To New York artist David Altmejd, who just completed a large installation in a second-floor gallery, the museum’s architecture “is really hard to grasp. It’s very simple, very pure, but it sort of makes me lose my sense of orientation.”
For donor Donna Kohl, the new MOCA is “this dark, shiny, sexy thing that’s somewhat dangerous. You’ll go in not knowing what’s going to happen to you. Good architecture should make you pause; great architecture should take your breath away.”
Yet because the building is sheathed primarily in panels of reflective black stainless steel, it has a weightless, evanescent quality. It unfolds through time, like a series of Claude Monet grain-stack paintings, in which each canvas recorded the look of a very simple motif as it was transformed by changing conditions of light.