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    MOCA Los Angeles: the LA museum of contemporary art

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    Lluis Enric Mayans

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    If you love contemporary art or are in any case fascinated and intrigued by the creativity of contemporary artists, you cannot miss a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art of Los Angeles, one of the most important contemporary art museums in the world. Admission is free for the next few years: don't miss this opportunity!

    PS: if you are interested in other types of attractions, read our article on what to visit in Los Angeles.


    • What is Los Angeles MOCA
    • Where is it and how to get there
    • Tickets and Opening Hours
    • Why visit and what to see
    • Where to sleep in the area

    What is Los Angeles MOCA

    The MOCA is the contemporary art museum of the city of angels. Opened in 1979, its main office is the MOCA Grand which is located in Downtown Los Angeles. The building was designed by architect Arata Isozaki and inaugurated in 1986. It houses the main collections, a bar, a shop and the staff offices.

    A second office is located in Little Tokyo, also in Los Angeles, and is the MOCA Geffen Contemporary. The building was designed by Frank Gehry, the same architect as the nearby Walt Disney Concert Hall, and opened in 1983. This location offers an exhibition space of 1.200 square meters.

    Finally, the MOCA considers its third location to be a work of landscape art purchased in 1985: the Double Negative (1969) by the artist Michael Heizer. Located in the Nevada desert, it is a work of landscape architecture that includes two large artificial canyons that follow the natural slope of the terrain. To understand its meaning we can translate the words of the artist "There is nothing here, yet it is still a sculpture". As in all contemporary works of art, the true meaning can then really be found in the sensations that the work evokes in us.

    In 2001 the MOCA Pacific Design Center at 8687 Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. A stunning Charles Cohen building with over 100 international showrooms and a 230.000 square meter campus. The opening exhibition, Superflat, was by Takashi Murakami. Cohen guaranteed MOCA free use of the spaces and coverage of management costs for 20 years. However, the partnership between MOCA and the Pacific Design Center has come to an end and therefore today the PDC is no longer considered one of the MOCA headquarters.

    Where is it and how to get there

    The MOCA as mentioned currently has three locations: the MOCA Grand, the MOCA Geffen and Double Negative.

    • Il MOCA Grand is located at 250 South Grand Avenue in Los Angeles.
      • If you are by car the closest parking is the California Plaza at 351 South Olive Street. The cost is $ 11.50 on weekends and evenings, while during the week the price varies up to a daily maximum of $ 40.50. Payable metered parking can also be found on Grand Avenue.
      • If you are in bus the best stop is between Hope Street and 3rd Street.
      • If, on the other hand, you arrive with the metro you can get off at the Civic Center / Grand Park Station and in a few minutes walk you will reach the entrance to the MOCA Grand.
    • Il MOCA Geffen is located at 152 North Central Avenuen in the Little Tokyo neighborhood of Los Angeles.
      • If you are by car there are two car parks nearby: Parking Lot 2 at 300 East Temple Street and Parking Lot 7 at 140 North Judge John Aiso Street. Both have a flat rate of $ 9 on weekdays. The former is closed on weekends and after 16pm, when you can use the latter for $ 00. On Temple Street you can also find parking spaces payable at the parking meter.
      • The building is also easily accessible in bus with the yellow line at the stop between Temple Street and Alameda Street.
      • If you are in metro get off at Civic Center / Grand Park Station, take First Street and in about 15 minutes on foot you will reach Geffen Contemporary.
    • Il Double Negative is located in the desert of Moapa valley on Mormon Mesa near Overton in Nevada. From Los Angeles, therefore, it is about 7 hours by car. Being in the desert, the official website of the MOCA suggests informing someone about your trip, not to travel alone and obviously to bring water and food. In addition, he strongly recommends the use of a 4 × 4 vehicle as the last 45 minutes of the journey are on an unpaved road.
      From Los Angeles you have to go to the town of Overton. At that point, take Cooper Street, then Airport Road to the top of the mesa where a dirt road begins. Do not turn on the roads to the right or left, but walk the mesa for 2.6 miles. At this point, take the small road on the left and continue north for 1.3 miles where the view of the work opens up in front of you at a fork. Double Negative (1969).

    To better organize yourself, you can read our guides on:

    • Getting around in Los Angeles
    • How to rent a car in Los Angeles

    Tickets and Opening Hours

    Thanks to a major donation in 2019 of $ 10 million from museum council chairman Carolyn Clark, access to the museum is free and will remain so until 2024. This rule does not apply to special exhibits to visit which require a $ 18 ticket.

    • Il MOCA Grand it is open from Thursday to Sunday from 11:00 to 17:00.
    • Il MOCA Geffen it is open from Thursday to Sunday from 11:00 to 17:00.
    • Il Double Negative it is always open at any time and is obviously free, even if, as mentioned, it requires a special trip to see it and it is not easy to reach.

    Why visit and what to see

    Of the Los Angeles museums, MOCA is the only one to have been entirely funded by a group of artists. Many works have also been donated by the artists themselves. Today, with over 7000 pieces, the museum houses one of the most important collections of contemporary art with international artists and works from 1940 to today.

    In addition to the permanent collections, there are numerous temporary exhibitions by contemporary artists from various parts of the world. If you are in Los Angeles and are fascinated by contemporary art, this museum is an interesting stop to dedicate a few hours to. The head office is located in downtown Los Angeles, is easily accessible and admission is free - a combination of reasons why it is worth a visit!

    Where to sleep in the area

    The MOCA Grand is located in Downtown Los Angeles so it won't be difficult to find the right place to spend the night, but I recommend you read our article on where to sleep in Los Angeles to get a better idea of ​​which neighborhood to choose.

    Our tips on where to sleep in Los Angeles

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