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Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Museum Review: The Avant-Garde Collection @ The Orange County Museum of Art

Chris Burden's assemblage work A Tale of Two Cities is one of the artworks displayed in the Avant Garde Collection exhibit at the Orange County Museum of Art, on until January 5th, 2015

Museum Review: The Avant-Garde Collection @
The Orange County Museum of Art
Exhibit runs through January 4th, 2015

   I didn't have high expectations for the Orange County Museum of Art, which is figuratively if not literally in the parking lot of the Orange County Mega Mall Fashion Island.  I was pleasantly surprised by the content if not the theme of their current exhibition, The Avant-Garde Collection, which runs through January 4th 2015.  I don't typically get into issuing serious criticisms of the underlying logic behind the content of a museum exhibition, but calling a collection of modern art "the avant-garde collection" is akin to calling it "the art collection;" in other words, superfluous and obvious.
This is a photograph of Chris Burden's Metropolis, which is on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

  However the actual works on display were tip top, with my personal favorite being Chris Burden's 1981 room sized installation, A Tale of Two Cities.  Like his somewhat similar work at LACMA, Metropolis, A Tale of Two Cities can not fail to enchant the viewer with the scope and detail both equally pleasing to the eye and mind.

  Other highlights from this exhibit include a video of John Baldessari intoning Sol LeWitt's "rules for making art," a 8 panel Andy Warhol piece featuring Chairman Mao and a couple of very creepy doll centered works.  Does any museum goer in 2014 need to have the concept of "avant-garde" explained?  Hopefully not, but the works included make a short detour from the mall worth the trip.  It's an exhibit arguably worth a trip up from LA, probably not from San Diego.

  There was no permanent collection in site, so if you go the Orange County Museum of Art you are going to see the current exhibit.  They also have a nice looking space for performances.  No museum cafe or restaurant.  Parking was free and easy.

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