Fifty years ago the doors opened to an exciting new institution, the Pavilion Gallery. Later renamed the Newport Harbor Art Museum and subsequently, the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA), the museum was the first devoted to both modern and contemporary art in Southern California and today is one of the most ambitious, innovative, mid-size museums in the United States.
As part of the museum’s 50th anniversary celebration, “OC Collects“ presents curated selections from more than a dozen of the most important private modern and contemporary art collections in Orange County. The exhibition includes rarely seen major paintings, sculptures, photographs and works on paper by established figures and emerging artists from around the world including Berlin based Veronika Kellndorfer, who explores California modernism, creating enigmatic prints on glass using her own photographs of homes by mid-century architects; Doug Aitken, an American multimedia artist; abstract expressionist Richard Diebenkorn; and Shirin Neshat, an Iranian visual artist.
In her article “Orange Crush,” for Modern Luxury magazine, Wendy Bowman-Littler writes:
Some may not think of O.C. as a hotbed of art collecting–but it is. ‘There are people in Orange County who are really enjoying the visual arts and collecting the visual arts, and most of it, in many cases, resides in private residences,’ says Darrel Anderson, a local arts supporter and private investor. He and his wife, Marsha, have loaned OCMA eight pieces of figurative art and contemporary photography from the collection in their Newport Beach home. ‘They know it exists in other major metropolitan areas and don’t think of it as being here because it’s such a young county. It isn’t New York, San Francisco or Los Angeles, but people here do collect, and they collect wonderful things.’
“OC Collects” is curated by OCMA Director Dennis Szakacs and Chief Curator Dan Cameron. “This is an amazing opportunity to view works that the public never gets to see,” Szakacs says. “The public can see how people live with modern and contemporary art, and how it is an essential part of their lives, and hopefully it will encourage others to get involved with collecting and supporting the arts community.”
The exhibit runs through December 30, 2012.