Total Pageviews

Saturday, February 17, 2018

The Broad Museum, Part IV

In September 2016, my wife kids and I were in Los Angeles and had time to spend a couple hours at the Broad in Downtown Los Angeles. Here's a link to Part I, Part II and Part III from the past few weeks. Above, Jeff Koons' Tulips. 

The Broad  (rhymes with Road) is a private museum, named after it's benefactors, Eli and Edythe Broad, and opened to the public on September 20, 2015. Admission is free. If you go, we strongly recommend getting reserved tickets, which saves waiting in line to get in.

The expansive third floor gallery, with Jeff Koon's Balloon Dog (Blue) in the distance. 

This is looking back down the escalator, which is one way - taking guest from the first floor entry directly to the third floor. 

There are stairs and elevators to head down to the first floor. On the way down, on  the second floor, we noticed a hand on art studio for kids. 

My kids, at the time 16 and 14, are a bit too old for working on art projects in the museum, but it was still cool to see parents and kids enjoying making projects together. 

The second floor also has a window into the art storage area - with a reminder of just how much artwork The Broad actually has. Only a portion of their collection is on display at any given time. 

"Exit through the gift shop." Yes, there's a gift shop on the first floor towards the exit. 

Another view of gift shop. 

This is looking out through one of the massive glass windows at the outside shell. 

According the the wikipedia article, "the building design is based on a concept entitled "the veil and the vault". "The veil" is a porous envelope that wraps the whole building, filtering and transmitting daylight to the indoor space. This skin is made of 2,500 rhomboidal panels made in fiberglass reinforced concrete supported by a 650-ton steel substructure. "The vault" is a concrete body which forms the core of the building, dedicated to artworks storage, laboratories, curatorial spaces and offices.

Another look at the entry lobby, next to the gift show. You can see the elevator, which goes directly from the first floor up to the third floor. 

Andy Warhol Campbell Soup artwork - on skateboards. These boards are designed to look at, not to ride. 

Last look at the gift shop. Even if you're not a huge fan of modern art, the building alone is worth a trip. 

A final look out front on the street, with a couple of obligatory L.A. food trucks out front. I generally love food trucks, but will admit that they really detract from the look and feel of the building. 

Here's a link to some additional exterior photos of The Broad from a previous post (from an earlier visit). 

Despite the food trucks, we wanted to check out the Grand Central Market, a couple of blocks away, which my wife and kids hadn't been to since 2010, before it was "discovered." More on this next time. 

© 2018


Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Broad Museum, Part III

In September 2016, my wife kids and I were in Los Angeles and had time to spend a couple hours at the Broad in Downtown Los Angeles. Here's a link to Part I and Part II from the past couple of weeks. Above, my wife, kids, and I in front of Jeff Koons' Balloon Dog (Blue). 

Above, artist Robert Therrien's Under the Table. One of Therrien's other works was the "Stack of Places" (technically, calle "Untitled") located at the museum entrance. 

My kids - then 16 and 14 - thought Under the Table was really cool. 

Some other museum guests enjoying Under the Table helps give a sense of scale of the table and chairs. According the The Broad's website: 

In Under the Table, the viewer is both in the world of imaginary giants and in the world of remembered childhood. Fusing Alice in Wonderland with the Duchampian tradition of the readymade, Therrien constructs a doppelganger from an everyday object, both displaying his visual wit and actualizing literary or imaginative fantasy in three-dimensional space. The table exudes an extraordinary aura, compelling one to walk underneath the table and conjuring the physical memory of being under the table of one’s childhood home. Complicated and powerful, the work offers fresh ideas of what a table, sculpture, and memory can mean.

Another photo, with numerous visitors around Under the Table. 

More artwork: Roy Lichtenstein's 1991 Interior with African Mask.

Barbara Kruger's 1989 Untitled (Your Body is a Battleground).

Looked and looked, but I - unfortunately - can't find the title or artist. 

Yes, this is simply black paint on a canvas. 

Another view of Jeff Koons' Tulips.

Another view of one of the third floor galleries. 

I'm looking forward to (eventually) reading Daniel A. Siedell's God in the Gallery: A Christian Embrace of Modern Art. For a variety of reasons, modern art has a less than stellar reputation among many of my fellow Christians. 

Do I like everything in The Broad? No, of course, not. But I'd be hard pressed to find a museum where I like everything on display. I also recognize my personal understanding of art if fairly limited. 

In front of of Jeff Koons' Tulips. Colorful. Creative. Whimsical. And, yes, a tremendous amount of skill. 

Takashi Murakami's 2011 Of Chinese Lions, Peonies, Skulls, And Fountains.

Barbara Kruger's 1995 Untitled (You Are a Very Special Person). 

Lari Pittman's 1995 Like You 

A final look at Jeff Koons' Balloon Dog (Blue). 

More next time. 

© 2018

Saturday, February 3, 2018

The Broad Museum, Part II

In September 2016, my wife kids and I were in Los Angeles and had time to spend a couple hours at the Broad in Downtown Los Angeles. Here's a link to Part I from last week. Above, Jeff Koons' Tulips (1995-2004). 

