written by:
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
1 / 7
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,
2 / 7
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,
3 / 7
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
4 / 7
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
5 / 7
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
Courtesy of 
bank details: Bank: ABN AMRO Bank NV to: Iwan Baan, Amsterdam Acct.nr.: 512635692 IBAN: NL74 ABNA 0512 6356 92 BIC/Swift code:
6 / 7
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
7 / 7
“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.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

french evolution paris daniel rozensztroch living area eames la chaise butterfly chair moroccan berber rug
A tastemaker brings his distinct vision to an industrial loft with a centuries-old pedigree.
February 07, 2016
senses touch products
The haptic impact can’t be underplayed. The tactility of a material—its temperature, its texture­—can make the difference between pleasure and discontent.
February 07, 2016
senses smell products
The nose knows: Though fleeting and immaterial, scent is the lifeblood of Proustian memories, both evoking and imprinting visceral associations.
February 06, 2016
design icon josef frank villa beer vienna
Josef Frank: Against Design, which runs through April 2016 at Vienna’s Austrian Museum of Applied Arts/Contemporary Art, is a comprehensive study of the prolific architect, designer, and author.
February 06, 2016
senses sound products
From an alarm to a symphony, audio frequencies hold the power to elicit an emotional call-and-response.
February 06, 2016
Italian Apline home with double-height walls on one facade.
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
February 05, 2016
A built-in sofa with Design Tex upholstery marks the boundary between the two-level addition and the bungalow. Leading up to the master bedroom, a perforated metal staircase, lit from above, casts a Sigmar Polke–like shadow grid on the concrete floor.
From a minimalist Walter Gropius design to a curving sculptural stair, these six stairways run the gamut.
February 05, 2016
distant structure lakeside prefab norway facade stones green roof
Dwell has traveled all over the world, from Tasmania to Indonesia, to report on modern houses.
February 05, 2016
modern lycabettus penthouse apartment master bedroom atrium
Get ready for a weekend of rest with these sleepy, little cocoons.
February 05, 2016
lamp show 99 cent plus gallery 0
At Brooklyn's 99¢ Plus gallery, 30 artists and designers re-imagine the lamp in an illuminating light show.
February 04, 2016
Hidden storage stairwell with raw brass hardware
Having ample space to stow items is a daily struggle—peep these modern homes for some ideas on maximizing your square footage.
February 04, 2016
modern fairhaven beach house blackbutt eucalyptus living room Patricia Urquiola sofa
Whether it's along a coast in Australia or the French Alps, wood provides a natural touch in these interiors.
February 04, 2016
Glass and steel sculpture in Printemps store of Paris.
In the Paris' venerable Printemps department store, two Toronto-based firms were tasked with enlivening a new atrium and creating a unique experience for visitors. YabuPushelberg, partnering with UUfie, designed this stunning steel "sail" embedded with vibrant dichroic glass.
February 04, 2016
Monochromatic Master Bedroom in Copenhagen Townhouse
Whether it's to maximize limited light or create a soothing interior, these five projects go white in a big way.
February 04, 2016
EQ3 Assembly quilt by Kenneth LaVallee
The new Assembly collection from EQ3 celebrates up-and-coming figures in Canadian design. Discover this newly appointed class, which debuted at Toronto's Interior Design Show, here.
February 03, 2016
The Greenhouses of Half Moon Bay
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most viral design and architecture shots of the week.
February 03, 2016
Deck of Australian addition to Edwardian home.
A 1,500-square-foot home in Melbourne welcomes a modern black and white kitchen, dining, and living area.
February 03, 2016
open plan concrete home in japan
Embracing the organic, imperfect material, these raw concrete surfaces are a step up from exposed brick.
February 03, 2016
Renovated DC Row House loft space with Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair.
The classic designer's signature and comfortable forms continue to be popular in homes today.
February 03, 2016
Zinc-roofed cabin France.
An architect builds an energy-efficient home near one of France’s most popular pilgrimage sites.
February 03, 2016
1973 Palm Springs home
Made for casual design enthusiasts and Palm Springs connoisseurs alike, Unseen Midcentury Desert Modern offers a peek into 51 buildings—some not open to the public—in that Southern California mecca of modernism. Begun in 2008 by photographer Dan Chavkin, the book is set for release this February 9th and will be available on Amazon and at multiple venues of Modernism Week in Palm Springs, February 11 - 21. Here we preview some of its images.
February 03, 2016
Millennial concept home with an outdoor living area
A concept home aims to reflect the requests of the Millennial market.
February 03, 2016
The two twelve-by-sixteen-foot bedrooms, directly above a comparable pair on the first floor, feature a glass transom that follows the pitch of the roof. “The stair and railings were very simple,” Depardon observes. “We added a bit of design, with panels
Skylights needn't be simple overhead daylighting; sometimes they can truly define a room.
February 03, 2016
Modern small space Rhode Island cottage with landscaping and cedar cladding
Surrounded by nature, these cottages are tranquil retreats from the city.
February 03, 2016
The couple kept original touches, including the arch.
Historic archways belie these contemporary homes with physical reminders of each structure's storied past.
February 03, 2016
modern guesthouse in norway with angular facade and cutaway patio with spruce cladding and ikea chair
These houses make room for nature, not the other way around.
February 02, 2016
Modern kitchen with yellow sectioned walls and monochrome appliances
Whether it's a splash of color or bold strokes, this collection of interiors brightens up these homes.
February 02, 2016
Rust-washed concrete wall in Moscow apartment renovation.
This 590-square-foot apartment was stripped down to admit sunlight and dramatically reveal forgotten surfaces.
February 02, 2016
Nendo's collection of objects inspired by Star Wars
In a galaxy not so far away, Japanese studio Nendo has released a versatile collection of objects inspired by classic Star Wars characters.
February 02, 2016