The permanent collection is central to the identity of a museum. Through the act of acquiring a work of art and the subsequent care and interpretation of that item, museums help preserve the past and author the future.
The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego has deliberately yet adventurously charted recent art history, not only through its exhibitions but also through its holdings. Today, with more than fifty years of active collecting, MCASD boasts prime examples of the major currents in art from the last half of the 20th century.
With an eye toward highlighting the success and seriousness of its efforts to collect representative works from the post-war period, the Museum will present a series of rotating exhibitions called Iconic. Though modest in size, these focused exhibitions nonetheless embody major movements, sensibilities, and developments in recent art. These shows, which will emphasize painting and sculpture, will be presented in the Colette and Ivor Royston Gallery on the second floor of the 1001 Kettner Building, a spacious and sky-lit gallery that showcases objects to excellent effect.
The first exhibition, Iconic I: Gifts from the Kondon-Giesberger Collection, looks at the evolution of abstraction as a central issue of the post-1950 period. The exhibition will feature works from the Museum’s holdings, including a first look at select works from the Kondon-Giesberger bequest. This gift is comprised of 30 important works of contemporary art donated by the late Dr. Vance Kondon and Elisabeth Giesberger, and is one of the most significant gifts of artwork in MCASD’s history. It includes pieces by Robert Ryman, Roy Lichtenstein, Brice Marden, Franz Kline, Richard Serra, and Piero Manzoni. When presented alongside other selections from the Museum’s permanent collection, the grouping eloquently represents a fertile period for abstraction and helps demonstrate the rich spectrum of abstract options open to artists of the period.
Iconic I: Gifts from the Konden-Giesberger Collection is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Related programs are supported by grants from the James Irvine Foundation Arts Innovation Fund and the County of San Diego Enhancement Fund. Institutional support for MCASD is provided, in part, by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.