California Bucket List

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L.A. County

Get enlightened (or disgusted) by the edgy art of the Broad and MOCA in downtown L.A.

Andreas Gursky's "Amazon" draws a Broad crowd. (Christopher Reynolds/Los Angeles Times)
Andreas Gursky's "Amazon" draws a Broad crowd. (Christopher Reynolds/Los Angeles Times)
The Broad. (C. Reynolds/Los Angeles Times)
The Broad. (C. Reynolds/Los Angeles Times)

Why: These two museums are on the front lines of contemporary art worldwide, focusing on works made since 1945. They stand within a stone's throw of each other on Grand Avenue.  

What: The Broad Museum (opened in September 2015 and bankrolled by L.A. art maven Eli Broad) is free for general admission, but you have to reserve in advance or in the stand-by line, which can last more than an hour. The Museum of Contemporary Art (born in 1979) isn't free, and isn't getting so much buzz since the Broad opened. But both can startle, enlighten, disgust and amuse you.

Within the Broad, art stars like Jeff Koons, Takashi Murakami, Andy Warhol, Edward Ruscha and Andreas Gursky dominate the two levels of galleries, and visitors queue up to spend 45 seconds alone in Yayoi Kusama's "Infinity Mirrored Room" (which will remain through Sept. 30.  Just outside the museum, there's a patch of grass under several gnarled old olive trees, and the restaurants Otium (seafood) and Vespaio (Italian).  

MOCA's Grand Avenue space (the museum also has a second site downtown and a third in West Hollywood) includes many of the same names in its permanent and temporary exhibitions. Out front stands Nancy Rubin's sculpture "Airplane Parts" (which sometimes houses chirping sparrows).

Where: The Broad, 221 S. Grand Ave. MOCA, 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A.

How much: The Broad is free. MOCA is $15 per adult, but if you show a same-day ticket stub from the Broad, MOCA will give you 50% off.

Info: The Broad, MOCA


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