(888) 277-4253

Museum awarded grant for exhibition, publication

SAN DIEGO _ The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has been awarded a $225,000 grant from the Getty Foundation, supporting the exhibition and accompanying publication, Phenomenal: California Light and Space.

This is the second grant of $225,000 that Getty has awarded to this project; the first, announced in 2008, helped fund research and planning of the project.

Phenomenal: California Light and Space will be the most ambitious and significant in the museum's history, and will open in October 2011.
"Our museum is very grateful to the Getty Foundation for its unwavering and extraordinary support for Pacific Standard Time, and specifically for our exhibition. MCASD's history with Light and Space goes back to its 1960s origins, and with this exhibition and scholarly publication, we will contribute to the public's understanding and appreciation of this uniquely Southern California art movement," said Dr. Hugh M. Davies, the David C. Copley Director of MCASD.

"This unprecedented initiative will bring rightful attention to artists of Southern California during that critical period between 1945 and 1980," he said.

Phenomenal: California Light and Space

Phenomenal will focus on perceptual investigations by artists that began in Southern California in the 1960s, fomenting many of the vanguard practices still engaging young artists today. Michael Asher, Larry Bell, Ron Cooper, Mary Corse, Robert Irwin, Bruce Nauman, Maria Nordman, James Turrell and Douglas Wheeler are among a cadre of American artists who pioneered distinctive approaches to art making that focused on visual perception and facilitated an awareness of one's physical body moving through space.

The museum, which was founded in La Jolla in 1941, has been collaborating with many of the artists featured in Phenomenal since the 1960s. The exhibition will feature many important and rarely seen works from the museum's collection, supplemented by key loans from major international collections. Phenomenal will be seen in both MCASD locations (La Jolla and downtown San Diego).

The Phenomenal publication, the first critical reader to examine the history of Light and Space work in depth, will also consider its contributions in the context of Conceptual Art, Earth Art and related movements. The book includes five scholarly essays and a wealth of contemporary and archival images. Phenomenal is being co-published by museum and the University of California Press, and is expected to be a valuable resource for students, scholars, artists and general audiences.

Phenomenal is being organized by Davies and Dr. Robin Clark, the curator who is also serving as editor of the accompanying publication.

Project support

In addition to the two major grants provided by The Getty Foundation, Phenomenal: California Light and Space has received major support from the Farrell Family Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation in American Art in New York and the National Endowment for the Arts. Institutional support is provided, in part, by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

The Getty grant is one of 26 announced Jan. 27 in Los Angeles. A total of $3.1 million was awarded for a series of concurrent exhibitions throughout Southern California, called Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980. The Getty previously granted $3.6 million for the project; its collective investment is making possible the largest collaborative project ever undertaken by museums and cultural organizations in the region.