An impulsive early evening trip to LACMA last night to finally see the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (I know– long overdue,) housed in it’s Renzo Piano-designed digs, turned into a trip down memory lane for me. As it turned out, I had seen a lot of the ’80s and ’90s pieces in their original gallery exhibitions in NYC during those decades.
In some instances I felt like I was catching up with friends quickly made on the fly who have done very nicely for themselves since our initial encounter. The fickle art market and press had taken to, anointed and catapulted them to the stratosphere of fine art museums.
Since we were there for the final 90 minutes of a LACMA day, there were very few people about. Wandering alone through the undulating and disorienting paths of the massive Serras and under Robert Therrien’s giant dining table and chairs in their pristine settings was akin to exploring a quiet cathedral.
Jeff Koon’s shiny, blue Dog sported a thin layer of dust. The Baldessaris clinically articulated their intent. A museum guard enthusiastically provided a wealth of information about the enormous Barbara Kruger elevator and the few LACMA-owned pieces scattered throughout the Broad collection. Jonathan Adler ceramics were 50% off in the gift shop. The book store clerk was only too happy to answer questions about the shop’s contents.
We drifted through the still galleries, then out into the dusk and rushing Wilshire traffic, trailing a church-like calm the honking horns could not penetrate.