The Inaugural Installation - Through September 2008
I am probably a little late to the party, but during spring break, I had the opportunity to spend a wonderful afternoon at LACMA's (The Los Angeles County Museum of Art) new BCAM (The Broad Contemporary Art Museum). I really felt at home there. Many of the artists represented in the exhibit were, and continue to be, important to me and the development of my own work. All of the art is exceptional, but one work in particular stands out, the sculptural installation titled Urban Light by Chris Burden. It is engaging because Chris Burden is able to do so much by doing so little to over two hundred restored cast-iron lampposts from Los Angeles County. The lights, arranged simply in a tight grid, are transformed from being something utilitarian to something nonfunctional, art. By day, a stroll through the sculpture is reminiscent of a walk through an ancient Greek temple; by night, the sculpture bathes the visitor in a warm protective blanket of light making him or her not just an observer but an integral part of the art itself.
Putting aside the fact that Eli Broad, home builder and art collector extraordinaire, helped to see BCAM realized for the sole purpose of establishing permanent digs for his extensive art collection, BCAM offers viewers an exceptional in depth view of American contemporary art. The works of art are grouped by individual artists and provide a generous representation of some the most significant artists of the last forty years which include: Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, Ellsworth Kelly, Cindy Sherman, Jean-Michel Basquiat, John Baldessari, Jeff Koons, Chris Burden, Mike Kelley, and Richard Serra.