Los Angeles’ The Broad reopening to visitors will occur on May 26 with new, free exhibitions and in-depth installations throughout the museum’s galleries. Closed for more than a year due to COVID-19, The Broad reopening will welcome visitors again with new, single-artist presentations in the sky-lit third floor galleries and a free, special group exhibition in the first floor galleries. These single artist presentations include Jean-Michel Basquiat with all 13 works by the artist in The Broad’s collection, three on view for the first time; a mini-survey of Roy Lichtenstein with nearly half the 22 works on view for the first time at the museum; ten artworks by Kara Walker including video, works on paper, and two new acquisitions; and a mini-survey of Andy Warhol that features 26 works including a major new acquisition.
The The Broad reopening includes the special exhibition Invisible Sun in the first floor galleries–developed amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing movement for racial justice and equity–features works in The Broad collection that resonate with our unprecedented period of rupture and collective desire for healing and recovery. The Broad’s Leading Partner East West Bank is the exclusive reopening sponsor.
“Experiencing art in person offers unique healing, joy, and insights that we hope can play a meaningful role in collective recovery. We cannot wait to welcome back our community to The Broad’s galleries, safely, after the long and unprecedented closure of the past 14 months,” Founding Director Joanne Heyler said. “The art our visitors will encounter includes many works exhibited for the first time. This includes a group of extraordinary monograph installations on the museum’s third floor, and the first floor exhibition Invisible Sun, a poignant meditation on art’s ability to address loss while forming a foundation towards healing and understanding.”
Free Exhibitions and Installations
The Broad reopening will be highlighted by a presentation of all 13 Jean-Michel Basquiat works in The Broad collection together for the first time, including three works on view at the museum for the first time: Santo 2 (1982); Deaf (1984); and Wicker (1984). Developing a visual language from many artistic traditions—his Puerto Rican and Haitian heritage, his study of art history, and his participation in a vibrant New York graffiti scene—Basquiat’s art often reflected on Black experience and history against the backdrop of many of the most pressing issues of the 1980s, including the ongoing aftermath of slavery and colonialism.
Furthermore, Basquiat integrated critique of an art world that both celebrated and tokenized him. He saw his own status in this small circle of collectors, dealers, and writers connected to an American history rife with exclusion, invisibility, and paternalism, and he often used his work to directly call out these injustices and hypocrisies.
A mini-survey of Roy Lichtenstein will be on view for The Broad reopening featuring 22 artworks, with nearly half on view at the museum for the first time, including: Purist Still Life (1975); Female Figure (1979); Two Paintings: Radiator and Folded Sheets (1984); and Reflections: VIP! VIP! (1989); Nude with Pyramid (1994). Lichtenstein drew inspiration from American mass culture, advertisements, the history of art, and, over the course of decades, his innovations came to symbolize art’s collision with popular culture. From comic exaggerations of advertising to images of war, cartoon icons to consumer goods, anything and everything printed and distributed in American culture was a potential subject for Lichtenstein’s painting.
As a key founder of the American Pop Art movement, his subject matter aptly explored the rapid image consumption and visual culture that would come to define modernity.
The Kara Walker presentation features all ten artworks (six on view for the first time) by the artist in The Broad collection, including two new acquisitions: Testimony: Narrative of a Negress Burdened by Good Intentions (2004), the artist’s first film, a black-and-white video that tells a tale of slavery in a fictitious past where the antebellum South is occupied by Black enslavers and white captives; and The White Power ‘Gin / Machine to Harvest the Nativist Instinct for Beneficial Uses to Border Crossers Everywhere (2019), a work on paper including a large triptych and a series of 12 small drawings in which Walker develops a narrative of a laboratory where white bodies are drained of racist thinking; their racism is harvested and repurposed as energy to benefit all oppressed people.
Special Exhibition: Invisible Sun
Developed amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the groundswell of demands for social justice and racial equity, Invisible Sun features works that resonate with this unprecedented period of rupture and unrest. The exhibition’s title is taken from Julie Mehretu’s painting Invisible Sun (algorithm 8, fable form), 2015. While not created in response to these specific events, works on view speak to profound transitions both personal and global, and form an appeal for healing.
Artists included respond to issues such as the AIDS crisis, gender-and race-based violence, unchecked capitalism, and colonialism’s aftermath. They collectively grapple with revolution and change, loss, and recovery, and how the freedoms and prosperity of powerful countries come at the expense of others. The exhibition intends to be a site for reflection, education, and dialogue towards confronting current issues and offers space for contemplating a more just world.
Artists featured include El Anatsui, Alexander Calder, Keith Haring, Jenny Holzer, Julie Mehretu, Nathaniel Mary Quinn, Cindy Sherman, and many others in the Broad collection. The exhibition offers galleries focusing on the work of a single artist or thematic groupings that reflect larger webs of influence. In total, the show features 59 works in the Broad collection. Twenty-four artworks are on view for the first time at the museum, and 16 have been acquired since the museum opened. On view through October 3, 2021.
Hours of Operation
Wednesday through Friday, 11 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday 10 am to 5 pm.
About The Broad
The Broad is a contemporary art museum founded by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. The museum offers free general admission and presents an active program of rotating temporary exhibitions and innovative audience engagement, all within a landmark building designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler. The Broad is home to 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which is one of the world’s leading collections of postwar and contemporary art and welcomes more than 900,000 visitors a year.
The 120,000-square-foot building features two floors of gallery space and is the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library, which has been loaning collection works to museums around the world since 1984.Jean-Michel BasquiatJulie MehretuKara Walker