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MOCA's Land art show, 'Ends of the Earth,' earns catalog honors

December 18, 2012|By Deborah Vankin
  • Installation view of "Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974" at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.
Installation view of "Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974" at… (Brian Forrest / MOCA )

The catalog of MOCA’s sweeping, historical and thematic examination of Land art, “Ends of the Earth: Land Art to 1974,” has been awarded the 2013 Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award for Museum Scholarship by the College Art Assn. 

The award is given to an English-language catalog in the history of art, published by a museum, library or collection between Sept. 1, 2011, and Aug. 31, 2012. “Ends of the Earth” co-curators Philipp Kaiser and Miwon Kwon will receive honors at CAA’s annual conference in New York in February.

The show -- which many saw as an example of the kind of definitive, scholarly exhibitions that have shaped MOCA’s reputation as a leading museum of post-World War II art -- included 250 works by more than 80 artists that integrate with the natural terrain.

In his review, L.A. Times art critic Christopher Knight called “Ends of the Earth” “provocative” and the museum’s “most challenging and engaging show [all year].”

Realizing such an ambitious exhibition was not without its challenges. After some fundraising bumps, MOCA postponed the exhibition from its original April 8 opening date until May 27; the move freed up its Geffen Contemporary building for a more commercial, revenue-generating 18-day festival, "Transmission LA: AV Club," curated by Beastie Boys rapper Mike D and sponsored by Mercedes Benz.  

After “Ends of the Earth” opened, Kaiser left the museum for a position as director of Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany. 

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