My colleague Sally and I went to Los Angeles last week for a one day events conference. Never wanting to miss an opportunity to infuse every trip with at least a little bit of art, I did a little research on what was near the conference venue in downtown LA. I was beyond excited to find that The Broad Museum was only a couple miles away. I have always wanted to see the broad and I had a very strong reaction to the space in many ways.
I had heard a lot of opinions about the space prior to visiting…Some good some bad. Mostly I heard about the long wait to get in. I am always pleased to hear about long waits to see art, but not keen on spending half a day in line, I was able to find a counterpart at the Museum who put us on a short list to get in. It certainly started our visit on a positive note. The building is quite the spectacle itself. With Large and overwhelming architecture and a unique layout with a strange imposing lobby, it felt theme park like in some ways…complete with a long slow escalator climb to the main galleries through a tunnel like the beginning of a roller coaster.
We first headed to the Yayoi Kusama infinity mirrored room being featured as that had a separate line. I have seen a lot of coverage on social media of these mirror rooms recently so I was quite excited to experience one. It is quite breathtakingly beautiful inside, but at the one-minute max per group, you hardly had a chance to let it soak in really before you were kicked out. If we had more time we probably would have waited in line again. We still managed to get a few gorgeous photos. I picked my Carven Paris dress just for the experience.
We then made the slow climb to the main gallery spaces upstairs. Wandering through, I was struck by the owners flare for large scale pieces full of color and contrast. I have a similar aesthetic and I have to say there were very few pieces I didn’t like. The artist roster is quite impressive…you won’t find many better examples of Koons, Lichtenstein, Warhol or Ellsworth Kelly.
I was personally very fond of a couple quite large pieces by Takashi Murakami. When you first enter the space, the one pictured below flanks the Koons Tulips. It took my breath away.
After a riveting spin through these masterpieces, we headed back down to check out the temporary install called Oracle which is a comentary on contemporary society and the many forces at work. There were artists I knew such as El Anatsui and Jenny Holzer, but most I was not as familiar with. The pieces were just as large and striking as the big hitters upstairs but heavier in subject matter and execution. I found a Thomas Struth chromogenic print of an Aquarium in Atlanta Georgia particularly beautiful and a large scale work on paper by Mike Kelley really sucked me in.
Overall I thought The Broad was a museum experience unlike any other. The space holds a unique energy. The excitement of the other attendees was refreshing and inspiring and the quality of the collection is undeniable. I will definitely be back and hope on my next trip I have a bit longer to peruse. Next time you are in downtown LA you simply must add this to your itinerary.