MOCA Launches ‘Friends of Arshile Gorky’ Campaign Ahead of June Exhibit

LOS ANGELES—The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), presents Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective June 6 through September 20, 2010, at MOCA Grand Avenue. This major traveling retrospective celebrates the extraordinary life and work of Arshile Gorky, a seminal figure in the movement toward abstraction that transformed American art in the middle of the 20th century.

Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective positions Gorky as a crucial founder of abstract expressionism, but also as a passionate and dedicated artist whose tragic life often informed his groundbreaking and deeply personal paintings.

The first full-scale survey of Gorky’s work since 1981, this timely exhibition features Gorky’s most significant paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, including two masterworks from MOCA’s permanent collection—Study for The Liver is the Cock’s Comb (1943) and Betrothal I (1947). Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective is organized by Michael Taylor, the Muriel and Philip Berman curator of modern art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where the exhibition opened, before traveling to Tate Modern, London, where it will be on view February 10 through May 3, 2010. MOCA’s presentation, the third and only West Coast presentation in the United States on the exhibition’s tour, is organized by MOCA Chief Curator Paul Schimmel.

In support of MOCA’s upcoming presentation of Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective, the museum has launched the Friends of Arshile Gorky Campaign and Leadership Committee to provide essential funds for exhibition, education, and outreach programs. The premier campaign luncheon hosted at MOCA Grand Avenue onWednesday, January 13, was attended by 40 leaders, business people, and artists from the Armenian community, including Roger Strauch, Harout and Irene Sassounian, Elizabeth Agbabian, Stephan Bagboudarian, Richard Hrair Dekmejian, Joan Quinn, Bruce Roat, Caroline and Gregory Tufenkian, Carla Garabedian, and Cynthia Tusan.

Tracing the career of this important Armenian-American artist, this historic exhibition will be a powerful vehicle for raising awareness of the Armenian people and their tremendous contributions to art, culture, and history. Friends of Arshile Gorky invites a distinctive group of dedicated and influential leaders in the Armenian community to help ensure the success of this significant retrospective.

“We hope that our Friends of Arshile Gorky collaboration will mark the beginning of a wonderful long-term relationship between the museum and the Armenian community, said MOCA Chief Executive Officer Charles E. Young. “With the largest Armenian community in the U.S. residing in Los Angeles, MOCA’s presentation has the potential to draw a significant audience, and we are reaching out to the entire Armenian community to secure local participation in and support of this major, monographic survey of the celebrated work of Arshile Gorky.”

The most recent Friends of Arshile Gorky Leadership Committee Meeting took place on Wednesday, January 27, at MOCA Grand Avenue. The committee is working to increase awareness about the exhibition throughout the region, inviting all to experience this profound artwork this summer at MOCA—the West Coast venue on the show’s international tour. Additionally, they are cultivating donors for the campaign at the $1,000 level and above. Contributors will be invited to exclusive dinners held at the homes of major L.A. art collectors in April as well as MOCA’s VIP Opening Reception in June.

“The Friends of Arshile Gorky Leadership Committee is building a cultural network in our city that will engage greater involvement at the museum and stimulate a wonderful dialogue with the entire Los Angeles community. This is an exciting educational opportunity that will bring us all together,” stated Jennifer Arceneaux, MOCA director of development.

To participate in Friends of Arshile Gorky or to confirm your support for the exhibition, please contact MOCA Director of Development Jennifer Arceneaux at 213/621-1728 or jarceneaux@moca.org. Arshile Gorky: A Retrospective is organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art in association with Tate Modern, London, and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

The international tour is made possible by the Terra Foundation for American Art. The U.S. tour is supported by The Lincy Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, and by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

The exhibition at MOCA is presented by The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. Generous support is provided by Lenore S. and Bernard A. Greenberg, Steve Martin, and The MOCA Contemporaries. Additional support is provided by the MOCA Friends of Arshile Gorky. In-kind media support is provided by Los Angeles magazine.

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)—Celebrating 30 Years as the Nation’s Leading Contemporary Art Museum Founded in 1979, MOCA’s mission is to be the defining museum of contemporary art. The institution has achieved astonishing growth in its brief history—with three Los Angeles locations of architectural renown; more than 13,500 members; a world-class permanent collection of nearly 6,000 works international in scope and among the finest in the nation; hallmark education programs that are widely emulated; award-winning publications that present original scholarship; and groundbreaking monographic, touring, and thematic exhibitions of international repute that survey the art of our time. MOCA is a private not-for-profit institution supported by its members, corporate and foundation support, government grants, and retail and admission revenues. MOCA Pacific Design Center is open 11am to 5pm Tuesday through Friday; 11am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday; and closed on Monday.

Admission to MOCA Pacific Design Center is always free. MOCA Grand Avenue and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA are open 11am to 5pm on Monday and Friday; 11am to 8pm on Thursday; 11am to 6pm on Saturday and Sunday; and closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

General admission is $10 for adults; $5 for students with I.D. and seniors (65+); and free for MOCA members, children under 12, jurors with I.D., and everyone on Thursdays from 5pm to 8pm, courtesy of Wells Fargo. For 24-hour information on current exhibitions, education programs, and special events, call 213/626-6222 or access MOCA online at moca.org.

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