The Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) is a modern and contemporary art museum located in Santa Ana, California, in a temporary location at South Coast Plaza Village. The museum’s collection has about 4,500 works, with a focus on California and Pacific Rim art from the early twentieth century to the present. Traditional paintings, sculptures, and photography are on display, as well as contemporary media in the form of video, digital, and installation art.
The Orange County Museum of Art has organized contemporary art exhibitions, such as the first surveys of Vija Celmins (1980), Chris Burden (1988), and Tony Cragg (1990), as well as major exhibitions of work by Lari Pittman (1983), Gunther Forg (1989), Charles Ray (1990), Guillermo Kuitca (1992), Bill Viola (1997), Inigo Manglano-Ovalle (2003), Catherine Opie (2006), Mary Heilmann (2007), and Jack (2012).
Objectives: The New Sculpture (1990), which featured the work of Grenville Davey, Katharina Fritsch, Robert Gober, Jeff Koons, Annette Lemieus, Juan Muoz, Julian Opie, and Haim Steinbach; Girls’ Night Out (2003), which featured the work of Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Elina Brotherus, Dorit Cypis, Rineke Dijkstra, Katy Grannan, Sarah Jones.
The museum has also organized and hosted modern art and design exhibitions such as Edvard Munch: Expressionist Paintings, 1900-1940 (1983), The Interpretive Link: Abstract Surrealism into Abstract Expressionism: Works on Paper, 1938-1948 (1986), and The Figurative Fifties: New York Figurative Expressionism (1986). (1988),
American Modern: Design for a New Age, 1925-1940 (2001), Modern Masterpieces from the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, from Picasso to Pollock (2004), Birth of the Cool: Art, Design, and Culture at Midcentury (2007), and Illumination: The Paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe, Agnes Pelton, Agnes Martin, and Florence Miller Pierce (2009).
The California Biennial, which focuses on rising artists in the state, was founded by the Museum in 1984. In 2013, the initiative expanded into the California-Pacific Triennial, the Western Hemisphere’s first ongoing show exclusively to contemporary art from the Pacific Rim. The museum has collaborated on exhibitions with the Renaissance Society, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Grey Art Gallery, and its exhibits have moved to over 30 museums in the United States and Europe. Kutlug Ataman: Paradise (2007), Mary Heilmann: To Be Someone (2012), Jack Goldstein x 10,000 (2012), and Richard Jackson: Ain’t Painting a Pain (2012) are among these initiatives (2013).
History of the collection
Early and Mid-Century Modernism, Bay Area Figuration, Assemblage, California Light and Space, Pop Art, Minimalism, and Installation Art are among the museum’s primary holdings. John Baldessari, Elmer Bischoff, Jessica Bronson, Chris Burden, Vija Celmins, Bruce Conner, Richard Diebenkorn, Robert Irwin, Helen Lundeberg, Stanton Macdonald-Wright, John McCracken, John McLaughlin, Catherine Opie, Alan Rath, Charles Ray, Edward Ruscha, and Bill Viola are among the artists represented.
Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Lee Bul, Katy Grannan, Joseph Grigely, Glenn Ligon, Christian Marclay, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, Marjetica Potrc, David Reed, Daniela Rossell, and Lorna Simpson are among the artists represented in the Museum’s worldwide holdings.
Next Point of Interest: Orange County Great Park