All of you art lovers out there, brace yourselves, because William Leavitt – one of the most famous first-generation conceptual artists – is finally having a solo exhibition at the MOCA. Even if you don’t know who he is but you enjoy observing reality with a twist of illusion, then you will be incredibly entertained by the exhibition of Leavitt’s work.

This huge solo exhibit contains 90 works from the artist, produced between the years 1969 until today, in his 40 years as an artist. Well-laid out in the exhibition space, expect to see just about anything from pastel works to paintings to large installations you only see in a theater or on stage. A truly multifaceted artist, you can also view collections of photographs and drawings of performances from the late ’60s to the present.

Leavitt is the master of creating pieces that overflow with stillness, making the installations seem so close to being lifelike that it creates an illusion. Inspired by Los Angeles’ play between nature and artifice, Leavitt loves and explores “the theater of the ordinary” as his works are ordinary and theatrical at the same time in their own individual ways. Real, but surreal would be the perfect description for Leavitt’s work.

Color tones are definitely something to look out for in this exhibition. His works have interesting tones that resonate a feeling of the ordinary, but also give off interesting vibes that you can only feel and not quite identify. Nostalgic? Not quite, but there is something more to these works than a sense of familiarity. On the other hand, some of the pieces you just end up questioning his intentions no matter how much his work seems real. You have to see for yourself to fully grasp what I’m trying to say here. Such qualities of Leavitt’s works are what make him an intriguing artist with many faces. He is extremely versatile in his mediums and subject representations. Keen with detail, he makes it seem effortless to be so detail oriented.

Many of the works are reflective of the artist’s career in stagecraft, narrative and theater. His work contains ordinary subjects familiar to the people of Los Angeles with a sprinkle of his take and view on the city, making the pieces relatable, but questionable. I don’t know if Leavitt attaches two contradicting ideas to his pieces on purpose, but I think this artist just loves dichotomies too much – it’s quite confusing. Nonetheless, the work on display accurately shows us culture lovers that Leavitt is one of the most valuable artists to revolutionize art.

William Leavitt was born in 1941 in Washington, D.C., and began his career as a conceptual artist along with a string of other artists who rose to fame in Los Angeles during the 1960s and 1970s. Looking at his solo exhibition, you can definitely understand why he is considered one of the major contributors to conceptualism.

MOCA is located at 250 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles. For more information, visit