The Broad is a new contemporary art museum built by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. The museum, which is designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler will offer free general admission. The museum will be home to the nearly 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art worldwide. With its innovative “veil-and-vault” concept, the 120,000-square-foot, $140-million building will feature two floors of gallery space to showcase The Broad’s comprehensive collection and will be the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library. [source: Broad Museum website]
The Broad under Construction, 2013
Early October, I had a chance to visit this newly opened museum. I had been wondering about that structure since 2013 when I saw the enormous building under construction, next to Frank Gehry's Walt Disney Symphony Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles. Now, the completed building shone under the bright sun and it's orderly, elegant, somewhat muted exterior complimented well to the metallic and dynamic Disney hall at its side.
There was a pathway behind the front "panel", where one had a good view of the museum through windows and a "behind the scene" view of the intricately patterned façade.
The front lobby was very playful. In contrast to the square and orderly exterior, the lobby was molded like an gigantic cave, organic and ever morphing, and a little bit threatening, like a haunted house.
There were three levels in the building, where the first and third were exhibition spaces while the second contained offices, boardroom and educational center. Taking the escalator, I willingly allowed myself wallowed by the dark tunnel and arrived at a brightly lit exhibition space, which contrasted dramatically to the dark and mysterious front lobby behind me.
Escalator and tubular elevator
Before I concentrated on the art, I looked around and admired the building from many angles.
On the second floor, visitors had a "backstage" peep of the vast collections not being on display at the moment, and the inverted bulge at the conference room was that central oval on the front façade:
The Broad had an impressive array of artworks on display. Below are some of my favorites, by artists such as Julie Mehretu, El Anatsui, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Anselm Kiefer, William Kentridge and Neo Rauch:
Cairo, 2013, Julie Mehretu
Red Block, 2010, El Anatsui
Untitled, 1954; Combine, 1954, Robert Rauschenberg; Untitled, 1975, Jasper Johns
Big Electric Chair, 1967-68, Andy Warhol
Watchman, 1964, Jasper Johns & Rückenstütze eines feingliederigen Menschen (Hasentypus) aus dem 20. Jahrhundert p. Chr., 1972, Joseph Beuys
Double Masked Heads, 1974, Susan Rothenberg
Untitled [New York City], 1953, Cy Twombly
La-La, 1953, Cy Twombly
Nini's Painting [Rome], 1971, Cy Twombly
Untitled [Bolsena], 1969, Untitled [Rome], 1987, Leaving Paphos Ringed with Waves [III], 2009, Cy Twombly
Untitled, 2006, The Rose [V], 2008, Cy Twombly
Grey, 1954-55, Sam Francis & Ocean Park #90, 1976, Richard Diebenkorn
Deutschlands Geisteshelden, 1973, Anselm Kiefer
Deutschlands Geisteshelden (details), 1973, Anselm Kiefer,
Am Rhein, 1968-91, Anselm Kiefer
Am Rhein (detail), 1968-91, Anselm Kiefer
Triptych (With Nude) (Diptych IV), 1966, Richard Artschwager
Destruction V, 1972, Richard Artschwager
Black Flowers, 1961, Roy Lichtenstein
Tulips, 1995-2004 Jeff Koons
Balloon Dog [Blue], 1994-2000, Rabbit, 1986, Jeff Koons
Kiepenkerl, 1987, Jeff Koons
Under the Table, 1994, Robert Therrien
The Walk Home, 1985, Julian Schnabel
The Walk Home, 1985, Julian Schnabel
Infinite Expansions, 1983, Mike Kelley
Something Solid Beneath the Surface of All Creatures Great and Small, 2001, Damien Hirst
Away From the Flock, 1994, Damien Hirst
African't. 1996, Kara Walker
African't. 1996, Kara Walker
Still from "Mine", 1991, William Kentridge
An excerpt from "Mine", 1991, William Kentridge
Untitled (Dancing Black Butterflies), 2007, Mark Grotjahn
Invisible Sun (algorithm 8, fable form), 2015, Julie Mehretu
Invisible Sun (algorithm 8, fable form) (detail), 2015, Julie Mehretu
Der Laden, 2005, Neo Rauch
Falle (Trap), 2001 Neo Rauch
Heillichtung, 2014 Neo Rauch
Some are not necessarily my favorite but their presence was hard to ignore, such as the works by Takashi Murakami:
DOB in the Strange Forest (Blue DOB), 1999, Takashi Murakami
End of Line, 2011, Takashi Murakami
Front: DOB in the Strange Forest (Blue DOB), 1999
Back: Of Chinese Lions, Peonies, Skulls, And Fountains, 2011, In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow, 2014, End of Line, 2011, Takashi Murakami
One of the special installation was the "Infinity Mirrored Room", 2013, Yayoi Kusama. Using numerous LED lights and mirrors, the artists created an infinite universe within a confine of such dimensions: 113 1/4 x 163 1/2 x 163 1/2 in. (287.66 x 415.29 x 415.29 cm).
Visitors could sign on to visit the room once entered the Museum. My wait to visit it was about two hours. Each visitor was given about 30 or 35 seconds alone inside the room - a staff timed her iPad at the entrance to the room. Below are some stills and video I shot while waiting and inside the room. By the time I left the room, the sign up sheet for that Mirrored Room was closed for the day.
Entrance to the Infinity Mirrored Room, 2013, Yayoi Kusama
Infinity Mirrored Room, 2013, Yayoi Kusama
Another standout installation was a nine-channel HD video projection, titled "The Visitors", 2012, by Ragnar Kjartnsson. Inside a large long U-shaped room, along the wall there were multiple screens and speakers, with certain distance from one another, and each of such sets featured different instrumental player(s) and they created a disorienting yet harmonious cacophony when visitors wandered from screen to screen, one sound fading and another emerging, mixing and replacing.
Excerpt from "The Visitors", 2012, Ragnar Kjartansson
After the strong sonic stimulation, it was welcome to be with silent and whimsical sculptures by Urs Fischer and Robert Therrien, both adding the strange sense of living and breathing to the front lobby, where they stood and guarded.
Untitled, 2012, Urs Fischer
No Title, 1993, Robert Therrien
A wonderful new museum.
Shall we thank people for being able to accumulate such vast amount of wealth, if they put to good use as building this amazing museum?
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- Urs Fischer Exhibit at MOCA, Los Angeles
- My Favorite De Young Museum Collections
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