A shaky debut in L.A.
Los Angeles’ newest museum is like a Hollywood blockbuster: expensive, heavily hyped, and disappointing, said Lee Rosenbaum in The Wall Street Journal. The Broad Museum of Contemporary Art is actually an extension of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which spent $56 million to build a Renzo Piano–designed structure. It was supposed to house the extensive contemporary art collection of philanthropist Eli Broad. But in January, at the last second, Broad made “the jaw-dropping public pronouncement” that he had decided not to donate his collection after all. Instead, he’ll make works available on a rotating basis: The inaugural exhibition includes about 150 works by “undeniably all-star” artists, including Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, and Andy Warhol. “Yes, there’s a lot of great material,” said Christopher Knight in the Los Angeles Times. But relying so heavily on a single collection limits this exhibit’s scope. “Mostly the exhibition just looks expensive.” In the end, losing the artworks Broad had promised may not be such a tragedy. Future shows will give the museum a chance to display a wide variety of artists more representative of “multicultural Los Angeles.”