William Poundstone
William Poundstone on Art and Chaos

William Poundstone’s Los Angeles County Museum on Fire

Dan Flavin Finds a Corner at the Norton Simon

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There can’t be many 2013 museum installations with a crazier back story than one planned for the Norton Simon Museum. It will debut Dan Flavin’s “monument” on the survival of Mrs. Reppin, a 1966 fluorescent corner piece acquired by the pre-NSM Pasadena Museum back in 1969. The Ladd + Kelsey building on Colorado Boulevard was then under construction. The Flavin was never shown in its new home (below)… because the building had no corners.

To L+K, corners were Squaresville and Flatland, unsuited to the mad Möbius strip of tomorrow’s psychedelic-hippie-feminist art. Not until Frank Gehry’s 1999 refresh were the NSM’s galleries squared off, belated acknowledgment that the West Coast’s MoMA had become its Frick (as Robert Irwin put it). One corner will show the Flavin, March 8 to August 19, 2013.

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  1. More like LAs Guggenheim, with badly lit curved space, though not the spiraling collapsable drinking cup design of FLWs ‘masterpiece”. Though i seldom like Gehry’s overwrought, pseudo-intellectual stuff this was very nicely done, traditional restrictions did him well. Its the downstairs Hindu/Buddhist “temple that makes the building, though much better viewing real Modern art now and the garden extraordinarily better. Though how much the actual garden and displaying of the downstairs art was actually his i dont know. Certainly goes against his “ethic”.

  2. But this is a waste of space, jedi light tricks dont work in the real world.

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