40 YEARS OF LIGHT

April 24 2021- April 3, 2022

Sculptural, kinetic, and atmospheric works from the MONA collection and collective. A group exhibition featuring the work of Brian Coleman, Candice Gawne, Cork Marcheschi, Craig Kraft, David Otis Johnson, David Svenson, Eric Zimmerman, Kunio Ohashi, Linda Sue Price, Maurice Gray, Michael Flechtner, Ray Howlett, Shun-Lo Huang, Stephen Antonakos, Wayne Strattman, and William Shipman.

The exhibition 40 Years Of Light: Works From The MONA Collection & Collective showcases the diversity of light-based artists MONA has fostered and displayed over the Museum’s existence, featuring 16 artists who create sculptural, kinetic, and atmospheric works that engage light. For the past 40 years, the Museum of Neon Art has been a haven for artists who valued experimental approaches toward luminous, electric, and kinetic artwork. The exhibition shares about the reemergence of neon art in the 1970s and the role artists who exhibited at MONA played in the cannon of luminous artwork. When MONA was founded in Los Angeles in 1981, it was the only museum dedicated to preserving neon, electric, and kinetic art. In a time when the city was losing its glow and neon sign shops were losing their customers, the museum aimed to protect neon as a form of both vernacular art and fine art. Now in the museum’s 40th year, neon is seeing a new renaissance. Contemporary artists, benders, craftspeople, and enthusiasts see the light and honor the skill, craftpersonship, and historic legacy of this unique art-form.

This exhibition displays artworks from the 1980s through 2020 and honors the range of approaches toward light. Artwork by community members who continue to shape MONA’s vision and push toward experimentation are exhibited alongside works from the museum’s permanent collection. The exhibition illustrates neon’s dynamic and varied legacy, as well as the ways that MONA itself represents a sum of the contributions of its vibrant community. MONA continues to exist as an artist-run museum made strong by each unique individual who has shared threads of their light and vision to make a bright path forward for critical thought, experimentation, and artistic innovation.The exhibition showcases works by artists Brian Coleman, Candice Gawne, Cork Marcheschi, Craig Kraft, David Otis Johnson, David Svenson, Eric Zimmerman, Kunio Ohashi, Linda Sue Price, Maurice Gray, Michael Flechtner, Ray Howlett, Stephen Antonakos, Tsai Ten-Chin, Wayne Strattman and William Shipman.