Though the 120,000-square-foot, $140 million honeycombed building of The Broad impresses visitors at first glance, it’s the remarkable postwar and contemporary art collection housed inside that truly inspires. Consisting of some 2,000 pieces, the collection covers two floors of gallery space and is free for visitors to admire. That’s not accounting for the cost of time, however: Although advance tickets are not required (and online reservations are currently booked through the end of May), the on-site standby line can take up to 45 minutes on weekdays and 90 minutes on weekends.
But, as my friends and I had heard from others and soon found out for ourselves, The Broad is worth the wait. On the first floor is The Visitors, the mesmerizing 2012 work of Icelandic performance artist Ragnar Kjartansson. Set on a farm in upstate New York, powerful filmography across nine screens portrays musicians poignantly playing and soulfully crooning the same song while in different rooms. Upstairs, visitors may recognize the famous works of Jeff Koons, including the metallic “Balloon Dog (Blue)” and “Balloon Venus (Magenta)” sculptures, and be delighted to see Robert Therrien’s “Under the Table” installation, which dwarfs art aficionados scuttling underneath its comically massive formation.
And I’m likely not the only one who will declare “Infinity Mirrored Room,” the experiential artwork of respected Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, as a favorite part of the collection. Mirrors lining the chamber’s walls reflect and proliferate the number of flickering LED lights, producing the surreal illusion of an alternate, infinite cosmos. Though visitors have a 45-second time frame to experience the exhibit, it oddly feels like just enough time — no doubt a detail recognized by Kusama herself. She also intended for only one person to enter at a time, but there are exceptions upon request.
In order to view “Infinity Mirrored Room,” guests must reserve a separate ticket at a kiosk in the lobby. These tickets, which tend to book up within two hours of the museum opening, assign museumgoers with a time to return to the installation — so procure a ticket immediately upon entering The Broad. The installation will be on view through September 2016.