LACMA's newest building BCAM (Broad Contemporary Art museum) held their press preview. The modern boxy uninspired three floored building will house most of Eli Broad's contemporary art and a small choice of LACMA's collection. Broad completely footed the 56 million dollar bill. He even got to choose architect Renzo Piano over LACMA's favorite Rem Koolhaas. The outside of BCAM is too weak and dull for modern LA. Gehry would have made the best choice for architect. BCAM has few bright spots. There is the oddly long escalator to the top floor. The top floor is brilliant inside with open glass ceilings and sunshades which make beautiful natural light. The museum would have been perfect if they just stopped with the top floor. Floors two and three are lifeless, dark and dungeon like with weak lighting. Great for gothic not modern art. No connection is made with the top floor at all, ala the Guggenhiem. The artwork is stodgy for a modern art collection. The bright spots are Jeff Koons brilliant sculptures along with Jean-Michel Basquiat's and Jasper John's painting. The rest of the collection is too self indulgent and basic. The Chris Burden "Urban Light" installation is interesting and makes a fun entrance to BCAM, although the flooring has some steps too close to the border. BCAM is going to see lot's of twisted ankles. The garden is predictable with various non-indigenous palm trees and tropicals. BCAM feels temporary overall, just like most of LA.
Photos by Ted Soqui c 2008