Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) Acquires Eight Artworks Through 2011 Collectors Committee

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) has announced the acquisition of eight artworks through the museum’s 26th Annual Collectors Committee fundraiser. The event featured a weekend of curator-led art presentations, private dinners at trustee homes, and a gala dinner-including a live auction-where members vote on artworks to add to the museum’s permanent collection. This year, the eighty-three voting members raised more than $3 million-breaking records for the third year in a row. Prior to voting, Trustee Steve Tisch stepped forward and purchased Christian Marclay’s The Clock (2010) for the museum.

Over the course of the night, other individual donors purchased artworks for the museum as well: Donald Judd’s Prototype Desk (1978) was purchased for LACMA by Kelvin Davis in honor of his architect/artist brother, Paul Davis; an ancient Peruvian textile (1500-1600) was purchased by LACMA Trustee Camilla Chandler Frost; and an anonymous donor purchased the painted panel from Mexico (AD 1200-1400). This allowed the Collectors Committee to direct their funds towards Ai Weiwei’s Untitled (Divine Proportion) (2006), the Head of a Buddha from 1000-1050 AD Japan, Craig Kauffman’s Untitled (1969), and three Spanish casta paintings by Juan Patricio Morlete Ruiz (1760).

Serving as a unique opportunity for patrons to have a direct hand in shaping LACMA’s collection, Collectors Committee is the museum’s largest annual fundraiser and has played an essential role in acquiring significant works of art. Throughout its history, the event has made in excess of 177 acquisitions through generous donations surpassing $23 million.

“Over the past twenty-six years the Collectors Committee has been responsible for the addition of many important works to LACMA’s permanent collection,” says LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director Michael Govan. “The dedication and foresight of this fundraising group has enriched curatorial departments across the museum. This year was an especially successful effort; we acquired artworks ranging from ancient Latin America, to 1000 AD Japan, to contemporary art of Los Angeles.

“Three years ago, LACMA Trustee and Collectors Committee Chair Ann Colgin brought an added dimension to the fundraiser, introducing the concept of dinners in the homes of fellow board members and featuring California chefs and vintners. We are most indebted to Ann, and to LACMA Trustee and Acquisitions Committee Chair Lynda Resnick for her ongoing championing of the museum’s growing collection.”

Acquired Artworks
Artworks that have been acquired through Collectors Committee include the
following:

• Christian Marclay’s The Clock (2010), a 24-hour single-channel montage constructed out of moments in cinema and television history depicting the passage of time.

• Ai Weiwei’s spherical wooden structure, Untitled (Divine Proportion) (2006), carefully crafted using a tenon and mortise (nail-free joinery) technique.

• The ancient and richly painted panel (AD 1200-1400), from the region bordering Oaxaca and Guerrero in Mexico, rare in its scale and elaborate imagery.

• An ancient, wooden Heian-period Head of a Buddha-one of the finest sculptures of its age and size-from 1000-1050 AD Japan.

• Craig Kauffman’s Untitled (1969), part of the artist’s loop series (ten in total, each a different color), a painted-plastic hybrid between painting and sculpture.

• Donald Judd’s seminal Prototype Desk (1978)-one of the few pieces the artist made himself-demonstrates the same philosophy about space, geometry, and proportion that characterizes his body of sculpture.

• Three casta paintings from a series by Juan Patricio Morlete Ruiz, circa 1760, representing the process of racial mixing among Indians, Spaniards, and Africans in colonial Mexico: VII. From Spaniard and Morisca, Albino (De español y morisca, albino), IX. From Spaniard and Albino, Return Backwards (De español y albina, torna atrás), From Spaniard and Return Backwards Hold Yourself Suspended in Mid Air (De español y torna atrás, tente en el aire), circa 1760.

• The intricately woven Peruvian textile, Hanging or Mantle (1500-1600), symbolic of universal order.

Collectors Committee
Since 1986, the Collectors Committee has assembled annually to acquire major artworks for LACMA’s permanent collection. Funds raised over the weekend surpassed last year’s record amount by nearly $1 million; an almost forty percent increase. With 83 memberships in total—and the addition of 30 new memberships—this year’s Collectors Committee has the most members to date in its twenty-six year history.

Image: Ai Weiwei, Untitled (Divine Proportion), 2006, gift of the 2011 Collectors Committee, photo: Giovanni Tarifeño, courtesy of Friedman Benda and the artist

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