Admission is free - but we highly recommend getting a ticket ahead of time, to avoid waiting in line. Info can be found here

The Broad features 50,000 square feet of gallery space with artwork from two hundred different artists, including: 

Ellsworth Kelly's 1968 Blue Red. 

Ellsworth Kelly's 1970 Green Angle. 

Ed Ruscha 1964 Norm's, La Cienega, on Fire. 

What constitutes art? My daughter's expression was how we both felt about Cy Twombly's 2006 The Rose (V). 

Then, of course, there's Joseph Beuys' 1972  Silberbesen und Besen ohne Haare (Silver Broom and Broom without Hair). I'm guessing they had to tell the custodial staff that, yes, this is art ... don't use them, or throw them out. 

Here's four different works by New York based pop artist Roy Lichtenstein (1923-1997):

1962 Live Ammo (Blang) 

Rouen Cathedral, Set 3 (1968-1969). 

Mirror #1 (1969).

I...I'm Sorry! (1965-66).

I actually really enjoyed  At a First Aid Center in Vietnam (1971). Artist Malcolm Morley's turned photographer Larry Burrow's 1966 photograph into an equally moving oil painting. 

Weird. Jeff Koons' Michael Jackson and Bubbles (1988) was just weird. Koon's work is a larger than life porcelain statute of the King of Pop - and his pet chimpanzee, and is part of Koon's "Banality Series." Three identical versions were created, with one selling for $5.6 million in 2001. 

Another piece by Jeff Koons, this one much more whmiscal and fun: Balloon Dog (Blue) (1994-2000). Similar to his Tulips, what looks like a latex balloons is mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating. Really cool. 

Both my kids enjoying Balloon Dog (Blue). Plenty of Instragram photos on their part. 

How much is this worth? No idea, but in 2013, a similar work Balloon Dog (Orange) sold for an incredible $58.4 million, making it the most expensive work by a living artist ever sold.

My wife, kids, and I in front of Balloon Dog (Blue).  

More next time.

© 2018


Saturday, January 27, 2018

The Broad Museum, Downtown Los Angeles

The Broad is a privately owned, contemporary art museum located in downtown Los Angeles. The museum is named after it's benefactors, Eli and Edythe Broad, and opened to the public in 2015. Similar to the Getty Center in Brentwood (and Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades) admission to The Broad (which rhymes with "road") is free. 

Of course, this being Los Angeles, parking isn't t free. Similar to the Getty, on site parking is $15. Fifteen seems to be the magic number in Los Angeles. 

But unlike The Getty, it is possible to park on the adjacent streets and walk in. Your best best is Sundays, where not only is there a better chance of finding a spot, but street parking is also free. Walk a couple of blocks and save $15? Sounds good to me. 

In September 2016, my wife kids and I were in Los Angeles and had time to spend a couple hours at the Broad. We parked a couple blocks away on Olive Street, just beneath the cantilevered gardens of the California Plaza complex. 

Walking to The Broad, we walked past some of the rental bikes that the city of Los Angeles has installed in various places throughout the region. I'd like to try renting one of these bikes sometime, but that day we had a destination. 

The Broad is located at 221 S. Grand Avenue. 

Grand Avenue between 4th Street and General Thaddeus Kosciuszko Way (yes, that's actually a street name) actually has an entire city street below it (used primarily for service and deliveries) appropriately named "Lower Grand Avenue." Here's a link to a previous post with what it looks like, plus some additional photos of the exterior. 

The unfortunate unintended consequence is that is virtually impossible for street trees of any real size to grown along this stretch of Grand Avenue.

None the less, Grand Avenue is getting some grand architecture. The Broad is to the left, beyond is the Frank Gehry designed Walt Disney Concert Hall. 

Yes, it looks like an air filter. That's part of the design. 

It's also a very popular location for food trucks. I'm all in favor of food trucks - but they do distract from the design of the building along the street. This is an art museum, which is all about design. 

If you go, I strongly recommend getting reserved tickets. They're free, and they allow you to walk right in. There is also a standby wait, which can be up to an 90 minutes on weekends. 

As you enter, you're greeted by artist Robert Therrien's 1993 untitled work, which everyone refers to as "stacked plates" - for obviously reasons. Walk around the stack, the plates really seem to be spinning. 

You take the escalator directly up to the third floor gallery. 

The center of the third floor contains Jeff Koons' massive Tulips sculpture. 

A similar version recently sold for $33 million. 

According the The Broad website: "Tulips, 1995–2004, is among the grandest and most technically complex objects ... providing a perfect illusion of balloon flowers, constructed of seamless and mirror-polished stainless steel." Apparently, a similar piece of art was in front of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art - but had to be moved because so many people wanted to touch what looked like an massive inflated balloon. It's art - look, but don't touch. 

Here's a link to their website. More artwork next week in Part II.

© 2018