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Indepth Arts News:

"MAKING: Unique Installations Created by 5 Art Schools"
2002-11-24 until 2003-09-01
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Los Angeles, CA, USA

An unprecedented collaboration between the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and five major art schools in Los Angeles has produced the next LACMALab exhibition in LACMA’s Boone Children’s Gallery. Art Center College of Design, California Institute of the Arts, Otis College of Art and Design, and School of the Arts and Architecture at UCLA have assembled teams of students and faculty artists and designers to create participatory installations that investigate the process of making art. A team of students and faculty from the University of Southern California Museum Studies Program will provide a unique analysis of the ‘making’ of MAKING, which will be presented to the public throughout the exhibition. Internationally noted Los Angeles architecture firm Frederick Fisher and Partners has designed the overall space. Presented free to the public, MAKING will be on view November 24, 2002, through September 1, 2003.

MAKING is intended to bring the interests, perspectives, and insights of L.A.’s next generation of artists to museum audiences, as the artists examine the dynamics of art making through collaborative projects. The four large-scale installations elicit public response through approaches that range from provocation to whimsy. While all projects open to the public in November, many of the works are additive in nature and will evolve throughout the nine-month project through visitor participation. 

The installations include a large, semitransparent greenhouse, shed, and potting area with studio components; a mountain of clay for creating individual sculptures; an ever-expanding web of correspondence; a mixture of pods to experience the senses involved in the creative process; and a giant clear container for making a ten-foot-high, new sculptural work by collecting art given up by museum visitors.

MAKING was conceived and produced by LACMALab, LACMA’s research and development unit that invites artists to create experiential artwork for all ages. Over the past two years, LACMALab has commissioned 21 artists—from internationally distinguished, mid-career, and promising young artists as divergent as Alan Kaprow, John Baldessari, Jennifer Steinkamp, Eleanor Antin, John Outerbridge, Eric Owen Moss, and Jennifer Nelson—to create innovative and thought-provoking installations. For MAKING, LACMALab Director Robert Sain asked that the teams investigate both philosophical and practical questions as they relate to the making of art. Issues include the organization of collective projects; how an idea, concern, or inspiration is turned into art; and the challenge of creating an installation that engages both child and adult.

“All participants responded with astonishing enthusiasm and determination to operate in this age-free, experimental terrain,” said MAKING curator Robert Sain. “Now the visitor brings the artists’ works to life in Los Angeles’ largest public studio.”

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