The newest contemporary art museum in Los Angeles, affectionately known as The Broad, is a paragon of creativity. Housed in a 120,000 square foot lace-like cube, designed by architectural firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, next door to the metallic swirling sculpture also known as the Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Broad is home to the 2,000 works collectively known as The Broad Collection. The intimate, yet varied scope of the collection makes The Broad a must-see when visiting Los Angeles.
Philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad (pronounce the “o”), have built two of the most outstanding collections of post-war and contemporary art in the world which now have a worthy home.
One enters on the darkened cavern-like ground floor greeted by this quizzical aluminum and LED sculpture by Urs Fischer, kind of reminds me of one of Walt Disney’s cartoon candelabras.
A walk amongst the amazing balloon sculptures by Jeff Koons allows one appreciate the monumental task it must be to create such massive works.
Pieces by Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Roy Lichtenstein, Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly, John Baldessari, Damien Hirst and numerous others celebrate some of the best in contemporary art. The current selections on view articulate a sense of whimsy, which is clear on the smiling faces of visitors young and old.
Though it might appear to be fabric, artist El Anatsui’s Red Block shows us what can be created out of found aluminum and copper wire.
A visit to The Broad leaves one with a sense of having experienced something pleasant. There is neither too much or too little. The envelope is pushed, gently, not overtly or politically.
Called “veil to vault” the building is an amalgamation of public gallery space and private climate controlled storage space. The honeycomb-esque “veil” which makes up the exterior of the building serves the building both visually and to allow for wonderful daylighting throughout the galleries. Nothing beats viewing art and color in natural light.
A visit to The Broad is free! Though it is worth reserving tickets as this popular destination. Onsite ticketing is available however the wait can be a couple of hours on busy weekends. Parking is close and for first time visitors to LA, one needn’t feel overwhelmed by a “big city” – this part of downtown Los Angeles is fairly easy to navigate and there is plenty of wonderful restaurants nearby.