity, and displays works in a great variety of media and genres.”
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 designed by James Corner Field Operations, a New York-based landscape architecture and urban design firm. The plaza will serve as a public gathering place and will link MOCA to Uptown attractions and amenities, including the expanded Cleveland Institute of Art, designed by Burt, Hill with MVRDV, and new commercial space and residential units, designed by Stanley Saitowitz/Natoma Architects Inc. 
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 the Dick and Doreen Cahoon Lounge, which overlooks the plaza and Uptown.
Farshid Moussavi Architecture (FMA) was founded by internationally acclaimed architect and Harvard Professor Farshid Moussavi as a London-based practice dedicated to architecture, urban design and landscape architecture. 
Moussavi was previously co-founder and co-principal of Foreign Office Architects (FOA) where she co-authored the design for the award-winning Yokohama International Ferry Terminal in Japan and was part of the United Architects team who were finalists for the Ground Zero competition, as well as the team that designed the London 2012 Olympics Masterplan. At FOA she completed a wide range of other international projects including the John Lewis Complex in Leicester, England; the South-East Coastal Park in Barcelona, Spain; and the Meydan Retail Complex in Istanbul, Turkey; and represented Britain at the 8th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2002.  
Founded in 1968, the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, a leading force in the cultural life of Northeast Ohio, is recognized nationally and internationally for its vital and creative exhibitions and public programs. These strive to challenge, inspire, and teach a wide range of audiences. 
Through approximately 8 exhibitions a year, all accompanied by public and education programs, and many also by scholarly catalogues, MOCA brings the work and ideas of a diversity of national and international artists to its audiences. MOCA’s critically acclaimed exhibitions have included The Teacher and the Student: Charles Rosenthal and Ilya Kabakov (2004), Yoshitomo Nara (2004), All Digital (2006), Diana Cooper (2008), Sam Taylor-Wood (2008), Hugging and Wrestling: Contemporary Israeli Photography and Video (2009), and Marilyn Minter: Orange Crush (2010).
From 1968 to 1990, MOCA rented modest quarters in University Circle, and from 1990 to the present it has rented second-story space from the Cleveland Play House on Carnegie Avenue. Today, as it prepares to move to its new building, MOCA looks forward to welcoming both established and new audiences to its exciting new space in University Circle.
For additional information: 
Updated on August 2, 2012
#  #  #