December 27, 2007
LACMA gets contemporary
(Page 3 - Previous Page)However, Zelevansky feels that while other museums speak to a limited community of art insiders, LACMA, under Govan, is going to use its collections to reach out to Los Angeles' communities.
Pflaumer also told me that Govan intends to engage living artists to create works for the museum that better involve viewers. To that end, the light-filled, columnless galleries of BCAM; the glass elevators; and the outdoor sculptures are all crafted to enhance the visitor's experience of the art.
Alfred Barr, New York's Museum of Modern Art's first director, once said of his own institution: "This museum is a torpedo, its head the ever-advancing present, its tail the ever-receding past...."
With the completion of LACMA's Phase I, it increases its connection to the present and lays the groundwork for its future -- one that we hope will celebrate not only the new and the collectible but also the greatness and depth of the museum's encyclopedic holdings. That is a goal worth advancing that even a Scrooge such as myself wouldn't torpedo.
Tom Teicholz is a film producer in Los Angeles. Everywhere else, he's an author and journalist who has written for The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Interview and The Forward.