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Much-anticipated museum begins previews of long-hidden paintings, sculptures
Richard Diebenkorn, Albuquerque #9, 1952. Oil on canvas, 68 3/4 x 60 in. ©2018, Richard Diebenkorn Foundation. The Buck Collection at the UCI Institute and Museum for California Art.


IRVINE, CA.- After months of media buzz, UCI’s Institute and Museum for California Art begins taking shape this fall with special exhibits of never publicly seen masterpieces, lectures and other events.

“We are creating a world-class museum and research oasis to study and enjoy the rich expanse of California art,” said Stephen Barker, dean of UCI’s Claire Trevor School of the Arts and executive director of IMCA. “California artists use light and space in ways unheard of in Europe, New York or anywhere else. We’re thrilled to get underway.”

Kicking things off is a “First Glimpse” exhibit of 50 long-hidden paintings and sculptures from The Buck Collection, donated to UCI in 2017. Southern California developer Gerald Buck quietly bought and stockpiled the most comprehensive private trove of California modern art in the world, according to dealers and curators, comprising a who’s who of such powerhouses as Richard Diebenkorn, David Park, Joan Brown, Ed Ruscha and Wayne Thiebaud.

Unearthing the pieces and deciding which to display first “was incredible, like a treasure hunt,” said Kevin Appel, UCI chair and professor of art, who co-curated the show along with Barker and art history professor Cecile Whiting.

IMCA received another collection of seminal California art from The Irvine Museum, courtesy of James Irvine Swinden, in 2016. His mother, Joan Irvine Smith, had compiled the 1,200 works in just two years, intent on preserving impressionist paintings of landscapes that have often since been lost to development.

More art will go on exhibit in 2019, when IMCA opens a 15,000-square-foot interim home in UCI Research Park. Ultimately, both collections will return to campus to live in IMCA’s permanent quarters, an iconic building close to the spot where famed architect William Pereira foresaw a museum in his original blueprints. The facility will take several years to plan, finance and build.

Once the institute is open, every school will be part of it – from chemists analyzing paint molecules to neurobiologists testing memory via images to social scientists and historians exploring cultural movements.

Art lovers can enjoy three IMCA shows – all free – over the next few months:

At UCI, “First Glimpse: Introducing The Buck Collection” will preview a selection of the 3,200 paintings and sculptures bequeathed to the campus by the trust of Buck. The works are on view from noon to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, Sept. 29 through Jan. 5, in the University Art Gallery and Contemporary Arts Center Gallery.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a series of talks by artists represented in The Buck Collection, including Chuck Arnoldi and Peter Alexander on Oct. 25, Billy Al Bengston on Nov. 13 and Helen Pashgian on Dec. 6.

Across town will be two displays of pieces from The Irvine Museum Collection: “Drawing on the Past: Works on Paper,” which runs through Nov. 1, and “Upon a Painted Ocean: An Ode to the California Coast,” from Nov. 10 through March 30. The museum, at 18881 Von Karman Ave., is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.





Today's News

September 28, 2018

'Victor Vasarely. In the Labyrinth of Modernism' opens at the Stadel Museum

The most beautiful pastel ever seen: The Chocolate Girl by Jean-Étienne Liotard is focus of exhibition

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston acquires Howard Greenberg Collection of Photographs

Mitsubishi Corporation Japanese Galleries reopen at the British Museum

Wooden library lures bookworms outside Beijing

Andre Fu designs the interiors for the newly opened art gallery Perrotin in Shanghai Bund

Sotheby's to offer the painting that brought Jenny Saville to international acclaim

Peter Blum Gallery opens an exhibition of sculptural works by Joyce J. Scott

Golden-age glitterati return on canvas to old Lebanon hotel

Uncannily Real: A major special exhibition on Italian painting of the 1920s on display at Museum Folkwang

White Cube opens a major exhibition of work by Doris Salcedo

Much-anticipated museum begins previews of long-hidden paintings, sculptures

Phillips to offer early French masterworks from The Hyman Collection

Forests and Spirits: figurative art from the Khartoum school on view at the Saatchi Gallery

Freelands Foundation opens an exhibition of emerging painters from UK art schools

Hicks Gallery opens exhibition of works by Marco and Jacob Crivello

A solo exhibition by Jwan Yosef entitled Come September premieres at The Goss-Michael Foundation

Apple-1 computer fetches $375,000 at auction

Firstsite, Colchester opens a major commission by Raqs Media Collective

Poly Gallery opens He Duoling's first exhibition in Hong Kong

The Mosaic Rooms opens the first UK exhibition dedicated to Behjat Sadr

Neuer Berliner Kunstverein opens an exhibition of works by Geta Brătescu

Delfina Foundation opens a fiction film installation by Noor Afshan Mirza and Brad Butler

Smithsonian American Art Museum opens first major retrospective of an artist born into slavery

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