MOCRA exhibitions

MOCRA's first site-specific installation, created by Los Angeles-based artist Rebecca Niederlander, utilizes multiple elements to create an abstracted environment of color, form, and contemplative space exploring the necessary connection among ourselves, others, and the world around us.

Rebecca Niederlander: Axis Mundi exhibition logo

September 14 - December 14, 2014

    MOCRA will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, November 27.
    We will be open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the holiday weekend
    from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

     free public opening reception with the artist
     Sunday, September 14     2 - 4 p.m.
            Click here for directions and parking information for the opening reception.

General Exhibition Information
Hours:  Tues - Sun, 11 am - 4 pm
Admission:  free, with suggested donation of $5/adults, $1/students and children

Directions and Parking information
Group visit information

   Image Gallery

About the exhibition

The axis mundi is a connector between heaven and earth, a point of beginning and ending. The convergence of the four compass points, it bridges the known and unknown, the experienced and the believed. The axis mundi is a universally shared phenomenon: Norse mythology has the cosmic ash tree Yggdrasil, which unifies the nine homeworlds, while the Bodhi Tree was the site of the Buddha’s enlightenment. The Biblical tradition situates the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden.

The axis mundi serves as the unifying construct for the first site-specific installation at MOCRA, an exhibition that reflects on the communities we exist in physically and those we share existentially—our ever widening and intersecting personal and collective axes mundi—utilizing multiple elements to create an abstracted environment in which color, form and the contemplative nature of MOCRA's space work collaboratively.

Rebecca Niederlander, Rain Makes Applesauce, 2013.

        Rebecca Niederlander, Rain Makes Applesauce (detail), 2013. Unique digital print on vinyl scrim. 72 x 435 in. Image courtesy of the artist

Axis Mundi highlights significant architectural features of MOCRA’s nave gallery and emphasizes the space's original purpose as a chapel for Jesuits who studied philosophy at Saint Louis University. The exhibition centers on a tall, glistening white structure that reaches from the floor to the ceiling thirty feet above, a tether signaling our globally connected existence without referencing a specific tradition. Four wall hangings from Niederlander's Essential Drawings series, imagery initiated from detailed photographs of her physical sculptures and then redefined through continued expansion and contraction, surround the suspended structure. Finally, two of the chapel’s ten stained glass windows are exposed yet covered with translucent film so that the figural imagery of the windows is abstracted to reference the undefined and unifying light that guides humanity.

Rebecca Niederlander, There's a Nova in the Bed Next to Mine, 20099.

Rebecca Niederlander
There's a Nova in the Bed Next to Mine (detail), 2009

Installation at Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CA

Vellum paper, staples, polycarbonate, galvanized steel wire, zipties

Dimensions variable

Image courtesy of the artist

About the artist

Rebecca Niederlander grew up in St. Louis but relocated to Los Angeles in 1995. Her site-specific sculptural installations are labor-intensive abstractions that use repetition and the inherent ephemeral nature of the materials to address the individual's position within the larger intergenerational community. She is also co-founder of the social practice BROODWORK, in which she curates, writes, speaks and designs actions and objects that explore the interweaving of the creative practices and family life—in particular, parenthood. 

Recent projects have included commissioned works for the Los Angeles International Airport and the Trajector Art Fair in Brussels, Belgium, as well as BROODWORK: It’s About Time at OTIS College of Art and Design, which explored the relationship of time to the creative process and family. Niederlander is a recipient of numerous grants including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Durfee Foundation, and the Cornell University Council of Creative and Performing Arts.

Watch a TEDx talk by Rebecca Niederlander in which she discusses her activities with BROODWORK.

Rebecca Niederlander, Summer Sun, 2013.

        Rebecca Niederlander, Summer's Sun (detail), 2013. Unique digital print on vinyl scrim. 72 x 198 in. Image courtesy of the artist

Additional links

Artist website

More about BROODWORK

Interview with Rebecca Niederlander and MOCRA Director Terrence Dempsey, SJ, on "Cityscape" arts program

Axis Mundi in the media

Related events

Museum Day Live! logo

September 27, 2014     11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Click here for more information.


American Arts Experience logo

October 3 - 19, 2014         

Click here for more information.
 First Fridays logo

First Fridays in Grand Center

October 3, November 7, December 5     5 - 9 p.m.

Click here for more information.
Higher purpose. Greater good.
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