This spring, coinciding with his first major exhibition in the Middle East, American sculptor Richard Serra launched a public art commission in Qatar entitled East-West/West-East. Serra’s large-scale assemblies of sheet metal are famously minimal and massive, and this site-specific work in Qatar is absolutely monolithic.
At the corner of Wilshire and Fairfax, on the southwestern edge of LACMA’s campus, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is constructing the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. The project is led by Renzo Piano – the starchitect of LACMA’s adjacent Broad and Resnick pavilions – and will include a renovation of the landmarked May Company Building.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is the largest art museum in the Western United States with more than 120,000 works in its permanent collection and more than 1 million visitors annually. Its collection is encyclopedic, its programs are exemplary, and its leadership is solid, but LACMA’s mid-Wilshire campus is a hot mess.
Eli Broad has been a primary benefactor of the LA art world for decades. He was the founding chairman of MOCA in 1979 and is a lifetime trustee. In 2008, The Broad Foundation gave MOCA a $30 million bailout after its endowment had been depleted. Broad is also a lifetime trustee at LACMA, where The Broad Foundation gave $60 million for the Renzo Piano-designed Broad Contemporary Art Museum building. In total, the Broads have given over $800 million to LA’s art institutions.
Simultaneously, the Broads and The Broad Art Foundation have developed a combined art collection of nearly 2,000 important modern and contemporary works. So, Eli Broad is building a new museum.