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Temporary Permanence

April 27, 1986

The current exhibition of the Museum of Contemporary Art is the most popular since the museum went into action--a word that we use advisedly--in the converted garage now known as The Temporary Contemporary at the end of 1983. This public response roundly validates the decision to make the "temporary" almost "permanent" with a 50-year extension of its $1-a-year lease from the City of Los Angeles.

When the new museum opens on Bunker Hill in December, the Temporary will be very much a part of the inaugural show of about 400 works by more than 70 artists, and it will remain for at least half a century an integral extension despite the nine long city blocks that separate the two structures.

The 60,000 square feet of the Temporary are, for the moment, divided between the works of just two artists, each looking at the human condition and environment from very different perspectives--the bleak and sometimes despairing view of Jonathan Borofsky, and the ebullient, witty view of Red Grooms. In the mind of Richard Koshalek, the museum director, each speaks for a particular time--Borofsky for the '70s and '80s, Grooms for an earlier time in the post-war period, but including recent works as well. Whatever, they fill the vast space with an assault on the visitor's senses that is aural as well as visual, active, haunting and highly participatory--from Borofsky's fully operational basketball court to two Grooms "sculptopictograms" that have forever changed our feeling about riding an RTD bus and going to the movies.

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