West Hollywood Is Losing Its MOCA Gallery at the PDC

The Museum of Contemporary Art will close its gallery at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood next month, bringing to a close more than 20 years of architectural and design exhibitions at the satellite location, it was announced today.

MOCA at the Pacific Design Center (Photo courtesy of the Pacific Design Center)

A jointly issued statement said “the programming agreement between the two organizations has reached the end of its term,” but did not elaborate on why it was not extended.

The alliance between MOCA and PDC, which encompassed operational, managerial and exhibition services, will end after the current exhibition, “One Day at a Time: Kahlil Joseph’s Fly Paper,” closes on Feb. 24.

Over the last two decades, the MOCA Gallery at the PDC has hosted shows by artists such as Takashi Murakami, William Kentridge, Sterling Ruby, Catherine Opie, Rodarte, Jean Prouve and Rick Owens.

“We have enjoyed a successful relationship with MOCA, and on behalf of our many showroom tenants in the design community, are appreciative of MOCA’s many wonderfully curated exhibitions,” PDC owner Charles S. Cohen said in a statement.

“We are proud of MOCA’s record of achievement at the PDC,” said Maria Seferian, chair of the museum’s board of trustees. “We are grateful for our partnership with the PDC and Charles Cohen and now look forward to consolidating and growing our exhibition activities, including presentations on architecture and design, at MOCA’s two downtown Los Angeles locations.”


13 Comments
  1. Sorry to see this easily accessible MOCA outpost moving on, but I hope there are opportunities on the horizon for similar use of the structure. As a design issue, the building does what good design is meant to do, it creates color, shape, texture and style tension in its surroundings. I think of how I.M.Pei’s glass pyramid elegantly clashes with the grand classical styles (plural intended) of its surroundings at the Louvre. Even prior to the Pei pyramid, the Louvre was built and expanded over a long period of time, incorporating multiple architectural styles. Without design tension we end up with Irvine, or worse.

    1. Appreciate your grasp of design tension Alan😁 but IM Pei did not conceive of this design to be in tension w the Cesar Pelli PDC. It most likely was conceived with the Irvine mindset.🙄 Otherwise, hopefully if will be useful in some respect.

      1. My sentence on Pei linked him as the designer of the pyramid at the Louvre and made no connection to the PDC building. My reference to Irvine was one critiquing its overwhelming architectural sameness. This building is not in architectural sameness with Pelli’s designs and I find that a bit exciting.

        1. Alan, you appeared to suggest an analogy between the Louvre/IM Pei Pyramid and compared it with Cesar Pelli’s PDC and MOCA at the PDC pointing out design tension.

          The evolution of The Louvre, as we know it today in its most recognizable Second Empire Neo-Baroque style, began in the 13th c. with a Medieval structure followed by Renaissance modifications and additions. IM Pei introduced the ancient form of a pyramid in a translucent modern interpretation without sacrificing authenticity. In your mind this suggested tension and in reality both structures carry equal weight and bring an element of timelessness.

          The MOCA at PDC does not, in my opinion present an authenticity of design in the same fashion as the Pei/Louvre scenario. Arata Isozaki designed the sandstone MOCA Downtown. There is no mention of the designer of MOCA at PDC. Thus it appears a somewhat expedient exercise as the form can be found in countless residential and commercial structures that hold little distinction. The architect or designer added too much frosting on a cake that might have otherwise been correct. A modification could be executed to achieve this. But then that is only my opinion in is simplest form.

  2. Sad to lose but new opportunities will arise. Perhaps we can work on an arrangement with the owner of the PDC to create a unique West Hollywood Archives right across from the AIDS monument.

  3. That building always looked like the utility plant bunker or telecom switching center for the PDC. Or maybe a Sheriff’s Department jail.

    I agree with Allen. I hope the PDC tears it down PDQ.

    1. Totally agree. It’s always looked odd and out of place though they could certainly use other materials to cover the exterior and add other elements, should they decide to save it.

  4. Poorly thought out. Architecture resembles an unused section of Gelson’s.
    Perhaps it could be used as temporary housing for the homeless that reside in the park.

  5. This IS sad news. In a city that prides itself in diversity. Any loss of culture or things that make our city more well-rounded, is a loss for all of us.
    Froyo, and bars are great, but art is important even if it’s not your thing…

  6. It’s an eyesore (a squat beige concrete Modernist cube with a flared top) that clashes with its architectural surroundings. I hope they tear it down and put up something more appropriate.

  7. Very sad news! I’ve lived in West Hollywood for over 21 years and have seen & enjoyed most of the shows that MOCA curated in their PDC museum space. I sincerely hope another museum or the City of West Hollywood takes over the space to curate additional shows after MOCA departs.

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