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Critics Honor MOCA's Schindler Show

December 10, 2001

The marriage between art museums and progressive architecture can be a rocky one, but wedding bells are still very much in the air. Last week, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art chose a radical and adventurous design by celebrated Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas that will completely transform its Wilshire Boulevard site. This week, across town, the Museum of Contemporary Art is getting kudos for an important architecture show.

MOCA's survey exhibition of the work of legendary Los Angeles architect R.M. Schindler has been chosen as the best architecture or design show of 2000-01 by the American section of the International Assn. of Art Critics. The show, organized by MOCA curator Michael Darling and former curator Elizabeth Smith, showed how the Viennese-born Schindler adapted principles of Modernist design to L.A.'s landscape from the 1920s to the 1950s. It opened at MOCA in March.

The Manhattan-based critics' group gave its award for best museum show originating outside New York to Washington's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, for its exhibition of South African artist and animator William Kentridge. The six other awards went to museum and gallery shows in New York, led by the Japan Society's "Yes, Yoko Ono," named best local museum show of the year.

The awards will be presented to winners tonight at a reception at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum--the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building, completed in 1959, that started the contemporary wedding march between art museums and innovative architecture. The Guggenheim's survey of designs by Santa Monica's Frank O. Gehry was runner-up in the art critics' group's architecture exhibition category.

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Compiled by Times staff writers

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