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Los Angeles’s New Contemporary Art Museum, The Broad, to Open to the Public Sept. 20
The Broad museum, on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles; photo by Benny Chan, courtesy of The Broad and Diller Scofidio + Renfro
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 16, 2015—With an inaugural installation featuring more than 250 masterworks of contemporary art, a distinctive new architectural landmark in downtown Los Angeles and free general admission, The Broad, L.A.’s newest contemporary art museum, will celebrate its public opening on Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015.
Founded by philanthropists and longtime art collectors Eli and Edythe Broad, The Broad will be open six days a week, Tuesday through Sunday, offering 47 hours a week of public access to curated exhibitions drawn from one of the world’s most renowned collections of contemporary art. For visitors who wish to ensure admission on their preferred date and time, The Broad provides advance free ticketing online.
Located on Grand Avenue across the street from Walt Disney Concert Hall, The Broad’s innovative architecture by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler is a fitting home for the 2,000 works of contemporary art housed inside the museum.
The Broad also offers a mobile app featuring audio, video and written information about the architecture and the works on view, available for free download on any Apple and Android smartphone or Wi-Fi-enabled device. Information is available at thebroad.org.
“Edye and I are delighted to welcome the public to our museum,” said Eli Broad. “We built this collection and this museum so that contemporary art could be accessible to all. We cannot imagine a more fitting home for our collection and our museum than on Grand Avenue, where we join some of the world’s leading cultural institutions.”
Added Joanne Heyler, founding director of The Broad, “After years of planning, we are excited to throw open the doors to the museum that Eli and Edye have given to Los Angeles, and we can’t wait to invite the public to engage with and explore our collection of contemporary art within this new architectural landmark that is a work of art itself.”
A Sweeping Chronology of the Broad Collection
For the inaugural exhibition, Joanne Heyler has selected more than 250 works by some 60 artists to present a sweeping, chronological journey through the Broad collection.
The installation starts in the main exhibition galleries on the museum’s third floor with a journey that begins in the 1950s through the 1990s, with works by artists like Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, as well as classic Pop works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. The installation continues with concentrated installations of art from New York’s East Village and SoHo scenes (with incomparable depth in the work of artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons) and then moves into the 1990s with works by Glenn Ligon, Andreas Gursky and Julie Mehretu, among others. Works that testify to the Broads’ sustained engagement with artworks containing social and political content include pieces by David Wojnarowicz, Cady Noland, Kara Walker, Anselm Kiefer and Mike Kelley.
The installation in the first-floor galleries focuses mainly on works created from the early 2000s to the present and includes important recent acquisitions that are being shown for the first time in Los Angeles. These include Yayoi Kusama’s immersive Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013, Robert Longo’s 2014 charcoal drawing Untitled (Ferguson Police, August 13, 2014), 2014 and Ragnar Kjartansson’s 360-degree, nine-screen video installation The Visitors, 2012.
“As vast as the inaugural installation is, very few galleries show the full depth of our holdings in the work of any given artist,” Heyler said. “This presentation gives the public just a hint at the totality of the collection—and a reason to come back many times to see fresh rotations, new acquisitions and in-depth special exhibitions.”
Available beginning Sept. 20, catalogues on the Broad collection and the design of the building, edited by Joanne Heyler with Ed Schad and Chelsea Beck, will be published by Prestel. “The Broad Collection” will bring together cultural leaders, writers and curators to share their diverse points of view on some of The Broad’s most celebrated artists. Contributors include filmmaker John Waters, music critic Greil Marcus and novelist Siri Hustvedt, among many others. “The Broad: An Art Museum Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro” examines the museum as an architectural landmark and international cultural destination, exploring its history, context and potential impact on downtown Los Angeles through an illustrated roundtable discussion led by architecture critic Paul Goldberger and an essay by critic and author Aaron Betsky.
An Innovative Landmark Expands Art and Architecture on Grand Avenue
The 120,000-square-foot, three-story museum building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler houses nearly the entire Broad collection while providing 15,000 square feet of exhibition space on the ground floor and 35,000 square feet of column-free space on the third floor, with filtered natural light from skylights and windows. Dubbed “the veil and the vault,” the museum’s design merges the two key programs of the building: gallery space and the collection storage that supports the museum’s extensive lending activities.
