February 23, 2008

The Broad Contemporary Art Museum

In his February 15th review in the New York Times, Nicolai Ouroussoff turns up his nose at the new Broad Contemporary Art Museum in Los Angeles. He finds it to be "remarkably uninspired" and faults the museum for not creating "a monument to the civic aspirations of Los Angeles."

The Times takes a similarly sniffy attitude towards the Broad's opening exhibit that they see as simply "rounding up the usual suspects" because it presents some of the best known examples of contemporary art rather than something edgier.

These are cheap shots. The Times wants the museum and the exhibit to somehow be more like the Los Angeles New Yorkers imagine than the Los Angeles that people actually live in. I'll be more interested to know how the public responds.

The new LACMA (of which the Broad is part) has the potential to become a wonderful indoor/outdoor pedestrian space. If the new courtyards and new exhibits are filled with Angelinos talking about art and enjoying each other as well as the quality of the Los Angeles light, then the museum will be a success.

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