The return of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

 I have been low-key stalking this museum since it closed for renovations about fifty years ago (it seems). Whenever I am in La Jolla, I would drive or walk by, certain that it was secretly open and the global art cabal was keeping it from me.  It is open! At last!

The La Jolla campus of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego ( has expanded gallery space with more outdoor features to take advantage of the amazing view.  There is an outer balcony and also a garden that overlooks beach.

The exterior from Prospect Street seems modest.  That is because the floors cascade down the hill  overlooking Coast Boulevard.  Most of the galleries are very open with high ceilings.  A lot of contemporary art is big!  The gallery walls can probably accommodate anything from Dana Schutz to Ansley Kiefer. There are also some smaller, more intimate spaces for less monumental works.

The temporary exhibit features the work of Nikki de Saint Phalle, who has a strong connection to the La Jolla area.  The exhibit focuses on her work from the 1960’s, which is much more thematically dark than her more familiar colorful, large, rounded female forms.

The permanent collection has good representation of women artists, Hispanic artists and artists from the Southern California area, including the Light  and Space movement from Los Angeles.

Even if you aren’t too interested in art, it is great to enjoy the spaces and look out to sea.  If you are interested in contemporary art, many notable artists are represented such as Oldenburg, Warhol and Kusama.  You won’t be disappointed.


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