The Los Angeles County Museum of Art houses an array of art from the ancient world to contemporary art. It features many mediums such as interactive sculptures, photography, film, and paintings. I always enjoy the modern and contemporary art and the exhibits they hold. In the Ahmanson Building, they have the works of Picasso and Matisse on display as well as many other influential painters and sculptures of the last century.
As you walk into the Ahmanson Building, you are greeted by a huge geometrical sculpture looming over your head. As you proceed up the stairs, the modern European art can be seen, in a maze-like walk of art and dim lighting. Outside of the Ahmanson is the current Stanley Kubrick exhibition (which requires additional tickets).
Back across the Grand Entrance, opposite of the Ahmanson, is the Broad Contemporary Art Museum, which is a huge three story structure where the works of Barbara Kruger, Andy Warhol, and many others can be seen. The elevator you can take is a work of art itself. It has huge graphic printed text designed by Barbara Kruger, quoting famous minds. It’s the largest elevator I’ve every been in and I like that even something this practical has a artistic purpose: it displays Kruger’s bold art from the 70s.
I like the direction that contemporary art has gone into. It is dominated by video projection and sound. There are huge rooms where film is being displayed as art. The mediums have shifted from paintbrush and canvas to video/film and sound. I always like the art that incorporates that visual and audio element.
Many of the rooms within the contemporary art museum are not allowed to be photographed, so you will see mostly photos from outside the museums or the Ahmanson Building.
One of the coolest things I saw on my visit was a sculptural display entitled Metropolis II by Chris Burden. It is a huge display in miniature of a busy city of winding roads and skyscrapers. Small cars (Hot Wheels style) zoom past on tracks and it is visually stunning to watch. There are probably over a thousand little cars shooting around and it makes a lot of noise! It was a really cool experience.
Once back outside, you can walk to the structural display called Urban Light by Chris Burden as well. This display consists of tons of streetlamps lined up next to each other as a sort of forest of light. I bet this would look really cool lit up at night, but I haven’t been there in the evening.
There is also a work called Levitated Mass, which is a huge boulder displayed so passersby can walk underneath it! Pretty intense.
What I enjoy about LACMA is how easily they make art accessible. Many of the displays require a day pass but outdoor excitement is free to the public. Exposing the public to art is something I find valuable and meaningful. So go see the art for yourself! And go take a class on art and see that it’s more valuable and personal than you think.
Rather than inspiring a work of prose, this museum inspired in me some free verse poetry. I had a fascination throughout my trip of what it would be like to wander the halls of the museum in the middle of the night. I wrote the free verse without punctuation, as if it was a continuous thought. You can read the poem here.