Since the museum opened in late 2015, the Broad has been regularly putting on new exhibitions and quietly rotating works on the 3rd floor walls, which contain a part of the permanent Broad Collection. Currently, an installation titled Creature is on view on the 1st floor galleries. The works presented in the show are directly from the museum’s collection, but loosely center around a theme of man and animal as physical amalgamations of fear, sex, vanity, and experiences. The theme is vague enough that the curators of the show probably a lot of fun picking out their favorite pieces for the show. Broad favorites like Takashi Murakami (@takashipom), Damien Hirst, and George Condo are well represented.
The installation is on view until Sunday, March 19th, at the Broad Museum.
– Los Angeles, CA
New Image Art in West Hollywood opened another great show this past Saturday with a cast of artists from their stable ranging from emerging to establishment, and everyone else in between.
The piece that stole show was, by far, the towering and dazzling Retna (@ironeyeretna) below. For those of you interested in acquiring a work of this size from the street-artist-turned-super-star, be ready to plunk down six figures.
If a solo show from a particular artist captures the state of mind of the artist over the course of execution of the artworks, then a well curated group show can capture the zeitgeist of the present through a diverse set of voices.
Below are a selection of works that caught my attention at the show. If you are in the area, head over to the gallery to see the rest in person. Tell’em BDAB sent ya.
Downstairs on the 1st floor of the Broad is a recent body of work by the Superflat movement leader Takashi Murakami (@takashipom). There are other works on the first floor, but it is largely dominated by the works of Murakami. The common motif in these works is the catastrophic 2011 earthquake and tsunami off the Pacific coast of Tohoku in Japan. The emotions and devastations felt as the aftermath of the disaster overtook the livelihood of the Japanese people served as an artistic inspiration for Murakami.
A 82 ft long and 10 ft tall masterwork completed in 2014 by the artist took up two full walls of the large hall. It told a beautiful story of a mischievous sea god that caused numerous deaths and the survivors that braved through the storm on the sea finally meet prosperity and peace. However, the prosperity and peace lead to greed and gluttony that foretells another disaster soon to come. I tried to capture that story in the set of pictures after the break:
“The Broad is a new contemporary art museum built by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad. The museum is home to nearly 2,000 works of art and holds one of the most prominent collections of postwar and contemporary art worldwide” exclaim the museum’s brochures that were handed out to the attendees in bold, black, capitalized letters. Angelenos came out in droves today to finally catch a glimpse of the billion dollar collection that was promised to the city back in 2010 when Eli officially announced that the Broad (rhymes with road, not rod) museum would be opening in Downtown Los Angeles.
The “veil and vault” architecture of the museum was designed by the esteemed firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro, who are no strangers to designing high art institutes (for example Boston ICA, MoMA expansion, and Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive). The vault refers to the carefully temperature and humidity controlled archive where the Broad Foundation conducts all its lending activities of its collection to outside organizations. You can catch a glimpse of the vault here.
As you might expect from a museum inaugural exhibition, they played it very safe. There’s nothing challenging, provocative, or educating about it, but plenty of familiar names and images of contemporary art are abound: Damien Hirst, Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, John Baldessari, Julian Schnabel, Andry Warhol, Roy Lichenstein, Jeff Koon, Takashi Murakami, Ed Ruscha, Barbara Kruger, Christopher Wool, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, and Kara Walker.
It is designed to draw crowds and Instagram picture tags, rather than to push the boundaries of modern art exhibition for which this opening could have been used. I don’t think the Broad needed to cater to populist tastes to draw attendance given that the Broad name carries such prominence in the art world. However, this exhibition does speak volumes about the vision and persistence of the Broad collection to recognize and build the talent of these artists before they had become household names. The Broad is a collection that continuously grows at a pace of approximately one new work per week, so I’m really excited that Eli and Edythe have decided to share it with the public in this fashion. Although this museum wasn’t built on pure philanthropy, given that museum shows will only help appreciate the value of the collection, and I couldn’t care less about the business practices of Eli Broad, this is a leading contemporary art collection that Los Angeles has been very fortunate to gain.
In Part Two, we’ll go to the exhibition area on the 1st Floor of the museum that showcases works by the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.
Click through to see 100+ pictures from the opening.
There’s a quite a few exciting show openings in Los Angeles next weekend. BDAB will be in attendance for at least a couple of these, so drop me a line in the comments if you’re going too.
Gilded Age @ Thinkspace Gallery. Saturday, September 12th, 6-9pm
6009 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA 90232
Andrew Horkey, Esao Andrews, Joao Ruas
Don’t call it a group show. It is a three-man exhibition between Aaron Horkey (@aaronhorkey), Esao Andrews (@esao), and Joao Ruas (@feral_kid). The idea for this show first came about back in 2012 when Thinkspace Gallery’s head honcho Andrew Hosner (@thinkspace_art) casually asked Andrew Horkey about his ideal three-man show, to which Horkey quickly named off Esao and Joao. Each of these artists have been heavily promoting the show with teasers of works-in-progress and it’s looks like it’ll easily be the show of the year in Los Angeles. Be sure to sign up for Thinkspace’s email list or follow them on social media for more information.
Mad Props Street Cred @ New Image Art. Friday, September 11th, 7-10pm
7920 Santa Monica Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90046
This is the first solo exhibition in United States since 2012 of the self-proclaimed “adventure painter” Anthony Lister (@anthonylister). The Australian street artist has been busy on the streets of LA in the last week hitting up walls to promote the show. New Image Art (@newimageart) knows how to throw a party, so it should be a good show to attend if you’re not doing much this Friday. Even if you are, this will probably be better, so go to the show anyways.
Trapezoid @ KP Projects/Merry Karnowsky Gallery. Saturday, September 12th, 7-10pm
170 S La Brea Ave Los Angeles, CA
Mark Whalen (@mark_whalen) is another Australian artist showing in Los Angeles next weekend. Merry Karnowsky (@kpprojectsmkg) has been kind to the BDAB collection in the last few years, although they probably don’t even know it. From the looks of it, Mark is preparing a large installation, much akin to the large scale outdoor work he’s done in the past.
It’s going to be a fun weekend. See you guys at the shows!