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SMMoA Presents Abundance and Devotion: The Art of Miriam Wosk Exhibition Catalog

Release Date: January 09, 2013

SANTA MONICA, CA—Santa Monica Museum of Art has published a comprehensive catalog to accompany Abundance and Devotion: The Art of Miriam Wosk. This vibrant publication offers a close look at the artist’s work and life, with contributions from her illustrious friends and colleagues. Available exclusively at GRACIE, the Museum’s store, the catalog accompanies Wosk’s first major museum exhibition on view at SMMoA from January 19 through April 20, 2013.

 The catalog features opulent, full-color reproductions as well as a range of writing that illuminates the many facets of Wosk’s distinctive life and career. It includes a foreword by SMMoA’s executive director and exhibition curator Elsa Longhauser, a preface by renowned graphic designer and Wosk’s teacher Milton Glaser, an introduction by acclaimed architect Frank Gehry, an interview between cultural critic Kristine McKenna and Wosk’s son Adam Gunther, a spirited essay by artist Robert Kushner, and recollections by writer and Ms. magazine founder Gloria Steinem.

The publication explores the evolution of this important local artist who started her career as an illustrator in New York in the 1960s. Wosk flourished in the publishing world; her inimitable style earned her work at such prominent publications as Esquire, New York, The New York Times, Mademoiselle, Ms., and Vogue. However, it was not until she moved to Los Angeles that she began to fully devote her practice to her own artistic vision. Best known for the large-scale  collages and vibrant paintings that she made in Santa Monica, Wosk’s aesthetic is distinctive and singular; as Kristine McKenna describes it, “imagery seems to spring from the lush, mysterious realm of her dream life…. Thick with dense, exotic foliage, Wosk’s enchanted landscapes position fragile flowers alongside exploding galaxies of stars and pulsate with frightening metaphysical grandeur.”

The exhibition catalog is a compendium of scholarship and personal reminiscences by an array of distinguished authors. McKenna’s poignant interview with Gunther sheds new light on the artist in her many roles—mother, daughter, woman, devotee, friend, collector—roles she celebrated and explored materially and metaphorically in her work. In “Miriam Wosk: Racing the Clock” Kushner conducts a critical examination of the artist’s oeuvre. Kushner and Wosk were contemporaries; although they were not acquainted, his insights are drawn from his involvement in the Pattern and Decoration movement and reveal an essential dimension of this distinctive body of work. The catalog also offers a rare look at the artist’s early commercial illustrations—deepened by Gloria Steinem’s recollections of Wosk’s iconic first cover of Ms. magazine.

The iridescent, hardcover catalog is the most comprehensive look at Miriam Wosk to date. Abundance and Devotion: The Art of Miriam Wosk is published by the Santa Monica Museum of Art and will be available starting January 18, 2013 in GRACIE, SMMoA’s store, for only $38.

Born in 1947 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Wosk attended the University of British Columbia, Canada, and the Fashion Institute of Technology, New School for Social Research, and the School of Visual Arts, New York. Wosk completed residencies at the American Academy in Rome; Vermont Studio Center; and Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Colorado. A prolific artist whose career spanned nearly four decades, Wosk’s work was shown in more than one hundred museum and gallery exhibitions. Wosk died in 2010 in Santa Monica, she is survived by her son Adam Gunther. 

Generous support for this exhibition and publication has been provided by the Maple Trust and SMMoA’s Ambassador Circle. Additional funding has been provided by the City of Santa Monica and the Santa Monica Arts Commission and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

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For further information about the exhibition, catalog, or to schedule interviews, please contact Beth Laski, 818.986.1105 or

About the Santa Monica Museum of Art
Through its exhibitions, education, and outreach programs, the Santa Monica Museum of Art fosters diversity, innovation, and discovery in contemporary art. The Museum celebrates: expanding boundaries; exploring individual differences; enhancing public knowledge of art; and broadening the art experience. SMMoA is a collection of ideas. 

GRACIE: At the Santa Monica Museum of Art
GRACIE is SMMoA’s retail store. A multifunctional shop/storage/installation conceived by artist and architect Allan Wexler, GRACIE offers an inspired selection of books and merchandise that reflects the Museum’s unique mission. GRACIE is named in honor of Board Member and former President Laura Donnelley (aka Gracie), a visionary patron of the arts and SMMoA muse. Shopping at GRACIE is now available online at

Location, Hours, Admission
SMMoA is located at the Bergamot Station, Building G1, 2525 Michigan Avenue, Santa Monica, California. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm, closed Sunday, Monday, and all legal holidays. Suggested donation: $5; $3 for seniors and students. For further information about exhibitions and programs, please call 310.586.6488 or visit


Santa Monica Museum of Art: original, dynamic, intrepid, discerning,
enlightened, influential, agile, approachable, inventive, authentic

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