Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

Thom Mayne Manages Whiny Frank Gehry, Puts Him Back Into The MOCA Show


Thom Mayne, a Pritzker Prize-winning L.A. architect, has wined, dined, and patted the hand of whiny Frank Gehry until the latter architect agreed to rejoin the upcoming MOCA exhibition, A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture From Southern California. This news is a great relief to MOCA, who have lately and notoriously been plagued with money problems and who had betted many eggs in their fundraising basket on the pull of donors to Gehry’s venerable presence in the exhibition.

The decision comes hot on the heels of the decisions to (1) have the exhibition despite Gehry’s absence and (2) delay the opening from June 2nd to June 16th. Despite sloppiness on Gehry’s reaction time (or possibly shrewdness? Way to go with delaying until you get begged to just do whatever you want to do), operations appear to be successful in incorporating Gehry’s newest project prominently into the exhibition.

The architect, who designed, among other structures, the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (Spain), will not be sharing details of these works in the show as was previously expected. Instead, he will be showing building plans for the National Art Museum of China, a project which he lost the bid for last year but was exceptionally proud of. This seems fair enough to want to exhibit, though one wonders if he really needed to get his BVDs in such a wad to include and / or focus on this project for his part in the show.

There is still some exhibition cattiness going on — Gehry claims that Mayne is now curating the exhibition, Mayne claims that original exhibition curator Christopher Mount is still the curator, and Jeffrey Deitch, as has been his (unsettling) characteristic response for the past year, has no comment. For the time being, though, all systems say GO for the June 16th opening, and no doubt it will be a fascinating look at the looks that defined the southern California landscape and began global trends.

Image courtesy of LA County Arts.

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