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Index: Conceptualism in California

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This Sunday marks the opening of “Index: Conceptualism in California from the Permanent Collection,” an exhibition that surveys the evolution and scope of conceptual art by artists who have lived and worked in California. Curated by MOCA Curator Philipp Kaiser and Curatorial Assistant Corrina Peipon, the exhibition highlights over 60 artists and more than 200 works including collage, drawing, film, installation, photography, printmaking, sculpture and video.

What is conceptual art? Sol LeWitt offers a definition: “In conceptual art the idea or concept is the most important aspect of the work. When an artist uses a conceptual form of art, it means that all of the planning and decisions are made beforehand and the execution is a perfunctory affair. The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.” Artforum, June 1967.

“Index” explores the art movement’s earlier inceptions to its long-ranging influence on later post-conceptual generations. The exhibition features works by art heavyweights such as Michael Asher, John Baldessari, Guy de Cointet, Douglas Huebler, David Lamelas, William Levaitt, Allen Ruppersberg, Ed Ruscha and Alexis Smith. “Index” also contains works by two of my favourite artists Edward Kienholz and Chris Burden; in fact, “Index” highlights Chris Burden’s seminal “Exposing the Foundation of the Museum,” a work that consists of three ten-foot-deep ditches built to reveal the museum’s foundation.

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Along with the exhibition, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA is featuring informal art talks. On Thursday, August 28, 6:30 p.m. artist David Lamelas talks about his work in conjunction with "Index." Free. For more information visit the MOCA site.

"Index: Conceptualism in California from the Permanent Collection @ The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, opening August 24 and ends December 15, 2008.

Special thanks to Philipp Kaiser, Corrina Peipon, Misty Espinoza, Jessica Youn

Photo credit by Squidds and Nunn