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MOCA Publishes New Book about Contemporary Art for Young Audiences

Los Angeles – The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA), announces the publication of a new children’s book about contemporary art, titled ‘Breaking the Rules: What is Contemporary Art?’. Written by award winning author Susan Rubin, the 64-page hardcover book is the first to make the museum’s world-renowned permanent collection accessible to young audiences (ages 8–12). It provides an introduction to the work of 25 contemporary artists represented in the museum’s collection, including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Alighiero Boetti, Chris Burden, Maurizio Cattelan, Vija Celmins, Thomas Demand, Rineke Dijkstra, Peter Doig, Victor Estrada, Llyn Foulkes, Felix Gonzales-Torres, Andreas Gursky, Mike Kelley, Barbara Kruger, Gordon Matta-Clark, Claes Oldenburg, Gabriel Orozco, Damian Ortega, Tony Oursler, Robert Rauschenberg, Charles Ray, Nancy Rubins, Edward Ruscha, Jim Shaw, and Atsuko Tanaka. Designed to encourage young readers to expand their understanding of what art is and how it can be made and interpreted, ‘Breaking the Rules: What is Contemporary Art?’ features full-color reproductions of paintings, sculpture, photography, and installations accompanied by artists’ quotes and lively, engaging text. Artist biographies, a bibliography, and a resource for locating contemporary art nationally are also included.

MOCA“Breaking the Rules fills a gap in the kind of art presented to young audiences,” said MOCA Director of Education Suzanne Isken. “While art books for children about Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein multiply, texts about the more contemporary artists are few and far between. ‘Breaking the Rules’ expands the cannon and includes leading contemporary female artists as well as a multicultural group of some of the most groundbreaking and exciting artists of our time.”

MOCA’s permanent collection is comprised of nearly 6,000 works of art created since 1940 in all visual media, including masterpieces of abstract expressionism and pop art as well as inspiring new works by artists from around the world. ‘Breaking the Rules: What is Contemporary Art?’ explores some of the most intriguing works in the museum’s holdings, leading young audiences to examine the creative processes of artists working today—processes which often expand beyond the confines of museum or gallery walls and “break the rules” of traditional fine art. Inviting readers to think outside the norm and look for new ways to interpret and create the world around them, ‘Breaking the Rules: What is Contemporary Art?’ demonstrates that drawing with pencil, painting with paint, and sculpting with clay have been updated to include practices such as silk-screening with chocolate, sculpting with candy, and drawing with construction tools.

“Building on the popularity of MOCA’s permanent collection catalogue for adults titled ‘This Is Not To Be Looked At: Highlights from the Permanent Collection of The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)’,’ Breaking the Rules’ utilizes the breadth of the museum’s holdings to capture the imagination of children and educate them about the possibilities for the making and the meanings of contemporary art,” said MOCA Chief Executive Officer Charles E. Young. “This is one of several important educational offerings presented by MOCA that creates meaningful and lasting relationships between contemporary art and a very important audience—future artists and museum visitors and supporters.”

MOCA will donate 200 copies of ‘Breaking the Rules: What is Contemporary Art?’ to Los Angeles County schools through the museum’s Contemporary Art Start (CAS) program. Generous support for Breaking the Rules: What is Contemporary Art? was provided by The MOCA Projects Council. All proceeds from the sale of this publication support the museum. It is available for $14.95 at all MOCA Store locations or online at

Image: ‘Breaking the Rules: What is Contemporary Art? Children’s book, MOCA

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