Alma Ruiz: Former MOCA Curator Discusses Three Decades at the Institution

MOCA Senior Curator Alma Ruiz has spent over three decades at that venerable Los Angeles museum, during which time she has exhibited some of the most influential and experimental modern and contemporary artists in the world. Ruiz is perhaps best known for two major exhibitions at MOCA that rewrote the recent history of contemporary installation art to include a Latin American perspective: 1999’s “The Experimental Exercise of Freedom” and 2010’s “Suprasensorial: Experiments in Light, Color, and Space.” The 1999 exhibition introduced Los Angeles audiences to the participatory art of Brazilian Neo-Concretists Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, while the second built on the precedents of the first in establishing a Latin American foundation for the conceptual Light and Space movement that is generally associated with California artists like James Turrell and Robert Irwin. This past March, MOCA announced Ruiz’s retirement from the museum after 31 years.

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