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LACMA reopening modern art collection in redesigned space

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Some of the city's best known paintings and sculptures are going back on public display! LACMA is reopening its modern art collection with a major makeover.

Video Transcript

JOVANA LARA: LACMA's modern art collection is going back on public view in a space redesigned by Architect Frank Gehry.

MARC BROWN: Eyewitness News reporter Adrienne Alpert says it's an immersive space that has to be seen to be believed.

ADRIENNE ALPERT: The top floor of the broad contemporary art museum at LACMA is reimagined from floor to ceiling, with 250 works by 200 20th century artists, from German expressionists to David Hockney. Senior curator Stephanie Baron was able to assemble a wider view of Modern Art, while the new David Geffen galleries are being built.

STEPHANIE BARRON: We've got the core modern collection, but because of our construction, we were able to incorporate works from other departments, from Latin American art. So our great Diego Rivera's both the Cubist still life and the classic work from 1925 Flower Day now have joined other works from the teens and the 20s.

ADRIENNE ALPERT: If this original Renzo Piano gallery design feels different, it is. Architect Frank Gehry and his associates are behind the makeover.

STEPHANIE BARRON: Behind me, there's beautiful light coming down on Brancusi and Henry Moore and Archipenko or even in our galleries of Giacometti suffused with natural light, all harnessed through the genius of Frank Gehry and his team.


ADRIENNE ALPERT: Bring your cell phone with earphones. Music has been curated for the art, and there are QR codes to scan throughout the exhibit to hear it. There are codes for a half dozen self-guided tours, among them, the Picasso collection. Central Meridian is back after 20 years, known as the garage, created by LA artist Michael McMillan in 1981, who oversaw this reinstallation.


It not only sounds like a garage of the 60s, but with the scent of musty oil, it smells like one.

STEPHANIE BARRON: That's the whole beauty of an immersive environment. It hits you. It smells like something. It looks like something. It gets under your skin, and you just come out having had this experience that's very different from looking at a painting hanging on the wall.

ADRIENNE ALPERT: Timed entry tickets must be purchased in advance online for admission. The Los Angeles County museum of art was closed under COVID longer than any major art institution. This exhibition opening Sunday will make you realize what you've been missing.