Archive for the ‘LACMA’ Category

Renzo Piano’s latest work, going up under that great L.A. sky


I went back, and this time the weather was more L.A. Here again you see the roof of the new pavilion of galleries designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop going up in Los Angeles. For now the fins on top of the building- to capture, contain and shape the natural light, to bring it into the galleries below- look like a framework for photovoltaic solar panels, as you see over many parking lots in Southern California.

On the left is the lookout point of Piano’s earlier work at the L.A.County Museum of Art, the BCAM. In Paris when you ascend the escalator of Piano (and Roger’s) Pompidou Center the city unfolds, opens up, as you rise. In L.A. at LACMA, as you ride Piano’s escalator to the top, you are given a view of the sky.

And, seen through the construction fences:

More info on the Resnick Pavilion in the post just below. Scroll down or click here.

More Renzo Piano at the L.A. County Museum of Art (LACMA). So how’s that going?


After opening the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM) about a year ago (February 2008), the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is now on to Phase II of its transformation. Here’s a model of what we have to look forward to:

A one story, glass-filled, pavilion for galleries. (Official info on this building at the bottom.) You’ll see bountiful L.A. light coming in from the top, modulated by one of those finned grill systems that Renzo Piano Building Workshop does so well.

LACMA’s leader Michael Govan says that our favorite museums are one-story structures. Think about it. He may be right.

Just a few months ago the site for LACMA’s new Resnick Pavilion, as it’s to be called, was barren. Today I went to LACMA for a preview of “The Art of Two Germanys – Cold War Culture.” We were blessed with rain, fitting of a show that took me back to Berlin.

And, seizing the opportunity to find anything but blue skies here in L.A., I snapped these photos of the construction of LACMA’s Resnick Pavilion.

Here’s how close it is to BCAM

Seen from the balcony outlook of the red, escalator/staircase at BCAM

From LACMA’s website:

The Resnick Pavilion will be a single-story, glass and stone-enclosed structure sited north of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum (BCAM).

The new building… is intended to house special exhibitions, freeing up existing gallery space for LACMA’s robust permanent collection. Architecturally, the Resnick Pavilion will complement BCAM—both buildings feature glass roof and ceiling elements that will flood the galleries with natural light. The Resnick Pavilion’s exterior will be a combination of glass and travertine marble, and its interior galleries will be a flexible open plan that can accommodate multiple exhibitions at once as well as large-scale works of art. Construction on the new building commenced in 2008 and is slated for completion in mid 2010.

Model, northern aerial view, Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, architects, photo © 2008 Museum Associates/LACMA.

For Renzo in Chicago, the current expansion of the Art Institute, click here.

Trains, cranes and museums


Tyler Green says of Jeff Koons’ project for outside LACMA, the L.A. County Museum of Art,

“This is unrelated to the proposed Koons ‘train’ at LACMA, but what the heck…

I like that “rhyme” and wish I’d thought of it (after all, Montparnasse, where this occurred, was my train station when I lived in Paris and that image was all around)

but Koon’s project to me has always “rhymed with”

Moshe Safdie’s design (unbuilt) for the Stuttgart Museum of Contemporary Art (1990).

Unlike Koon’s proposal, Safdie’s had a practical function

“Served by a giant crane, the temporary galleries could be moved and transferred to off-site storage when not in use…. When not being used, the crane would stand motionless like a spire, but would appear to transform itself into a symbol of change while in use, as it swung to position new works or convert temporary galleries for upcoming exhibitions.”

And unlike L.A., Stuttgart does not suffer earthquakes, that I know of.

And although it’s very different in tone, reason and purpose – while we’re talking Moshe Safdie, let’s remember, with respect, that a little later, around 1991 – 1994, he designed the Yad Vashem Transports Memorial.

(Click on either catalog image to enlarge it.)


Both Sides Now, L.A and Chicago

Back in Daleyville, I’m trying to absorb what I’ve learned from Los Angeles. To integrate that place with the place I live now, Chicago. Hm. What do you think? Should we install John Baldessari’s cloud carpet from the L.A. County Museum of Art around the base of “Cloud Gate” in Chicago’s Millennium Park?

Maybe just temporarily – (smile).
More thoughts on L.A. soon.



John Baldessari’s carpet from a Magritte show at LACMA still exists and still pleases,

in a LACMA conference room.

If they sold it in the gift shop, would people buy it?


Flavin at LACMA

Made less of an impression on me than it did during its run in Chicago at the Museum of Contemporary Art a couple autumns ago. Maybe I simply needed color and light more in Chicago in October than I do in Los Angeles in June?! The subjective response is what makes it all interesting. And Dan Flavin is a man for all seasons.


Museums collecting houses.

Back when the Farnsworth House was in trouble I asked honchos at the Art Institute of Chicago if they were interested in buying it. It certainly wasn’t that expensive, as masterpieces go, just 7 – 8 million bucks. Nothing when you consider that a far-less-interesting Jasper Johns painting can go for $80+ million. Anyway, the Art Institute wasn’t interested, they said they didn’t collect houses.

I also thought at the time that the then newly-flush (after an approximately 125 million dollar bequest) Poetry Foundation could buy the Farnsworth House and its land, and let poets reside there, be inspired and write. What could the Poetry Foundation do better with its money? They weren’t interested either. Nothing rhymed with ‘Farnsworth?’ Anyway, the saga ended well when Landmarks Illinois and the National Trust bought the darn thing at auction.

So I’m pleased to see that Los Angeles County Museum of Art Director Michael Govan is looking at houses – as potential museum pieces.

Edward Wyatt in the New York Times has the story.

(Govan’s) idea — one that has rarely, if ever, been tried on a large scale by a major museum — is to collect significant pieces of midcentury residential architecture, including houses by Rudolf M. Schindler, Richard Neutra, Frank Lloyd Wright, and his son Lloyd Wright, and to treat them as both museum objects and as residences for curators.

What a perk! I think it’s a great idea.

I like House Museums and I would like Museum Houses. For cities like LA, Chicago, and yours? – lucky enough to be blessed with inspired, inspiring dwellings.

If you get one of those really nice dwellings, I’d be happy to bring you a cup of sugar.