Having become one of the most important cultural centers, both national and international, Los Angeles imposes on us, Angelenos, certain pressures to keep up with the latest developments on its cultural front.
In recent years, two of its most prominent exhibition spaces -- Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana -- have been adapted by architect Tadao Ando to be added to the local stage by a French potentate who needed a proper showcase for his collection of postwar and contemporary art.
The exhibition I wanted to see deals with the ambitious plans by renowned Swiss architect Peter Zumthor to completely re-imagine LACMA's campus by erasing most of the existing buildings in favor of an imposing, amoeba-like structure wrapped in glass.
If you've ever wondered why LACMA's east campus looks like a Lincoln Center-wannabe emerging from an '80s porn star's pink-tiled shower stall, this exhibition will tell you exactly why. But the showstopper, which entranced me for a solid three hours yesterday, is Zumthor's proposed redesign.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has quietly taken the lead in this city as the most interesting art museum. The Norton Simon still has, picture for picture, by far the best collection. The Getty still has the most money. MOCA and the Hammer are in a tussle for the hipness crown.