Acknowledging the importance of The Broad Art Foundation’s extensive activities in lending works of art, and redefining how museums store art, the design brings the art storage to the fore, locating the heart of the collection in the very center of the building. The heavy, opaque volume of the “vault” is always in view, hovering midway in the building. Its carved underside shapes the lobby below and the public circulation routes.
Contrasting with the vault is the “veil,” a porous, honeycomb-like exterior structure that spans the block-long building and provides filtered natural daylight. The veil lifts at the front entry corners of the building, welcoming visitors into an active lobby and gift shop. The public is then drawn upward via a 105-foot escalator, tunneling through the vault toward the light above to arrive onto the third-floor gallery. Visitors then descend through the vault via a winding stair that offers glimpses into the vast holdings of the collection through overlook windows into storage areas.
“Our goal has been to honor the responsibilities of the museum as a collecting institution by making the curatorial functions visible front and center,” said Elizabeth Diller, principal-in-charge of Diller Scofidio + Renfro. “The porous exoskeleton that we call the veil admits filtered natural daylight, channeling light into the public spaces and galleries.”
The addition of The Broad to Grand Avenue’s notable lineup of institutions, which include Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the three venues of The Music Center, the Colburn School, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels and the Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts, cements Los Angeles as one of the world’s leading cultural cities and contributes to a revitalization of downtown Los Angeles that has been championed by Eli and Edythe Broad for more than 30 years.
Adding Life and Excitement to Downtown
In the spirit of the various themes within the Broad collection, the museum will present public programming—including films, talks, performances, music and more—to engage with the ideas and creative processes of the artists in the collection. The Broad’s programming will feature fresh perspectives on the Broad collection to illuminate the influence artists in the collection have had, and continue to have, on visual and performing artists today.
Integral to the development of The Broad has been the improvement of the streetscape on Grand Avenue and construction of public amenities that include a 24,000-square-foot public plaza, landscaped with a grove of 100-year-old Barouni olive trees and a tilted lawn; a new mid-block crosswalk and planted median, connecting The Broad on the west side of Grand Avenue with MOCA and the Colburn School on the east; and a pair of wide stairs and an elevator connecting the plaza with the planned Hope Street Metro Regional Connector Rail station at 2nd Street.
At the western end of the plaza will be Otium, a new free-standing restaurant developed by Bill Chait and Chef Timothy Hollingsworth that will open in fall 2015. A native Angeleno, Chait is known as the developer and operator of restaurants including the nationally acclaimed Test Kitchen, République and Bestia. Chef Timothy Hollingsworth was formerly the chef de cuisine at The French Laundry in Napa Valley. Featuring an eclectic menu that focuses on both refined and rustic techniques, Otium merges indoor and outdoor spaces by utilizing wood fire rotisseries, a mezzanine garden and an open kitchen.
To serve visitors to the area, The Broad has constructed a 155,000-square-foot, three-story subterranean parking garage with spaces for 344 vehicles, including dedicated spaces for electric cars and for bicycles.
221 S. Grand Ave.
Los Angeles, California 90012
Tuesday and Wednesday: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Closed Monday, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day
General admission to The Broad is free. Advance online reservations are encouraged, but not required. For visitors who want to ensure a specific date and time for their visit, and avoid wait times during busy periods, The Broad provides advance reservation of timed tickets online at no charge. Tickets have entry times beginning every half hour. Free tickets are available for reservation at thebroad.org/tickets. Tickets are also available for same-day or future visits onsite at the museum beginning Sept. 20.
Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, a mirror-lined chamber housing a dazzling and seemingly endless LED light display, will be featured in the inaugural installation. This experiential artwork on the museum’s first floor has limited capacity, accommodating one visitor at a time for approximately 45 seconds, and will require a separate free timed ticket, which general admission ticket holders will be able to reserve after admission to the museum.
About The Broad
The Broad is a new contemporary art museum founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. The museum, which is designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, opens Sept. 20, 2015 with free general admission. The museum is home to the 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art worldwide. With its innovative “veil-and-vault” concept, the 120,000- square-foot, $140-million building features two floors of gallery space to showcase The Broad’s comprehensive collection and will be the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library.
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