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John Divola, N34°07.324' W115°49.825', 1995-1998/ 2011, HP Vivera Pigmented Inks on Epson Exhibition Fiber Paper, 19 x 19 in. (48.3 x 48.3 cm), The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Gift of Bruce and Nancy Berman.

John Divola, N34°07.324' W115°49.825', 1995-1998/ 2011, HP Vivera Pigmented Inks on Epson Exhibition Fiber Paper, 19 x 19 in. (48.3 x 48.3 cm), The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. Gift of Bruce and Nancy Berman. © John Divola

Lonesome Crowded West: Works from MOCA's Collection

The historian Clyde Milner has written that the American West is “an idea that became a place.” Indeed, the “West” is both a reality and a cultural concept that has been used to optimistic and opportunistic ends; it has stood as an allegory for rugged American individualism, signaling possibility and expansion, but also for the stark reality of settler-colonial exploitation. Given this thorny legacy, what should a picture of the West look like today? The artists in this exhibition respond to this question from a multiplicity of perspectives, tracing the contours of the American West through individual stories and collective histories, and through reflection on climate and the tension between the built and natural environment. Speaking with a plurality of voices, they ask not so much what the West means, but rather what it is, and what it can mean to be in.

Lonesome Crowded West: Works from MOCA’s Collection
is organized by Rebecca Lowery, Associate Curator, with Anastasia Kahn, Curatorial Assistant, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. 

Exhibitions at MOCA are supported by the MOCA Fund for Exhibitions with generous funding provided by Judith Angerman, Earl and Shirley Greif Foundation, Nathalie Marciano and Julie Miyoshi.