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LACMA announces nine new acquisitions during the 31st Annual Collectors Committee Weekend
Mariana Castillo Deball, Vista de Ojos2014, Incised plywood, Plate (Each): 46 7/16 × 46 7/16 × 11/16 in. (118 × 118 × 1.8 cm), © Mariana Castillo Deball, Photo courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Los Angeles County Museum of Art announces the addition of nine new acquisitions during the museum’s 31st annual Collectors Committee fundraiser. The annual Collectors Committee Weekend—led by LACMA trustee, Collectors Committee chair, and Acquisitions Committee co-chair Ann Colgin—was a two-day affair which included curator-led art presentations, private dinners at the homes of major LACMA supporters, and a gala dinner where members voted on artworks to add to the museum’s permanent collection. This year, the 90 voting members raised more than $2 million.

“Collectors Committee Weekend celebrates LACMA’s diverse collection by adding new acquisitions that will further strengthen the museum’s holdings of art, all while enjoying incredible food, wine, and good company,” said Ann Colgin. “This amazing weekend would not be possible without the support of the Friday night hosts, the incredible chefs and vintners, the donors to the auction, and the Collectors Committee members who participated in this two-day event. I am incredibly grateful for their partnership.”

“For the 31st year, art lovers and patrons gathered to help LACMA acquire nine works of art, all representing a wide range of time periods and cultures from around the world,” said Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director. “This annual event highlights a profound legacy of support for the museum and our commitment to building and caring for a world-class collection. Ann’s devotion to this weekend of art, food, and wine has generated crucial support for the continued growth and distinction of our holdings, and we are truly honored and grateful for her commitment to LACMA.”

Collectors Committee Weekend
Since 1986, Collectors Committee Weekend has been one of the museum’s most significant fundraising events of the year and continues to play an essential role in acquiring important works of art for every area of its encyclopedic collection. Throughout its 31-year history, the event has acquired 218 artworks through donations totaling more than $40 million.

Festivities began this year on the evening of Friday, April 21, with members attending one of seven dinners (details below) hosted in the private homes of major LACMA supporters, prepared in person by a celebrity chef and with wines from notable vineyards.

On the morning of Saturday, April 22, members gathered at LACMA to attend curator presentations and view the artworks proposed for addition to the permanent collection. Following the presentations and before evening voting began, Vera Lutter’s Temple of Nettuno, Paestum, XVIII: October 18, 2015 (2015) was acquired through a generous gift by LACMA trustee Kelvin Davis. At the Collectors Committee gala later that evening, emceed by LACMA trustees Ann Colgin and Ryan Seacrest, 90 members voted to select which artworks to acquire, while enjoying a special dinner prepared by Joachim Splichal (Patina) and champagne generously provided by Krug Champagne.

Funds for the artwork acquisitions were raised by Collectors Committee membership dues, with additional funds provided by individual members. Adding to the pool for acquisition funds was a short live auction, chaired by LACMA trustee Viveca Paulin-Ferrell, which brought in more than $500,000.

In addition, each year, an artist whose work is in LACMA’s collection makes an edition for Collectors Committee members who donate at the highest level. This year, artist Roni Horn created Untitled (When You See Yourself…) (2017), printed by Box and published by LACMA.

Acquired Artworks
The 2017 Collectors Committee weekend made possible the acquisition of the following artworks:

• Vera Lutter’s Temple of Nettuno, Paestum, XVIII: October 18, 2015 (2015), a large-scale photograph created by a camera obscura. This work is from a series of photographs Lutter made in Paestum, Italy, at the site of an ancient Greek city whose ruins include three relatively intact temples dating from the 5th and 6th centuries BCE. Taken on a clear bright day, the photograph features an inky black sky as a result of its negative-positive reversal, while the sharp level of detail enabled by the dark-light contrast serves to highlight the texture of the temple’s fluted Doric columns.

Currently, Vera Lutter is in the midst of a highly ambitious residency at LACMA, photographing interior and exterior views of buildings on the museum’s campus, and working with the museum’s permanent collection.

Gift of Kelvin Davis through the 2017 Collectors Committee.

• Sonia Delaunay’s La Prose du Transsibérien et de la Petite Jehanne de France (1913), a landmark of 20th century abstraction and a radical collaboration between artist Sonia Delaunay and poet Blaise Cendrars. Known as the “first simultaneous book,” this over-six-foot-tall accordion folded work is a pairing of Delaunay’s colorful gouache and watercolor abstractions and Cendrars’s unconventional letters and poetry that celebrates the modernity of the pre-World War I years, in an imaginary story of a journey on the Trans-Siberian Railway in 1905.

Gift of the 2017 Collectors Committee.

• Kyoto River (c. 1810), a newly restored pair of eight-panel screens featuring the Hozugawa, a river located in the Arashiyama (Stormy Mountain) area of far northwest Kyoto. This pair of screens is by Yamaato Kakurei, one of the “Ten Great Disciples” of famed painter Maruyama Ōkyo (1733–1795), founder of the Maruyama School of painting of the Edo Period. In 1795, Ōkyo created a pair of screens, today registered as National Treasures, depicting the same river with vegetation and flowering plants on both sides of the river. In these screens, about 15 years later, Kakurei radically re-envisioned the river theme— eliminating all non-river elements—concentrating on only the river, its rocks, and the gold-leaf clouds and mist, to magnificent effect. These unique screens of astonishing beauty and vitality are like no other in the history of Japanese art.

