The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is proud to present The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA, featuring renowned Swiss architect Peter Zumthor’s proposed future of the museum’s campus. The Presence of the Past is a key part of the Getty Foundation’s Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. city-wide initiative, which promises to garner significant press relations as well as an international audience. The exhibition will be on view from June 9, 2013 to September 15, 2013 in the center gallery of the Resnick Pavilion. This marks the first exhibition to explore the development of LACMA’s campus and explain how financial restrictions, political compromises, and unrealized plans have prevented the museum from achieving both a unified aesthetic and an optimal art-viewing experience.

culture_lacma swissPeter Zumthor has been commissioned to rethink LACMA’s east campus, address challenges raised by the original structures, and propose architecture that provides new insights on its relationship to the historic site as well as the function of an encyclopedic museum in the twenty-first century. The exhibition is divided into three sections, with the first devoted to an examination of the museum’s buildings within the complicated history of the Hancock Park site. The middle section of the exhibition will display Zumthor’s preliminary plans to house the museum’s permanent collections, with the centerpiece a large model built by the architect’s studio. The intention is that this new structure would replace some of the older buildings while retaining and highlighting the Bruce Goff designed Pavilion for Japanese Art.

The third and last section of the exhibition will include models, drawings, photographs, and videos of buildings such as the Therme Vals in Switzerland (1996), Kunsthaus Bregenz (1997) in Austria, and the Kolumba Art Museum of the Cologne Archdiocese (2007) in Germany. An examination of his museums and other commissions will elucidate key aspects of Zumthor’s design for LACMA – his interest in the geologic history of the site, his passion for materials and craftsmanship, and his commitment to architecture of total integration. He achieves his results through the seamless interplay between gardens, landscape, and structure; the use of appropriate yet lyrical materials; and the meticulous deployment of light and shadow to define spaces.

The exhibition is co-curated by LACMA’s CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director, Michael Govan, and Curator and Department Head of Decorative Arts and Design, Wendy Kaplan.

When: June 9- September 15, 2013

Location: LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036

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