Category: LACMA Rock

Jeff Koons train: Destination LACMA or the High Line?

March 27, 2012 |  6:03 pm

Koonstrainpic
While LACMA’s plans to build a massive Jeff Koons sculpture of a train outside the museum seem to be running out of steam, the Friends of the High Line in New York have thrown another possible wrench into the works: They announced their desire to build the same unrealized sculpture by Koons in their popular city park, which overlooks Chelsea and neighboring areas in Manhattan where an elevated railway once ran.

“I think the train connection is really powerful for us,” said Robert Hammond, co-founder of Friends of the High Line, which is known for integrating art, though usually temporary, into the elevated park.

As a permanent attraction, the Koons sculpture “could point to the city’s industrial history and how freight trains used to run here,” he said, adding that one proposed site is the rail yards between 30th and 34th streets, near the West Side Highway.

The sculpture, which the Los Angeles County Museum of Art unveiled to the public with dramatic renderings five years ago, consists of a realistic-looking 70-foot replica of a 1943 Baldwin 2900 steam locomotive hanging from a real 160-foot crane. The train is meant to look and sound authentic, with wheels chugging and steam releasing on occasion. The project was estimated to cost at least $25 million, though several people close to the project say that actual costs could run much higher.

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LACMA building 700-ton crane to install 'Levitated Mass' boulder

March 15, 2012 |  6:27 pm

  A view of the LACMA grounds
How do you lift a really heavy rock? First, you need an even heavier crane.

Michael Heizer's "Levitated Mass" -- the 340-ton boulder that recently completed an 11-day trek across Southern California -- will be lifted into place at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art using a 700-ton crane.

The L.A. Now blog reported Thursday that the massive crane is being constructed in order to lift the rock onto a 456-foot-long slot constructed on the grounds of the museum's north lawn. It will likely be two months before "Levitated Mass" is ready to be viewed by the public.

Heizer's rock was excavated from a site in Riverside County. The art piece will be situated on parkland and will therefore be free to view for the public, the museum told The Times.

A security fence has been erected around the construction site as LACMA crews work on the installation. The museum said the completed site will feature a granite landscape intended to resemble the original quarry.

RELATED:

Michael Heizer's rock: Levitating the masses

Watch the LACMA rock's 11-night adventure

LACMA's Michael Govan talks about his new rock star

-- David Ng

Photo: A view of the LACMA grounds. Credit: LACMA

Michael Heizer's rock: Levitating the masses

March 12, 2012 |  2:45 pm

"I hope that's not costing us a lot of money," said the man on a bicycle at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and 36th Street in Long Beach, as we waited for the light to change the other day. Down the block, the 340-ton granite boulder that will be the centerpiece of artist Michael Heizer's sculpture "Levitated Mass" sat in the middle of the road, suspended in an industrial sling within a massive, specially built transporter two-thirds the length of a football field. A crowded block-party swirled around it.

This was Day 8 of the circuitous, 11-day journey that began in a Riverside stone quarry and ended, 22 cities later, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. There, over the course of the next few months, the two-story-high rock will be positioned atop a deep, 456-foot-long trench of structurally reinforced concrete running along 6th Street. The trench was mostly completed last fall. When the sculpture is finished in late spring or early summer, a viewer will be able to enter the sloping trench and pass beneath the giant boulder balanced above.

Did eager anticipation for that day spark the flame of public imagination, drawing international media and tens of thousands of visitors during the rock's 105-mile journey? No. But the spectacle is worth considering. It tells us about the distinctive intersection between art and the public today.

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Watch the LACMA rock's 11-night adventure [video]

March 12, 2012 |  9:00 am

The tale of a 350-ton piece of granite traveling from a quarry in Riverside County to the campus of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art captivated much of Southern California over the last two weeks.

Now: the video.

Times videographer Jeff Amlotte joined the caravan during its 11-night trip, capturing the sounds and scenes, the tight squeezes and the growing crowds.

The shrink-wrapped boulder was carried on a custom transporter across four counties. Its eventual resting place will be as the centerpiece of the museum's permanent art installation "Levitated Mass" by reclusive Nevada artist Michael Heizer.

The museum paid $70,000 for the rock itself and is spending $10 million to transport it and build the public art work -- all paid for with private donations.

MAP: Follow the route

And in case you missed it Sunday night, here's a first person story by Times reporter Deborah Vankin about her own adventure with the caravan.

