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January 5, 2011

What exactly does it mean to fully immerse oneself in art? In the most literal of terms, L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art invites us to dive right in and create some strokes of our own – swimming strokes to be precise. On view now through February 27th, Suprasensorial: Experiments in Light, Color, and Space features five large-scale art installations for viewers to enter into, become a part of, and actively experience on an über sensorial level – the highlight of which is a real swimming pool installed in the museum. Exhibitions on pioneering light-and-space artists have been an ongoing theme for MOCA, but never before have Latin American artists been included in this dialogue. Senior Curator, Alma Ruiz, aims to illuminate the work of these lesser-known but pivotal international artists, broaden our understanding of 20th century art from a more global perspective, and expose us to art far beyond passive aesthetic observation.

“The idea of experiencing art with all our senses is really embodied in this particular installation,” Ruiz comments in reference to Cosmococa - Programa in Progress, CC4 Nocagions, which features a heated swimming pool, dramatic lighting, projections of
“The idea of experiencing art with all our senses is really embodied in this particular installation,” Ruiz comments in reference to Cosmococa - Programa in Progress, CC4 Nocagions, which features a heated swimming pool, dramatic lighting, projections of John Cage’s cocaine covered book, and his music in the background. Created by the late Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica and filmmaker Neville D’Almeida, museum-goers are encouraged to don their swimming trucks, experience the sensorial effects of water, and thus, become part of the artwork itself. 
Photo by Iwan Baan
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Venezuelan artist Jesus Rafael Soto was fascinated by the idea of creating artwork that is experienced not in the traditional manner of standing in front of nor walking around it (as in sculpture) but by entering it. Created in 1969 and re-fabricated in 1
Venezuelan artist Jesus Rafael Soto was fascinated by the idea of creating artwork that is experienced not in the traditional manner of standing in front of nor walking around it (as in sculpture) but by entering it. Created in 1969 and re-fabricated in 1999, Penetrable BBL bleu invites the viewer to step deep inside the large mass of blue plastic tubes which cascade like tendrils of suspended rain from a white metal frame above. Photo by Iwan Baan. Collection of Hélène Soto, Paris, © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris,
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Soto was inspired by the idea “drawing without paper” – which is another important theme represented throughout the exhibition. As the light from above shines on the blue tubes, patterns are created or “drawn” on the floor. Ruiz adds, “There is no high te
Soto was inspired by the idea “drawing without paper” – which is another important theme represented throughout the exhibition. As the light from above shines on the blue tubes, patterns are created or “drawn” on the floor. Ruiz adds, “There is no high technology involved in any of these installations. Everything is very simple and it speaks of what the artists had at the time. They worked with contemporary materials and created these beautiful effects in very simple ways.” Photo by Iwan Baan. Collection of Hélène Soto, Paris, © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris,
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Like Soto, artist Lucio Fontana was inspired by the idea of drawing in space and going beyond the two-dimensional. His manipulation of neon in the early 1950’s was an incredible feat. Struttura al neon per la IX Triennale di Milano features gigantic white
Like Soto, artist Lucio Fontana was inspired by the idea of drawing in space and going beyond the two-dimensional. His manipulation of neon in the early 1950’s was an incredible feat. Struttura al neon per la IX Triennale di Milano features gigantic white-neon tubing bended and folded in a dizzying array of circles and curves suspended from above by deep sea fishing lines. Photo by Iwan Baan. Collection of Contemporary Art Fundación “la Caixa”, Barcelona, gift of Fondazione Fontana, Milan, © Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan
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Fontana’s light structure was originally created and installed in the foyer of a theatre. As people approached the top of the stairs they encountered the dramatic neon structure at eye-level. As they descended the stairs, the gigantic, glowing shape slowl
Fontana’s light structure was originally created and installed in the foyer of a theatre. As people approached the top of the stairs they encountered the dramatic neon structure at eye-level. As they descended the stairs, the gigantic, glowing shape slowly began to reveal itself in all its glory. Originally created in 1951, the piece was re-fabricated for this exhibition in 2010. Photo by Iwan Baan. Collection of Contemporary Art Fundación “la Caixa”, Barcelona, gift of Fondazione Fontana, Milan, © Fondazione Lucio Fontana, Milan
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Cromosaturacion is a culmination of the ground-breaking explorations of Venezuelan graphic designer and photographer, Carlos Cruz-Diez, on the optical and perceptual effects of color on the eye. In this installation, a white room is divided into three col
Cromosaturacion is a culmination of the ground-breaking explorations of Venezuelan graphic designer and photographer, Carlos Cruz-Diez, on the optical and perceptual effects of color on the eye. In this installation, a white room is divided into three color chambers. Florescent tubes in each are wrapped in green, red, and blue gel with three matching colored plexi windows in each. As the viewer walks from one chamber to the next, colors begin to fuse and intensify, enveloping the viewer in a sea of unexpected velvety hues. Photo by Iwan Baan. Collection of Carlos Cruz-Diez, Paris
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bank details: Bank: ABN AMRO Bank NV to: Iwan Baan, Amsterdam Acct.nr.: 512635692 IBAN: NL74 ABNA 0512 6356 92 BIC/Swift code:
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Rather than water or color, Julio Le Parc engulfs the viewer in a space of light and movement. His 1962 creation, Lumiere en mouvement-installation is a room consisting of curved walls lined with mirrors. Strategically placed spotlights illuminate small m
Rather than water or color, Julio Le Parc engulfs the viewer in a space of light and movement. His 1962 creation, Lumiere en mouvement-installation is a room consisting of curved walls lined with mirrors. Strategically placed spotlights illuminate small metal squares suspended in front of the mirrors. As the movement of air or the motion of a passerby shifts the dangling silvery squares, a rippling pool of moving light reflections bathe the walls of the darkened room. Photo by Iwan Baan
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“The idea of experiencing art with all our senses is really embodied in this particular installation,” Ruiz comments in reference to Cosmococa - Programa in Progress, CC4 Nocagions, which features a heated swimming pool, dramatic lighting, projections of
“The idea of experiencing art with all our senses is really embodied in this particular installation,” Ruiz comments in reference to Cosmococa - Programa in Progress, CC4 Nocagions, which features a heated swimming pool, dramatic lighting, projections of John Cage’s cocaine covered book, and his music in the background. Created by the late Brazilian artist Hélio Oiticica and filmmaker Neville D’Almeida, museum-goers are encouraged to don their swimming trucks, experience the sensorial effects of water, and thus, become part of the artwork itself. 
Photo by Iwan Baan

To see images of the project, please visit the slideshow.

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