The Un-Private Collection series
May 28 2014
Even before its anticipated 2015 opening, the contemporary art museum The Broad, located in downtown Los Angeles, is well on its way to becoming a massive cultural hub for the city. Designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the museum will feature The Broad Art Foundation’s collection, consisting of over two thousand works in a one-hundred-and-twenty square foot gallery space. Meanwhile, the foundation is presenting a series of talks titled “The Un-Private Collection,” which facilitates conversations among cultural contemporaries, critics, collectors and artists such as Jeff Koons, John Waters, John Currin, Shirin Neshat, Mark Bradford, Robert Rauschenberg, Katy Siegel and Kara Walker, whose works are part of The Broad’s collection. While the dialogue engages with art, activism, creativity and practice, the talks also underline philanthropist Eli Broad’s belief that private collections are to be shared and readily available for public experience. Eli and Edythe Broad created The Broad Art Foundation in the early 1980s and have since acted as a major lending library for contemporary works. Upcoming talks feature Takashi Murakami and Pico Iyer speaking on the complexities of Murakami’s work and its place in contemporary Japanese culture, scheduled for 29 May at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles; Eric Fischl alongside Steve Martin are slated to discuss Fischl’s career in southern California on 23 June at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica; John Currin will be in conversation with president and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust James Cuno on 14 September at The Getty Museum in Brentwood; and artist Kara Walker will join film director Ava DuVernay at the Writers Guild in Beverly Hills on 11 October. (Ashlyn Behrndt)
“Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology”
at Hammer Museum, Los Angeles
April 16 2014
When considering works made under the banner of Institutional Critique in late 1980s and early 1990s, the premise of their cultural commentary shows a direct lineage to that of fifteen years prior. The exhibition “Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology” at Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum shows thirty-six American artists—including Jimmie Durham, Andrea Fraser, Mike Kelley, Barbara Kruger, Glenn Ligon, Adrian Piper and others—who utilized Institutional Critique from as early as the late 1970s to as recently as the 2000s. The works in this show are separated into categories that cross-examine parallel frameworks. Jenny Holzer’s well-known Inflammatory Essays (1978–9) cover a wall in poster form, looking into an insecure societal subconscious and describing a common, fear-driven mentality. The show, however, focuses on a methodology that was critical not only towards politics and society but also to the very institutions that house the works themselves. Beginning with with second-wave feminism, critical gestures made towards the practices of museums and galleries in the 1960s acted as a foundation for a common social and political discussion among critics and artists. In a more recent mixed media installation created by Stephen Prina, The Second Sentence of Everything I Read Is You: Mourning Sex (2005–07) embodies a surreal strip mall experience with acoustic harmonies pouring through speakers. The similarities between the two works, produced years apart, is a similar interest in questioning the value of and credibility of the gallery or museum as a gatekeeper. (Ashlyn Behrndt)
“Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology” at Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, runs through May 18.