RELATED:

Giant rock ends its journey to LACMA

LACMA's Michael Govan talks about his new rock star

PHOTOS: Giant rock rolling toward LACMA

--Sherry Stern

Twitter.com/@sherrystern

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Category: Sherry Stern

Following the big rock as it arrives at LACMA, tweet by tweet

Ludy Hurtado

Culture Monster has followed the 11-day journey of LACMA's giant boulder across four counties with reporter Deborah Vankin. She has kept us up to date with her blog posts, stories and several all-nighters of live tweeting.

Vankin was on the scene again Friday night into Saturday morning as the long, wide caravan traveled the final leg of its 105-mile trip from a Riverside County quarry to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The evening began on Figueroa Street between 63rd and 65th streets.

Along the way, the rock encountered illegally parked cars, low-hanging traffic signals, giant palm trees, gawkers who were both amazed and befuddled, and one former Laker who got to ride along with the rock.

For those just catching up: The 340-ton boulder is protected in shrink wrap and sits in a steel sling on a custom transporter. Its eventual resting place will be as the centerpiece of the museum's permanent art installation, "Leviated Mass," by Nevada artist Michael Heizer. The museum paid $70,000 for the rock itself and is spending $10 million to transport it and build the art installation -- all paid with private donations.

Following the big rock as it arrives at LACMA, tweet by tweet

March 10, 2012 |  9:40 am

Ludy Hurtado

Culture Monster has followed the 11-day journey of LACMA's giant boulder across four counties with reporter Deborah Vankin. She has kept us up to date with her blog posts, stories and several all-nighters of live tweeting.

Vankin was on the scene again Friday night into Saturday morning as the long, wide caravan traveled the final leg of its 105-mile trip from a Riverside County quarry to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The evening began on Figueroa Street between 63rd and 65th streets.

Along the way, the rock encountered illegally parked cars, low-hanging traffic signals, giant palm trees, gawkers who were both amazed and befuddled, and one former Laker who got to ride along with the rock.

For those just catching up: The 340-ton boulder is protected in shrink wrap and sits in a steel sling on a custom transporter. Its eventual resting place will be as the centerpiece of the museum's permanent art installation, "Leviated Mass," by Nevada artist Michael Heizer. The museum paid $70,000 for the rock itself and is spending $10 million to transport it and build the art installation -- all paid with private donations.

For those who have been captivated by the effort, here is a recap of Vankin's final night of tweets and photos, including one of that former Laker.

 

RELATED:

The 340-ton rock arrives safely at LACMA, at last

On the road with LACMA's big rock, minute by minute

Following LACMA's big rock through Long Beach, tweet by tweet

-- Sherry Stern

Twitter.com/@sherrystern

Photo: Ludy Hurtado of Los Angeles takes a muscle pose with the massive plastic shrink-wrapped LACMA rock as it stopped on Wilshire Boulevard. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

The 340-ton rock arrives safely at LACMA, at last

March 10, 2012 |  8:16 am

LACMA
After 11 grueling, and especially cold, nights on the road navigating tight corners, “crabbing” across bridges and narrowly avoiding collision with towering utility poles, LACMA’s monolith has finally arrived.

That is, it arrived at the museum. It “arrived,” in the most general sense, as soon as it left its Riverside quarry and the media hype began to swell.
 
The 340-ton boulder –- still shrink-wrapped, lighted with string lights and resting in a steel sling on its custom transporter –- pulled up to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art at exactly 4:25 a.m., as planned. Its eventual resting place will be as the centerpiece of the museum's permanent art installation, "Leviated Mass," by Nevada artist Michael Heizer.

PHOTOS: Giant rock rolling toward LACMA

At LACMA, the piece of granite stopped opposite Chris Burden’s "Urban Light" sculpture -– a yin of sorts to Burden’s enormous outdoor installation’s yang. The rock was greeted by more than 500 cheering and clapping members of the "levitated masses," who’d been waiting hours for it to arrive.

After a short photo opp -- during which onlookers streamed into the street, some reaching out and touching the boulder --  the transporter rounded the corner onto Fairfax Avenue at 5 a.m., and pulled into the construction site that will be the rock's final home. 

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The LACMA Rock: The last night on the road

March 9, 2012 | 11:40 pm

-2

As the start of its last leg approached, the L.A. County Museum of Art's big boulder and its massive transporter were parked on Figueroa Street between 64th and 65th streets in South L.A., in front of a Methodist church. Neighborhood residents milled on the sidewalk and watched from their porches; truck engines rumbled; members of the news media, some from as far away as Asia, circled the crowd. Helicopters hovered beneath a glowing, full moon.

