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LACMA's 2013 Collectors Committee adds nine objects to the museum's collection
Julio Le Parc, Mural: Cercles Virtuelles, 1964-1966. Wood, aluminum, stainless steel, and polished metal, 80 x 165 1/4 x 14 in. ©Julio Le Parc. Photo 2013 Museum Associates/LACMA.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art announces the acquisition of nine artworks through the museum’s 28th annual Collectors Committee fundraiser. A diverse range of objects have been added to the museum’s permanent collection, including one of the oldest surviving wood sculptures from Africa, carbon dated to the 15th century. The acquisition, made possible in part by LACMA trustees Kelvin Davis and Bobby Kotick, emphasizes the museum’s newly invigorated African art program which launches this summer with new permanent gallery space. Six additional artworks—a 10th-century Korean Buddha and 12th-century Japanese Mountain Avatar, as well as modern and contemporary pieces by Thomas Demand, Susan Hefuna, Julio Le Parc, and James Turrell—rounded out the objects acquired by the committee.

Topping off the gala event, sponsor JPMorgan announced gifts of a photograph from Robert Frank’s series The Americans and a portfolio of seventy-five works on paper by Ed Ruscha, Stains.

“The legacy of Collectors Committee Weekend continues to measurably strengthen the museum’s diverse collections,” commented Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director. “The acquisition of the 15thcentury Mother and Child Figure for the Gwan Association, from the Republic of Mali, gives particular emphasis to our growing commitment to the arts of Africa.” He continued, “The acquisition of all of these impressive artworks is made possible with the invaluable support of the Collectors Committee members, led by Collectors Committee Chair Ann Colgin and Acquisitions Chair, Lynda Resnick. We are also grateful to sponsor JPMorgan for their support of the event.”

Spanning two days, Collectors Committee Weekend is one of the museum’s most significant fundraising events of the year and has played an essential role in acquiring important works of art for every area of its encyclopedic collection. Throughout its twenty-eight-year history, this event has made 193 acquisitions through donations totaling more than $28 million. At the 2013 Collectors Committee Weekend, the seventy-seven voting members raised more than $3.2 million—a Collectors Committee record. For the fifth consecutive year, LACMA Trustee Ann Colgin led the weekend efforts as Chair of Collectors Committee, along with fellow Trustee and Acquisitions Committee Chair, Lynda Resnick.

The 2013 festivities began on Friday, April 12, with exclusive dinners for Collectors Committee members in the homes of seven LACMA trustees, each prepared by celebrity chefs and paired with wines presented by renowned California vintners (see below for full list). On Saturday, LACMA curators presented artworks proposed for acquisition; at the annual Collectors Committee Gala on Saturday night, members enjoyed a dinner prepared by chef Joachim Splichal (Patina Group) and voted on which artworks to acquire.

“I am thrilled with the results from the 28th annual Collectors Committee Weekend,” said Ann Colgin. “The commitment and support for the event grows each year, and it is unbelievable to see so many talented and generous people come together for such an important cause. I’m grateful to the chefs and vintners for preparing exquisite dining experiences on Friday evening, to the LACMA curators who dedicate their expertise toward building the museum’s collection, and to the many members of Collectors Committee who made this weekend such a success.”

“JPMorgan has a long legacy in the arts and a deep appreciation for the power art has to inspire,” said Lee Hutter, Managing Director at J.P. Morgan Private Bank. ”We are immensely proud to support LACMA and to donate works by Robert Frank and Ed Ruscha to its permanent collection.”

Funds for the acquisitions were raised by Collectors Committee membership dues with additional funds provided by individual members (noted below); prior to voting, another $484,000 was raised by a live auction featuring artworks, trips, and one-of-a-kind experiences (see below for details). LACMA Trustee Viveca Paulin-Ferrell served as auctioneer.

