Exhibition Inquisition

The stuff you look at, but don't see.

Posts Tagged ‘Art

Chapter 3 (Part 5): The Lucas Cultural Arts Museum

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“I thought a museum was a concept that people already bought into about 200 years ago. They’re having us do as much work as we can hoping that we will give up. […] They hate us.” – George Lucas

Like the Fishers, filmmaker George Lucas wanted to build a museum in San Francisco’s Presidio. Lucas wanted to bring his Lucas Cultural Arts Museum to Crissy Field – a beach-front portion of the Presidio National Park with killer views of the Golden Gate, Alcatraz, and the Bay. Lucas must be reading Eli Broad’s museum-building playbook: After Lucas’s proposal was rejected he threatened to take his museum and collection to another city. Will billionaire Lucas get what he wants by leveraging cities against one another? Remember those sweet deals Santa Monica and Beverly Hills offered Eli Broad when he was “considering” them instead of Downtown for his museum? We know how that turned out.

Lucas with Rockwell's "Shadow Artist."

Lucas with Rockwell’s “Shadow Artist.”

Lucas was making plans for his museum in 2009, but didn’t make a formal proposal until the Presidio Trust, which oversees and maintains the Presidio, sent out an RFP for the Crissy Field location. By March of 2013 16 proposals had been submitted, and by September those had been narrowed to three including Lucas’s museum. Lucas’s proposal was for a new Beaux-Arts-style museum to house his collections of illustration (lot of Norman Rockwell) and film ephemera (heard of Star Wars?). Lucas was willing to spend $700million: $300M for construction and $400M to endow it–he was good for it too, having sold the Star Wars franchise and Lucasfilm to Disney in 2012 for $4.05 BILLION dollars… Read the rest of this entry »

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Introduction (Part 2): The Veil, the Vault and the Avenue

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“The museum’s ‘veil’ lifts at its corners, welcoming visitors in.”[i]
– Elizabeth Diller, Diller, Scofidio + Renfro, architects, The Broad

Conceptual Rendering of the “Veil and the Vault” by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Conceptual Rendering of the “Veil and the Vault” by Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

The new, $100 million museum will be called The Broad, after its founder, local philanthropist Eli Broad.  The sure-to-be-iconic building houses 50,000 square feet of exhibition and storage space for the Broad collections, and is designed by world-renowned architecture firm, Diller Scofidio + Renfro.  It will be located on Grand Avenue in downtown, and will sit directly across from both Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).  It is a testament to Broad’s generosity and also to his ability to negotiate a public-private project. Read the rest of this entry »

Christian Marclay’s The Clock

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LACMA

Last week, I attended (a portion) of LACMA’s 24-hour screening of the museum’s newly-acquired The Clock by Christian Marclay.  I watched the video work from 8:00 until a little after midnight, and LACMA’s Bing Theater was packed the entire time.  People shuffled out at the bottom of each hour, allowing more people in.  When I left at 12:15, there was still a line of eager museum visitors all the way down the side of the Art of the Americas building.  The Clock has been on view pretty much from the time it was acquired back in May, and just closed this past weekend.  If you didn’t get the opportunity to see it, fear not, I’m sure it will be back—it’s a huge crowd pleaser.

The (de)evolution of the leading lady?

The showing attracted a mixed bag of attendees; The Clock is more fun to watch in a diverse group of people.  Older viewers recognized clips I didn’t; there were big laughs for a dinner scene from The Odd Couple, and more laughs for a Vincent Price clip.  I held my own when I recognized a young Catherine Deneuve, a pivotal scene from Hitchcock’s Rope, and Dustin Hoffman in drag in Tootsie.  The oldtimers were stumped by a clip from Sex and the City.  Some clips I wanted to go on longer, but I quickly forgot about them because there were five or more news clips in the next minute. Read the rest of this entry »

Summer Exhibitions

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LACMA

LACMA’s near acre of new exhibition space, the Resnick Pavilion, means LACMA has a lot of exhibitions to program.  And they seem up to the task.  After the three inaugural shows (Olmec, Fashion, and Eye for the Sensual), LACMA has managed to keep the Resnick Pavilion at full capacity.  There are three shows currently in the space: David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy, Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts, and LACMA’s ticketed blockbuster: Tim Burton.  The shows keep with Michael Govan’s strategy for offering unrelated coinciding shows in the Resnick Pavilion.

Across from the Resnick Pavilion, is Renzo Piano’s other LACMA building, BCAM; it too has been kept full. The top floor is still stocked with Broadworks, the second floor is being deinstalled from the recent permanent collection show Human Nature, and the ground floor just had one of the massive Serra sculptures deinstalled, to make room for a new Burden work, which is going to be AWESOME.

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Rothko Chapel

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I was in Houston last week for the American Association of Museum’s annual conference.  It was my first time attending, and I learned a lot and networked a lot. (Thanks for the fellowship Getty Foundation!)  As a Californian, my perception of Houston is a bit skewed from reality.  It didn’t help that my freshman year roommate was a frat boy from H-Town, who was fond of boxed wine and drunk driving.   All of my conceptions of Houston were changed during my trip.  Total strangers smiled at me and made eye contact (a strange thing for me).  More importantly, Houston is FULL of art institutions.  I managed to squeeze a major art mecca into my trip and was blown away with the amount of things I saw.  (This was easy to accomplish because of Houston’s concentrated museum district.)  I got to see the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston’s traveling summer exhibition Titian and the Golden Age of Venetian Painting.  It was kind of dinky, and I’m glad I didn’t have to pay the extra $7 dollars to see it.  What really blew my mind at the MFAH was the Carlos Cruz Diaz show (post to follow soon); I loved it so much, I saw it twice in four days.

Titian’s “Diana and Actaeon” – The Painting that almost got away.

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Marketing: Zara Window Displays

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Koons Inspiration

It is well known fashion designers find inspiration from fine art (post on Balenciaga coming soon).  Walking around the loop, I discovered advertisers of fashion are inspired by fine art as well, contemporary art even.  The Zara store in Block 37 has window displays that look a lot like a certain contemporary pop artist.  After my two posts on museum advertising, I was blown away to see a specific, and familiar (familiar to some at least) contemporary art piece utilized in a window display of trendy clothing store Zara.  The florescent lighting and metallic cylinder forms shouted “Jeff Koons!” so loud to me I almost snapped my neck doing a double-take.

I’m not the only one who sees Koons here right?

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