Monday 19 October 2015

Taking the Broad View at The Broad, LA's New Art Museum

I stayed in LA as a guest of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, though I paid for my own airfares to the USA.

Timing is everything. On my latest visit to Los Angeles I was lucky enough to be in town just three weeks after the opening of The Broad (pronounced 'brode'). 

Situated in the city's arts and civic centre in Bunker Hill, west of the Downtown, The Broad is an art museum showcasing the postwar and contemporary art collection of Eli and Edythe Broad. The couple, now in their 80s, have been collecting art for five decades, and their collection finally has a dedicated exhibition space.

And what a space it is, inside and out. The building already has a striking neighbour, the Walt Disney Concert Hall:

And The Broad's exterior is equally eye-catching:

Those gaps in the exterior (known as "the veil") aren't just there for show. They allow plentiful natural light into the building, while being angled and shaded so it doesn't fade the artworks. This is the ceiling on the top floor, allowing the light to enter from above:

Architecture aside, it's a marvellous collection of art. I recognised many famous names of the late 20th century art world, such as Warhol, Lichtenstein and Rauschenberg. Jeff Koon's giant colourful works were also prominent. But there were many other names that were new to me, all attached to impressive pieces that looked marvellous in the natural light.

Here's a selection of what I saw:

As you can see, there's a lot of diversity among the works on display; and a lot of fun.

Entry to The Broad is free, but demand is so high that you need to reserve a timeslot via the institution's website at As there's a fair bit of attrition among these free tickets, though, you can also try your luck by turning up at The Broad on the day and seeing if they'll let you in. It's located at 221 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles.

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