Gift of the 2017 Collectors Committee.

• Hamilton Press Archive (1990–to present), which includes more than 300 lithographs by 90 artists produced at the famed Los Angeles-based Hamilton Press, founded by master printer Ed Hamilton and artist and printmaker Ed Ruscha. The Hamilton Press Archive represents a fascinating cross-section of the Venice and greater L.A. art scenes over the years and features the lithography of Ed Ruscha, Joe Goode, Ed Moses, Llyn Foulkes, Dennis Hopper, John McCracken, Billy Al Bengston, Gronk, Kenny Scharf, Robbie Conal, Raymond Pettibon, Jonas Wood, Mark Licari, Gajin Fujita, Liza Lou, and more. Hamilton Press has worked largely with local artists, thereby helping to uphold Los Angeles’s reputation as a center for lithography, and contributing to the city’s vital and innovative printmaking community. The Hamilton Press Archive will be co-acquired with the UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts at the Hammer Museum.

Gift of the 2017 Collectors Committee.

• Thunderbird House (Xeitl Hít) Screen, Small Lake Tlingit (Wooshkitaan Clan), late 19th century, a monumental heraldic screen of Sitka spruce wood panels painted with complex iconographic scenes in natural pigments created by the Tlingit people of the North Pacific Coast. This exceptionally rare and dramatic 24-foot long screen divided public areas from the private quarters of a chief’s house, and the screen’s depictions of chiefly totems formed a clan’s “crest” or heraldic symbol, referring to the clan’s history, identity, and prestige. The striking scene of this partition is dominated by Thunderbird, the avatar of thunder and lightning, shown capturing an orca surrounded by sharks—key emblems of the Wooshkitaan Eagle Clan. And their depiction—with ovoid forms, thick black outlines, a predominance of eyes, and the use of what some scholars refer to as “split representation”—is a hallmark of Tlingit artistry.

Gift of the 2017 Collectors Committee.

• Mariana Castillo Deball’s Vista de Ojos (2014) and El Donde estoy va desapareciendo (2011), a mixed-media installation comprised of two works. El Donde estoy va desapareciendo (The Where I am Is Vanishing) (2011) is a video animation bringing to light the “unsettled life” of the Codex Borgia, a pre-conquest Mesoamerican religious manuscript. Vista de Ojos (2014) is a large floor sculpture that details a series of cartographic renderings of Tenochtitlan (present day Mexico City), just 30 years after the arrival of the Spaniards—making it the earliest depiction of the region post-conquest.

Castillo Deball will be included in A Universal History of Infamy, one of LACMA’s featured exhibitions during Pacific Standard Time LA/LA. The exhibition opens on August 20, 2017.

Gift of the 2017 Collectors Committee.

• Taihu Stone, the first Chinese spirit stone to enter the museum’s collection. The Chinese tradition of collecting strange and marvelous stones—which reached its peak during the Ming dynasty (1368–1644)—focused on stones as representations of the primordial energies that created the universe, as well as a symbol of human virtues of strength and endurance. The Chinese elevated such stones to the level of the most refined works of art, and venerated them as objects of contemplation and meditation.

The Taihu Stone will be on view in the upcoming exhibition Wu Bin's Ten Views of
a Lingbi Stone, opening in the Resnick Pavilion in December 2017.

Gift of the 2017 Collectors Committee.

• Man’s Formal Court Robe (chaopao), China, Qing dynasty (1644–1911), early 18th century. This magnificent chaopao from the Kangxi reign of the Qing dynasty is composed of indigo-dyed blue silk damask patterned with dragon roundels and clouds that seamlessly transitions into areas of silk satin brocaded with colored silk- and gold-thread five-claw dragons, mythical creatures symbolizing imperial power and signaling an individual's rank. Chaopao were restricted to the Qing emperor or highest-ranking male courtiers and were worn for the most important ritual functions held within the Forbidden City. This incredible example is considered the only comparable early 18th-century chaopao outside of the Palace Museum in Beijing’s Forbidden City.

This exceptional and rare chaopao will be highlighted in a major exhibition organized by LACMA in September 2018.

Gift of the 2017 Collectors Committee with additional funds provided by an anonymous donor, Sue Tsao, and Louise and Brad Edgerton, Edgerton Foundation.

• A suite of three contemporary works for the Art of the Middle East collection, Champions and Villains: Works by Three Contemporary Iranian Artists. Shirin Neshat’s Amir (Villains) from the series The Book of Kings (2012), a photograph with tattoo-like images derived from the Shahnameh, or Book of Kings, the Iranian national epic, which tells of ancient kings and heroes; Khosrow Hassanzadeh’s Pahlavan II, Ready to Order (2008), a mixed-media box focusing on a heroic figure that provides a contemporary outlook on Iranian history, religion, and culture; and Yasmin Sinai’s The Act of Gordafarid, the Female Warrior (2015), a group of life-size sculptures interpreting the mythological story of Gordafarid, the only woman warrior of the Shahnameh.

These works will be featured in the upcoming LACMA exhibition In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art, planned for May 2018.

Gift of Lynda and Stewart Resnick through the 2017 Collectors Committee.

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