William Poundstone
William Poundstone on Art and Chaos

William Poundstone’s Los Angeles County Museum on Fire

L.A. Comes of Age (Groundhog Day)

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“2014 may prove a turning point for art museums in Los Angeles.”

The Economist, in a Jan. 4, 2014, article citing MOCA’s Mike Kelley exhibition

“There is no question that Los Angeles has become the contemporary-art capital of the world.”

Eli Broad in The New Yorker, Dec. 6, 2010

“Mr. Deitch’s selection… may very well make Los Angeles the most exciting city in the world for museums of contemporary art, the place where the future of museums takes shape.”

Roberta Smith on Jeffrey Deitch’s appointment as MOCA director, Jan. 11. 2010

“Los Angeles, a city of suburbs in search of a center, on Monday came one step closer to finding one.… Whether a single building, however grandiose, can transform downtown Los Angeles is an open question.”

The New York Times on the opening of Disney Hall, Oct. 20, 2003

“The Getty Center should make Angelenos in general feel a little better, in part by making Los Angeles seem more like a real city.… obviously, the Getty Center will enable culturally ambitious citizens to weather the Woody Allen jokes.”

The New Yorker on the Getty Center opening, Sept. 29, 1997

“Q. What’s the difference between Los Angeles and a bowl of yogurt? A. Yogurt has a live culture. Time to pension off that oldie…”

Robert Hughes on the opening of MOCA Grand Avenue and LACMA’s Anderson Building, Jan. 12, 1987

“The City of Angels used to be a place where culture feared to tread. But today the traffic slowing down to neck-crane along Wilshire Boulevard is not looking for stars but admiring the shimmering complex of pavilions surrounded by a moatlike reflecting pool of vastly more substance and value than was ever to be seen in a DeMille superset.”

Time magazine on LACMA’s opening, April 2, 1965

(At top of post: Mike Kelley’s Ahh… Youth. Above: A school group at the early LACMA, viewing Norbert Kricke’s Space Sculpture.)

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  1. LA is about the art of appearance, substance is at best meaningless, at worst a threat to reveal the bells and whistles of manipulation. Art flees here, Hollyweird anyway.
    That makes Broad our greatest artist, the PT Barnum of the 21st century, and as a King of the court jesters who seek approval from the clown princes of celluloid and land speculators.

  2. Donald, Why make stupid and sophomoric comments like you did? You are simply regurgitating all of the stereotypes about LA Art. Take your blinders off and you will see one of the most vibrant art colonies anywhere in the world. I have traveled the major cities of the world for the past 40 years. Artists revere LA for the giant chaotic engine of progress that it is. Celebrate it, revel in it. Enjoy it.

  3. The only ones who revel in it are artistes, no one else cares. MoCA is the center of selfishness and Meism. Its games, toys and therapy are for the nouveau riche to party and inver in. Its attendance numbers are horrible, and outside opening days for such travesties as the Murikami purse sales and boutique are negligible. Its for white entitled children, not mature adults the street art show was theonly one to get notice outside the museo/academic/gallery complex of inbred childishness, no one cares what they think but the nouveau riche, who might make money in their small slivers of society but sure are dumb outside of it.

    Deitsch was the Wizard of Ozz behind his curtain pulling the bells and whistles, it is now back to academic Imperial Clothing.

  4. Er, not inver, but Invest in. The board pays to see its investment portfolio shown and added to $$$. Culture and art have nothing to do with it. it is but a game, and you its pawns and court fools.

  5. Robert Hughes could have been right, but after wasting its great count Panza collection ahs done near nothing since. That was late Modern art, this is the Contempt of the rebuilt Academy.

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