After over 30 years of living in Los Angeles, brothers Maurice and Paul Marciano—the minds behind iconic fashion brand GUESS—decided it was time to share their passion for contemporary art in a broader way. It was a natural evolution for the duo who moved from the South of France to the West Coast in 1981.
Since 2006, these avid visitors of art galleries and auction houses have collected works from the 1990s to the present day. Along the way, they met with artists such as Ed Ruscha in their studio and explored L.A.’s booming creative scene.
In 2013, the Marcianos took another step forward and bought the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple building on Wilshire Boulevard, with the idea of transforming it into a contemporary art foundation to make their now extensive collection of 1,500 paintings, sculptures, photographs, works on paper, installations, performances, films and digital works available to the public.
Louise Bourgeois, Pia Camil, Damien Hirst, Urs Fischer, Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons, Gabriel Kuri, Ed Ruscha, Gerhard Richter, Gabriel Orozco and Ai Weiwei are some of the many artists whose work is regularly on view in the permanent exhibition.
Shown for the first time in Los Angeles at the Marciano Art Foundation, the sculptural installation “With All My Love For The Tulips, I Pray Forever” (2011) by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama offers an immersive experience, where oversize, flower-potted tulips made from fiberglass-reinforced plastic are painted with red dots that also cover the entirety of the floor, ceiling, and walls in a poetic and visually powerful way.
Temporary shows also regularly take place at the foundation, such as “Life Cycle” (2018) by Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, on view through March 3. Featuring a massive installation in the form of a boat, with figures crafted from bamboo and silk, and 49 tons of individual porcelain sunflower seeds, this exhibition deals with the global refugee crisis and related human rights themes.
Thanks to its rich programming, the Marciano Art Foundation seeks to awaken interest in contemporary art and a better understanding of the social and political issues artists are addressing through their work. marcianoartfoundation.org
PHOTOGRAPHS: (CLOCKWISE) YAYOI KUSAMA’S ARTWORK WITH ALL MY LOVE FOR THE TULIPS, I PRAY FOREVER (2011): CHARLES WHITE / JWPICTURES.COM, COURTESY MARCIANO ART FOUNDATION. © YAYOI KUSAMA; YOSHIHIRO MAKINO, COURTESY OF WHY AND MARCIANO ART FOUNDATION (EXTERIOR); INSTALLATION VIEW OF AI WEIWEI: LIFE CYCLE, SEPTEMBER 28, 2018–MARCH 3, 2019, AT THE MARCIANO ART FOUNDATION, LOS ANGELES. COURTESY THE ARTIST AND MARCIANO ART FOUNDATION. PHOTO BY JOSHUA WHITE/JWPICTURES.COM.