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Get Excited: The Broad is Finally Open

Eli and Edythe Broad officially opened their new museum, the Broad, this Sunday, and we were lucky enough to get a sneak peek. The Broads are some of LA’s most generous philanthropists, and the impetus for building their museum came out of the need for a place to make their collection (which is one of the most important collections of contemporary art in the world) available to the public. In keeping with the tradition of accessibility, there’s no admission charge.

The gorgeous new building occupies prime real estate on Grand Avenue in Downtown LA, and it’s already one of the city’s architectural stars (and a worthy next door neighbor to Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall). The credit goes to Diller Scofidio + Renfro (made famous for their work on the high line and ICA in Boston), who created an outer façade of a porous white matte layer that encloses a dark, concrete, vault-like interior like a veil. And it is, in some ways, an actual vault: The entire collection is stored on-site, and you’ll see sneak peeks of the storage space in hallways. But it’s in the gallery spaces that visitors experience Liz Diller’s true genius—the permeable exterior leaves the galleries filled with abundant natural light without any direct rays from the sun.

Obviously the best thing about this new venture is the opportunity to see so much of the Broads’ collection in one place. The list of works in the inaugural exhibition reads like a who’s who of contemporary art: an enormous Jeff Koons balloon dog welcomes you to the second floor, not to be outdone by a Takashi Murakami painting that spreads across two full walls on the first floor. And you might as well prepare for another barrage of selfies from Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Room, which the Broads purchased after it showed at David Zwirner Gallery in New York. Our pick: A beautiful gallery of Ellsworth Kelly’s graphic paintings and sculptures and a picture-perfect installation of Kara Walker’s African’t.

Just in case that wasn’t enough, the museum’s on-site restaurant, Otium, is set up to be one of LA’s better meals. Keeping with the Broads’ excellent taste, it’s helmed by Bill Chait (he’s behind many of our favorite LA restaurants, including Bestia and Republique) with French Laundry alum Tim Hollingsworth signed on as chef and owner.

  • The Broad
  • The Broad Yayoi Kusama. The Infinity Mirrored Room – Souls of
     Millions of Light Years Away, 2013.
    © Yayoi Kusama. Courtesy of David Zwirner, New York
  • The Broad Jean-Michel Basquiat. Untitled, 1981.
    © Estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat.
     Photo: Douglas M. Parker Studio, L.A
  • The Broad
  • The Broad Robert Therrien. Not Title (Table and Four Chairs), 2003.
    © Robert Therrien / ARS, NY, and DACS
  • The Broad
  • The Broad Roy Lichtenstein. I…I’m Sorry!. 1965-1966.
    © Estate of Roy Lichtenstein. Photo:
    Douglas M. Parker Studio, L.A
  • The Broad Ed Ruscha. Norm’s. La
    Cienega on Fire, 1964.
    © Ed Ruscha
  • The Broad
  • The Broad
  • The Broad Cindy Sherman. Untitled Film Still #43, 1979.
    © Cindy Sherman. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures
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