Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Marciano Art Foundation Closing Ai Weiwei Sunday – Still Lots to See

“Life Cycle” by Ai Weiwei closes Sunday at MAF, but there are still a lot of reasons to visit our local neighborhood museum.

“Life Cycle,” the spectacular Ai WeiWei exhibit at MAF (Marciano Art Foundation), is closing Sunday.  Admission to MAF is free and online reservations are requested (reservations are limited in keeping with MAF’s promise to Windsor Square neighbors not to exceed the capacity of their parking lot). However, we understand that MAF makes every effort to accommodate nearby neighbors and guests who do not require parking if there is space in the museum. MAF highly recommends checking reservation availability in advance of your visit, so if you haven’t got reservations this weekend, you may have missed your chance to see Ai Weiwei’s work.

But there are plenty of other reasons to visit MAF in the near future, to view art from the vast collection which the foundation continues to build. The third floor gallery features the latest rotation from the collection. Notable are photos by Catherine Opie, also a nearby resident. On display are 40 stunning platinum prints from her “Freeway” series, and fifty incredible photos from the series “700 Nimes Road, “the former residence of the late actress Elizabeth Taylor.

According to MAF: “Photographer Catherine Opie spent six months at Taylor’s Bel-Air home. The photos, taken just before and after the actress’s hospitalization and eventual death in march 2011, provide a portrait of two Taylors: the movie star and the person.  Given unprecedented access to the private domestic spaces and possession of the celebrated icon, Opie produced some three thousand images….The photographs of rooms, closets, shoes, clothing and jewelry create an indirect yet deeply intimate portrait of a woman whose life was defined by wealth and fame.

Catherine Opie’s stunning photographs provide an intimate portrait of icon Elizabeth Taylor

Also on the third floor is Yayoi Kusama’s “With All My Love For The Tulips, I Pray Forever (2011).” This infinity room is shown here for the first time in Los Angeles, with over-sized flower-potted tulips made from fiberglass-reinforced plastic, all painted with the same red polka dots as the floor, ceiling, and walls, creating an immersive and somewhat disorienting viewing experience while at the same time diminishing the appearance of depth. The 89 year-old Kusama currently lives and works in Tokyo.

Yayoi Kusama’s “With All My Love For the Tulips, I Pray Forever, 2011”

MAF is also featuring several upcoming events, including the annual gala of the LA Master Chorale on March 23. At the end of the month, artist Elliott Bergman will install his Peace Bells, made from melted guns and bullet casings, as well as a number of his sound sculptures, to create a complete sonic environment in the first floor Theater Gallery. MAF is releasing tickets this weekend to Karen O and Danger Mouse’s multi-sensory art installation, described as “an immersive, communal listening experience soundtracked by the pair’s forthcoming album, unites their singular creative vision with groundbreaking audiovisual technologies.”

There’s an interesting mix of events and performances in the Theatre Gallery until the next major exhibit arrives in the late spring, explained Darius Sabbaghzadeh, spokesman for MAF.

And of course, there are the ever-cool Masonic artifacts, left from when the building served as the Masonic Temple, on display in the The Relic Room, the renovated Masonic Library. And, if you’re hungry, you can grab lunch at the Twist, the grab-and-go cafe on the first level, open during museum hours. It’s nice to have such a treasure in our neighborhood, especially after the space was empty for so many years…so be sure to visit often!

Twist, MAF’s grab-and-go cafe features a nice selection of salads and sandwiches and can be accessed without going inside the museum. The cafe is only open during museum hours.


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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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