Ascend the escalator through an adobe tunnel straight out of New Mexico, onto the second floor where a large sculpture by Jeff Koons dominates the light filled room… Take it slow—with many blue-chip artists represented, there is a lot of art to absorb.
Written by Ian Troxell
aiting 90 minutes to get into a museum isn’t usually something I look forward to, but LA’s newest art house, the Broad, is worth it.
Full disclosure: I am a painter. Museums are my church. As I waited in line to get in (skip the line by emailing ahead for tickets), I had time to take in the shining architecture and its surrounds. Both inside and out were designed to the highest artistic standard—not just for the patrons of the museum but also for the artists that hang on its walls. A unique honeycomb covering over the building allows for perfectly diffused northern light to flood the entire space with a natural glow.
Creativity abounds through the property, inside and out. The collection ranges from the time of Picasso to now, with everything in between. In fact Eli and Edye Broad, the benefactors of the museum, have missed none of the art superstars from the Modern, Pop or Post Modern eras. From Warhol and Basquiat to Hirst, Close and Koons, the collection spans media and genre and has a robust valuation of over $2 billion. Large paintings by Neo Rausch and Jenny Saville, both favorites of mine, hang powerfully on the first floor with the rest of the museums 2000 to contemporary collection.
Ascend the escalator through an adobe tunnel straight out of New Mexico, onto the second floor where a large sculpture by Jeff Koons dominates the light filled room… Take it slow—with many blue-chip artists represented, there is a lot of art to absorb. When you’re ready to head to the first floor again, take the stairs. You’ll get a unique view of the museum storage—windows into a room to your right display a hanging rolling rack system, holding the paintings that aren’t on display at the moment. Each painting is encased in glass and cared for to the highest degree.
The gem of the collection is a video installation by Ragnar Kjartansson called “ The Visitors” . Nine large screens show various musicians of a band each playing their portion of the same song in different rooms of a large Greek Revival mansion—the guitarist in a dimly lit bedroom, the pianist in a large drawing room, and so on. Each room looks like a highly curated painting, with sculpture from antiquity, classical libraries, theatrical lighting and period furniture. As the song moves towards its crescendo, the musicians begin to coalesce in the same room all finishing the song together.
Walking through the house and out the door, off the porch and into the field they finish their tune looking out over rolling hills. The terrain is unmistakably upstate New York, the same in which I was raised. YouTube videos of this installation don’t do it justice—one has to see it, from start to finish, to comprehend it, to feel its surrounding sound. Come April, the Broad’s Inaugural Installation will change so head there soon to catch this highlight. And don’t be dismayed if tickets are sold out—a wait in line is not as bad as it sounds.
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