Acquired Artworks
Artworks acquired through the 2013 Collectors Committee include:

· The first African sculpture to be acquired in Collectors Committee history is a Mother and Child Figure for the Gwan Association, Republic of Mali, Bamana Peoples (1432-1644). Carbon-dated to the 15th century, this work is one of the oldest surviving wood sculptures from Africa. The figure embodies continuity of generations and represents the strength and resilience of motherhood. This important acquisition marks the launching of LACMA’s new African art gallery and related educational and outreach programming. The gallery’s inaugural exhibition will be Shaping Power: Luba Masterworks from the Royal Museum for Central Africa, on view from July 7, 2013 to January 5, 2014. Gift of the 2013 Collectors Committee with additional funds provided by Kelvin Davis and Bobby Kotick.

· Mountain Avatar (Zaō Gongen) (c. 1180), a Japanese sculpture in wood of a Shinto deity with three crystal eyes that retains its original colors and surface from the late twelfth century: it is the oldest and finest sculpture of its type in existence. Gift of the 2013 Collectors Committee.

· A rare Korean cast iron Buddha sculpture from the tenth century Goryeo dynasty depicting the historical Buddha Shakyamuni’s Enlightenment at Bodha Gaya in India; this acquisition makes this the largest example of Goryeo Buddhist sculpture outside of Asia. Gift of the 2013 Collectors Committee.

· Julio Le Parc, Mural: Virtual Circles (Mural Cercles Virtuelles, 1964–66), a visually complex geometric sculpture. Seen from the front, the work is deceptively static, but with just a slight displacement from the viewer it becomes fully activated. The work is
paradigmatic of Le Parc’s visual experimentations with kinetic and optical effects, as well as his life-long interest in viewer participation. Purchased with funds provided by Debbie and Mark Attanasio, Jane and Marc Nathanson, Jane and Terry Semel, the Loreen Arbus Foundation, Alyce Woodward Oppenheimer, Janet Dreisen Rappaport and Herb Rappaport and an anonymous donor through the 2013 Collectors Committee.

· Roden Crater Model (Large Overall Site)(1985-87), a full scale model of James Turrell’s ongoing project, Roden Crater. This model is made from plaster as well as elements from the crater itself and includes details of the geologic contours, textures, and colors of the Arizona site in relation to the exterior of artist’s planned transformations. LACMA will present a major retrospective of the artist’s work this summer, James Turrell: A Retrospective, May 26, 2013—April 6, 2014. Purchased with funds provided by Suzanne Deal Booth and David G. Booth, Paul Fleming, Suzanne and Ric Kayne, and Pamela and Jarl Mohn through the 2013 Collectors Committee.

· Thomas Demand's Control Room (2011) shows the interior of the Daiichi power plant in Fukushima following the East Japan earthquake and tsunami, based on a cell-phone snapshot, recreated by the artist as a full-size paper model, and then photographed. Purchased with funds provided by Willow Bay and Bob Iger and Steve Tisch through the 2013 Collectors Committee.

· Woman behind Mashrabiya I (1997) by Egyptian-German artist Susan Hefuna depicts the elusive silhouette of a woman in full hejab behind a mashrabiya, a latticed wood window screen characteristic of traditional Islamic architecture. Hefuna’s use of the mashrabiya not only reflects her own personal East-West dichotomy, but also serves as a reminder that our visual perceptions are often culturally encoded. Gift of Ann Colgin and Joe Wender, Kelvin Davis, John and Carolyn Diemer, Andy Gordon and Carlo Brandon, Deborah McLeod, and David and Mary Solomon through the 2013 Collectors Committee.

· A photograph by Robert Frank, St. Francis and Gas Station, and City Hall—Los Angeles (c. 1955, printed 1977), an exemplary work from Frank’s iconic series The Americans, taken during the photographer’s tour of the United States during the 1950s. Gift of JPMorgan Chase through the 2013 Collectors Committee.

· Ed Ruscha’s Stains (1969), a portfolio of seventy-five distinct mixed-media stains on paper, plus one on the inside cover of the portfolio case. Gift of JPMorgan Chase through the 2013 Collectors Committee.

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