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Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland celebrates opening of new building

The Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA) opens the doors of its new building with the inaugural exhibition, Inside Out and From the Ground Up, featuring the work of 16 international artists. The exhibition provides an in-depth look at how contemporary artists engage with architecture and concepts of space.

Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA) new building rendering. Shot from Euclid Avenue. Courtesy MOCA Cleveland.

Organized by David Norr, Chief Curator at MOCA Cleveland, the exhibition considers the new building itself as a dynamic sculptural form, engaging the architecture as both subject and stage.

Three artists are exhibiting work commissioned for the MOCA Cleveland opening. Henrique Oliveira’s cavernous installation Carambóxido (2012) appears to burst through the elevator column, suggesting organic growth or parasitic invasion. Katharina Grosse’s painting Third Man Begins Digging Through Her Pockets (2012) covers the surfaces of the Museum’s three-story atrium in blasts of color, engaging the viewer through shifting dimensional relationships. Barry Underwood’s photographs provide an inner, transitional view of the building throughout its construction, capturing the energy behind its formation.

MOCA Cleveland is also debuting a new piece by David Altmejd, The Orbit (2012), as a special project for Inside Out and From the Ground Up. This complex spatial construction is the most architectural of the artist’s large vitrine works to date.

Presenting the breadth of contemporary practice, from physical constructions and monumentally-scaled painting, to minimal gestures and experimental media, the exhibition also includes works by Louise Bourgeois, Walead Beshty, Jacqueline Humphries, Gordon Matta-Clark, Corey McCorkle, William Villalongo, Rachel Whiteread, and Haegue Yang. A Video Salon, featuring works by McCorkle and Yang, along with Jeremy Blake, David Hammons, Oliver Husain and Jennifer West, examines how artists use film and video to engage space and architecture through duration, performance and embodied perspective. Through this array of media and approaches, the artists in Inside Out and From the Ground Up explore individuals’ active and variable relationship with the built world.

MOCA Cleveland’s striking new building was designed by Iranian-born Farshid Moussavi of London, formerly with Foreign Office Architects (FOA) and now founder and principal of Farshid Moussavi Architecture (FMA). This is her first U.S. commission and her first museum.

All four floors of the Museum contain areas for exhibitions or public programs. Clad primarily in mirror-finish Rimex stainless steel, the façade reflects its urban surroundings, changing in appearance with differences in light and weather. Three of the building’s eight facets, one of them clad in transparent glass, flank a public plaza designed by James Corner Field Operations, a New York-based landscape architecture and urban design firm. The Toby Devan Lewis Plaza at Case Western Reserve University serves as a public gathering place and links MOCA Cleveland to Uptown attractions and amenities.

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