Renzo Piano’s LACMA Resnick Pavilion Opens to the Public

Two years ago, you might recall that Lynda and Stewart Resnick stepped in to help the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to the tune of $45 million (plus $10 million in artwork) which was to be used for building a new wing designed by Renzo Piano. After a donation like that, of course the name for the wing was immediately changed to the Resnick Pavilion. Returning to the present, the new building finally opened to the public this weekend. In honor of the opening, the museum hosted a “Free Community Weekend,” allowing people who were fortunate enough to get tickets early before they ran out to wander around the new building. And of course, if you’re the type to read celebrity news, you likely heard about the private party in the new wing a few days back that featured Christina Aguilera performing to the crowd of wealthy donors and society folk. The LA Times has a great profile on the Resnicks themselves, as well as an interactive tour of their new Pavilion, as well as the first review of the three inaugural shows in the new space (the short synopsis is that the shows range from very good to barely avoiding “a total train-wreck”). Here’s a bit from the AP‘s interview with Piano about the new building:

“It’s just perfect! The world over, people destroy buildings to build parking lots. In Los Angeles, the city where the car is king, we are destroying a parking lot to replace it with a museum,” said Piano.

And, in another unusual twist, workers found oil when they dug to lay the pavilion’s foundations, he said.

“Usually, when we lay the foundations of a building in Europe, we find historic ruins or relics. Here, we found oil!”