A few weeks ago, a friend and I decided to visit Los Angeles County Museum of Art, also known as LACMA. If you haven’t been there it is definitely a spot to visit in Los Angeles. It is actually one of most filmed places in Los Angeles and also boost the title of the place with the most selfies taken. The famous selfie location is actually in front of artwork called “Urban Light” by Chris Burden.
Before I continue, I am going to give a warning, I am a museum professional. I am going to kind of geek out in the technical aspects of the museum. However, I am going to highlight my overall experience at the museum as a visitor. With this said, our whole purpose was to see the temporary exhibition, called “Samurai: Japanese Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection.” I didn’t think LACMA will have so many great exhibitions all at the same time. My friend and I were just planning to visit the museum for about two hours and we stayed there for about four hours. Let me start from the beginning of my trip. After purchasing the tickets for the temporary exhibition, at $25 for each of us, a bit pricey but totally worth it. We headed to the first exhibition next to the box office, since we noticed that there were so many school kids in the Samurai exhibition. We decided to go on a Monday for less crowds but it back fired on us with the endless school tours.
This first exhibition was called “Haunted Screens: German Cinema in the 1920s.” What can I say about this is that I totally love it. I had little knowledge about 1920s German Cinema. The exhibition design just attracted me into the exhibition, like exhibition design should do. I love the use of the dramatic lights to mimic the usage of dramatic lights in silent cinema during that time period. In addition, I love the construction of the display cases and wall. In specifically, the wall constructed as a never-ending staircase which the exhibition emphasis the staircases was a common motif in German cinema. My favorite parts of this exhibition was the shadowing of the robots and the posters, unfortunately I was not allow to take pictures of the beautiful illustrated posters. Oh I forgot to mention, that this exhibition is actually part of The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. I can’t wait for that museum to open.
The second exhibition, and the only purpose we went to LACMA is the “Samurai” exhibition. I love the dramatic entrance of the exhibition. The usage of red is fanastic and it definitely changes the mood of the museum. Red made it feel more welcome and had a warming feel to it. This exhibition definitely was going for the big boom, because when you walked in, you walked into a group of samurai horses and men, of course these were fake horses. Overall, I like exhibition. The Samurai outfits were awesome. But I felt that space was not utilized well and the exhibition was only going for the big bang.
The third exhibition, a retrospective of the french artist “Pierre Huyghe.” This was an unconventional exhibition which featured a unclear path of direction and lets you roam on yourself if you were exploring a new physical location. I expected not to like this exhibition because of it randomness but I have to say, “I loved it”.
It was my favorite exhibition out of all exhibitions at LACMA that day.
When you first entered, a guard dressed in a fancy suit shouts out your name. I played the Pong video game on the ceiling of the exhibition. Watch videos while sitting in the floor. Entered a dark room of light, mist, and videos. Saw snow, ice, and wander outside to a bee hive statue.
His message of environmental issue is the connection with all his artworks. But you will not gather that from wandering in the first 10 minutes of the exhibition. At first, you wonder what are connection of one artwork to the other, which mimics the randomness of environment issues connected to human activity. For example, the statue beehive which I interpreted as the death of bee because he mimics the Roman or Greek inspired look, a great civilization that collapsed like the bee hive colonies collapsing today.
His contemporary artwork made me think in a way I never thought before. I applaud him for his work because that is the duty of art and the artist.
Overall, LACMA is an awesome museum in Los Angeles to visit. If you do not have the means to visit the special exhibitions. Just the permanent exhibitions are great. The art featured in the permanent exhibitions are ever changing. I visited the Broad Contemporary Art Museum building to find on the fourth floor the “Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist” exhibition. If you love color, then this exhibition to visit.
If I were to recommend the top contemporary artworks to visit, it is the following artworks.
LACMA is truly a mass museum and it never-ending collections of artworks and objects is amazing. It is definitely one of my favorite museum in Los Angeles and definitely worth the drive and time. For more information, please visit http://www.lacma.org.
Let me know if you want me to visit other exhibitions or museums and write a review about them in the comments below.
Till the next time, stay curious and you will discover a world beyond yours.