50+ works by artists including Jean-Michel Basquiat, George Condo, Ellen Gallagher, Leon Golub, Damien Hirst, Jenny Holzer, Thomas Houseago, Takashi Murakami, Tony Oursler, Susan Rothenberg explore the human and the animal
Nov. 5, 2016 – March 19, 2017
LOS ANGELES-This fall, The Broad will present Creature, a free general admission installation opening Nov. 5 that will fill the museum’s first-floor galleries with more than 50 works presenting approaches to figuration and representations of the self in the Broad collection. From slick avatars and popular icons to images rooted in mythology and animal instincts, the installation will feature works by over 25 artists including Georg Baselitz, Joseph Beuys, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Ellen Gallagher, Leon Golub, Jenny Holzer, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami and Andy Warhol plus Thomas Houseago‘s Giant Figure (Cyclops), 2011, which will make its U.S. debut.
Ranging from artworks that examine the human body, to others that allude to a physical presence outside of the artwork itself, Creature offers an array of lenses through which to view the human experience, some scientifically based and others drawing inspiration from cultural representations of how living things change over time.
“This installation brings together collection artworks that explore the ongoing redefinition of what it means to be human, in moral, experiential and physical dimensions,” said Joanne Heyler, founding director of The Broad. “The organizing principle led not only to collection artwork depicting the human figures, but also to artworks that provoke deeper reflection on states of human consciousness, for example, how creatures mirror their creators and vice versa. We are excited to present this facet of the collection to our visitors.”
At the entrance to the installation will be Los Angeles artist Thomas Houseago‘s towering bronze sculpture, Giant Figure (Cyclops), 2011, measuring nearly 15 feet tall, and shown for the first time in the U.S. The imposing and monumental figure simultaneously conveys power and vulnerability through Houseago’s signature totemic forms which reinvent Modernist approaches to the figure.
The installation will be anchored by a monographic gallery of works by Leon Golub, an important artist in the Broad collection whose work will be shown at The Broad for the first time. The six paintings, drawn from the 26 in the collection, depict politically charged scenes of police brutality, women in mourning, and images of war, often repressed and living unexposed in the shadows of governments. The surfaces of Golub’s paintings look fleshy and worked. In his process, Golub scrapes the paint to a point where the canvases themselves reflect a kind of physical trauma similar to the graphic images they are depicting.
Jenny Holzer‘s Laments: I was sick from acting normal…, 1989, shows the artist’s short manifesto scrolling down on a vertical LED sign and reflecting onto a black granite sarcophagus printed with the same text. Rather than looking at the body as another, viewers are reminded of their own potential for assuming creature-like characteristics.
Two works by Jean-Michel Basquiat–Beef Ribs Longhorn, 1982, and Gold Griot, 1984-will be on view in the installation. As an artist well-known for translating his own struggles with identity-along with provocative social critique-onto the canvas, Basquiat’s figures morph and stretch into creatures both human and animal and reflect both interior and exterior torments.
Bruce Nauman‘s Ten Heads Circle/Up and Down, 1990, comprised of 10 casts of conjoined human heads suspended from the ceiling at eye level, create a startlingly physical encounter and a feeling of short circuited communication and isolation.
In Jeff Koons’ Metallic Venus, 2010-2012, made of mirror-polished stainless steel with transparent color coating and live flowering plants, the artist takes one of the most iconic subjects in the Western canon, Venus the goddess of love (often immortalized in marble), and transforms it with unsettling technological virtuosity. Greek gods spoke to the fundamentals of human behavior, gathering often chaotic forces into form, and Metallic Venus is a proper resident in that tradition.
The installation will also feature several works recently added to the Broad collection that contend with boundaries between human and creature. George Condo‘s painting Self Portraits Facing Cancer 1, 2015, shows four evolving versions of a face created after the artist’s recovery from throat cancer that left him unable to speak for six weeks. Alex Israel‘s Self Portrait (Selfie and Studio Floor), 2014, features a picture plane in the shape of the artist’s profile depicting a photorealistic image of Israel’s hands holding an iPhone showing his selfie. Piotr Uklanski‘s The Nazis, 1998, features a collage of 164 tightly cropped photographs of famous actors playing film roles of Nazis in popular film. Darkly comic, these embodiments of the faces of evil betray an ongoing fascination with humanity’s darkest moments made approachable through popular culture.
Creature will be on view in The Broad’s first-floor galleries from Nov. 5, 2016 through March 19, 2017. To continue to introduce artists and artworks in the Broad collection to the public, another free general admission collection installation will follow Creature in spring/summer 2017. The Broad’s third-floor galleries will continue to show a robust and changing selection of postwar and contemporary works from the Broad collection, arranged roughly chronologically.
The Broad’s first special exhibition, Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life, will conclude on Oct. 2, and the first-floor galleries will be closed during the five-week installation of Creature. Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room at the entrance to the first-floor galleries will remain open during the installation and duration of Creature. Advance timed tickets to The Broad are released on the first of each month for the following month. A standby line for same-day access remains available at the museum every day except Mondays, when the museum is closed.
About the Broad Collection
The Broad collection includes The Broad Art Foundation and The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Collection, which together hold nearly 2,000 works of postwar and contemporary art. With a strong desire to advance public appreciation for contemporary art, the Broads established The Broad Art Foundation in 1984 as a way to keep these works in the public domain through an enterprising loan program that makes the art available for exhibition at accredited institutions throughout the world. The Broads continue to actively add to the collection through strategic acquisitions focused on expanding the representations of an artist’s work and broadening the scope of the collection. The result is a lending library of contemporary art and an expansive collection that is regularly cited as among the top in the world.
About The Broad
The Broad is a new contemporary art museum built by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. The museum, which is designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler, opened Sept. 20, 2015 with free general admission. The museum is home to the nearly 2,000 works of art in the Broad collection, which is among the most prominent holdings of postwar and contemporary art worldwide. With its innovative “veil-and-vault” concept, the 120,000-square-foot, $140-million building features two floors of gallery space to showcase The Broad’s comprehensive collection and serves as the headquarters of The Broad Art Foundation’s worldwide lending library.
For more information on The Broad and to sign up for updates, please visit thebroad.org.