WILLIAM LEAVITT: THEATER OBJECTS
03.13.11 – 07.03.11
William Leavitt is the first solo museum exhibition and retrospective of the work of Los Angeles-based artist William Leavitt (b. 1941, Washington, D.C.). A key figure associated with the emergence and foundations of conceptual art in Los Angeles during the late 1960s and ’70s, Leavitt is primarily concerned with narrative and narrative forms. Since 1969, his works have employed ordinary fragments of popular and vernacular culture and modernist architecture as both props and signifiers to produce a distilled narrative. The culture and atmosphere of Los Angeles has played a significant role in Leavitt’s ongoing interest in “the theater of the ordinary” and the play between illusion and reality and nature and artifice that characterizes the city. Surveying the artist’s multifaceted 40-year career, William Leavitt will include sculptural tableaux, paintings, works on paper, photographs, and performances drawn from the late ’60s to the present. One of the most significant and influential figures working in Los Angeles, Leavitt has created a remarkable oeuvre that has influenced generations of artists, and this exhibition, which examines his extraordinary contributions, is both long overdue and highly anticipated. The exhibition, co-curated by MOCA Associate Curator Bennett Simpson and Ann Goldstein, former MOCA senior curator and director designate at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue featuring an introduction by Goldstein, essays by art historian Annette Leddy and Simpson, an interview with the artist by artist-writer Erik Bluhm, a selected artist’s exhibition history and bibliography, and a complete checklist of the exhibition, constituting a comprehensive scholarly overview and examination of the artist’s career.