Friday, July 22, 2016

The Broad Museum

Me and a freestanding Lichtenstein at
the Broad Museum
There's a new museum in town, showcasing the extensive modern art collection of Eli and Edythe Broad. UCLA alums will recognize the Broad name from the recently renovated art school north of the Young Research Library. Those of us, who are older, probably remember the name from when actor Tom Skerritt was TV commercial spokesperson for homebuilders Kaufman and Broad (pronounced Brode) in the 1980s. Since then, the Broads have become L.A. mainstays and highly respected philanthropists. Their new art museum opened in downtown Los Angeles, late last year.

I am not a big modern art fan, but I do love interesting new architecture, of which the Broad certainly is a good example. Located a block south of Disney Hall, the museum is covered in a honeycombed concrete, steel and fiberglass "veil" that filters natural light into the exhibit space. I quickly became enamored of the building as well as the art it contains. Plus admission is free. So what's not to love?

Waiting on line to get into the museum
Detail of the exterior "veil" (street-level)

 Looking up through the roof of the veil

Space-age elevator shaft to the third floor

Looking north to Disney Hall and the L.A. cathedral beyond
The current special exhibit, on the ground floor, features the work of Cindy Sherman, one of our favorite 20th-century photographers. Her preferred—and only—model is herself, creating portraits of unique and amazing characters, often individualized by their fashion and period setting. Sherman is a true chameleon, who fully disappears into her work. Can you believe that this is her in each of the following photos?

Wall-sized image of Cindy Sherman greets visitors at the
start of the exhibit

A trio of female portraits (click on image to enlarge)

Cindy as librarian?

One of her most famous pieces, Untitled #92


Mother who has lost her child?

Mother with child

Gloria Swanson?

One of her most recent works—double image intentional—
my favorite piece in the exhibit

The third floor is mostly open space, where various pieces of the Broads' collection are rotated every few months. (Apparently one new item is added to their collection every week!) Some works are extremely famous, some not so much. Here are a few of the items we admired:

Both the elevator and escalator open onto a bright space,
featuring Jeff Koons' balloon-like Tulips and Takashi Murakami's

Part of mural detail (click on image to enlarge)



Jeff Koons, Michael Jackson and Bubbles porcelain sculpture



The rest of the collection, not on view, is stored in a vault that's visible through a window on the second floor. The point, of course, is to tempt you to periodically return to the museum to see what new delights are on display. We will be going back soon.

Peeking into the vault 


Suzanne said...

We absolutely need to visit the next time we have some extra L A time. Thanks, as usual, for your introduction.

Cyn said...

I think you would really enjoy the Cindy Sherman exhibit, which ends Oct 2. She does such a fascinating job of presenting/interpreting women's various roles. And, of course, they are all facets of herself, since she's always the only model she uses.