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Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Debuts Four Summer Exhibits

Storied artists and up-and-comers display their pieces in time for the solstice


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Chimera | Photo courtesy of Thomas Glassford

Prospect 2019

June 21–November 3

Every year, MCASD puts on Prospect, an exhibit of artwork it’s considering adding to its permanent collection, staged side-by-side with existing pieces to see how well they might align with the institution’s current direction. New contemporary artists from around the world are represented every year, like Mexico City–based Thomas Glassford (Chimera), who’s known for creating shining, pliable-looking organic forms out of Plexiglas, cement, steel, and other heavy metals. MCASD’s International Collectors donor group makes the first recommendations about which pieces the museum should purchase, supported by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture and the County of San Diego Community Enhancement Fund.

 

More Like a Forest: Paintings and Sculptures by Richard Allen Morris

June 21–November 3

Richard Allen Morris started making art in San Diego in 1956, and his work has been exhibited throughout California and Germany nearly every year since. Perhaps fitting for the town that would begin hosting Comic-Con a few years later, a series of his early portraits from 1968 to 1970 are bright, exaggerated caricatures, like Quentin.

In contrast with this playful side, Morris has a reputation as somewhat of a curmudgeon and a strident anticapitalist—but not without reason. Like many artists, it’s been a challenge for him to find stable, affordable studio space. Last year, soaring rent costs forced him to move out of the basement studio he’d lived in for over 30 years, and sell or destroy most of the work he’d stored there.

But as they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Many of his pieces repurpose his own earlier work, and his most monumental collection is a direct result of gentrification: In 1988 he collected wooden debris from a demolished building near his studio and painstakingly assembled it into 39 new forms that were—as a poet described it at the time, lending this exhibit its title—“not a building but more like a forest or a grove of trees.”

 

Photo courtesy of Shoshana and Wayne Blank

Marnie Weber: Songs That Never Die and Other Stories

June 21–November 3

Once you see an installation by LA-based Marnie Weber, you’ll never mistake her art for anyone else’s. Her grotesque style—in the classical sense of mixing human and animal features—always falls on a spectrum between humorously spooky and horrifying, like a children’s TV show wardrobe department broke into a Victorian gothic dollhouse. Weber has had an extremely prolific career, including feature-length film and albums of experimental music, often as the lead singer of The Spirit Girls, a band whose lore claims they were all killed before they had a chance to become famous and now rock on as ghosts. Songs That Never Die is a video installation that tells their story.

 

June 21–September 22

To Do · A Mending Project

A series of workshops by artists Michelle Montjoy, Anna O’Cain, and Siobhán Arnold, To Do · A Mending Project focuses on repair in the face of a socially divided country—literal repair of clothing, figurative repair of community and personal well-being.

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