As the rock has made its way west from a Riverside quarry, interest has swelled, and Friday night the crowd included both serious art lovers and locals caught up in the spectacle.

Scott Fajack, Mary-Austin Klein and J.T. Walker are die-hard fans of the artist who will make the rock into a large outdoor installation at LACMA, Michael Heizer. Fajack and Klein once made a trip out to the artist's Nevada ranch just to drive by. Klein, a painter, said of "Levitated Mass": "It's as much about the process as the art."

Added Walker: "It's a citizen reawareness campaign for LACMA!"

PHOTOS: Giant rock rolling toward LACMA

Petra Lopez, 45, who lives in the neighborhood, said through a translator in Spanish that she thought the rock was "very interesting. I'm gonna wait to see it go."

The rock's caravan set out just after 10 p.m. and is due at the museum between 4:30 and 4:45 a.m. Saturday. Surprisingly, considering the myriad logistical challenges, nothing major has gone wrong on the boulder's journey. "But the last leg is always the hardest," said project manager Mark Albrecht.

"This is gonna be a tough night because of all the distractions, [with] the end being near," he said.

RELATED:

Full coverage:  LACMA's rock

LACMA Rock: Trouble with hills

The $10-million LACMA rock caravan stops short

--Deborah Vankin
twitter.com/debvankin

Photo: The rock's transporter is shown before the beginning of the final leg of the journey from Riverside to LACMA. Credit: Deborah Vankin

LACMA's Michael Govan talks about his new rock star

March 9, 2012 |  9:00 am

Michael Govan in Riverside with the boulder intended for "Levitated Mass."
As long as artist Michael Heizer is not granting interviews about his 340-ton boulder, which has achieved celebrity status en route to becoming a museum piece, LACMA director Michael Govan has served as its de facto spokesman or agent.

Last year Govan first introduced the public to the rock at its quarry in Riverside (above), where he marvelled over the jagged lines and dramatic form of what seemed at first glance a perfectly generic boulder. This week he has fielded countless requests from radio and TV programs about the boulder's high-profile journey.

We caught up with him Thursday in the middle of the madness.

Did you ever expect the rock to get this degree of attention and adulation?
We thought it would be interesting to mark the city with this megalith and that it could have a power that extends beyond the [LACMA] campus. But, no. I don’t think we could imagine this--that there would be 20,000 people in Bixby Knolls. We always think of artists as challenging expectations, so I wasn’t expecting this kind of outpouring of expression and love.

PHOTOS: Giant rock rolling toward LACMA

What do you think it is about the rock that’s captured everyone’s attention?
Somebody said, I think a news cameraman, that there’s something very primal in human beings about moving rocks. I think that’s as plausible a reason as any. Why is it when you look across the globe from India and Asia to Mexico that so many ancient cultures did the same thing?

Continue reading »

Following LACMA's big rock through Long Beach, tweet by tweet

March 8, 2012 | 10:00 am

The circuitous 11-day journey of LACMA's giant boulder finished its most challenging route yet Thursday morning, squeezing through the busy byways of Long Beach
The circuitous 11-day journey of LACMA's giant boulder finished its most challenging route yet Thursday morning, squeezing through the busy byways of Long Beach.

Los Angeles Times reporter Deborah Vankin has been following the rock's trip and live tweeted from the scene starting Wednesday afternoon into Thursday morning.

The $10-million caravan was celebrated first with a block party in the neighborhood of Bixby Knolls and ended its travels in the middle of a street in Carson.

PHOTOS: Giant rock rolling toward LACMA

The 105-mile journey is scheduled to end up at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art early Saturday. The giant boulder eventually will be the focal point of artist Michael Heizer's landmark sculpture "Levitated Mass" on the museum grounds.

Here, for those who were not following Vankin in the middle of the night, is a recap of her tweets and photos.

RELATED:

MAP: Follow the route

Full coverage:  LACMA's rock

On the road with LACMA's big rock, minute by minute

-- Sherry Stern
twitter.com/sherrystern

Photo: Long Beach residents gather on the sidealk in the 3600 block of Atlantic Avenue in Long Beach, where the LACMA rock paused Wednesday on its journey. Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times

LACMA's rock caravan carefully winds its way through Long Beach

March 8, 2012 |  8:55 am

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s monolith is more than halfway into its epic journey. On its eighth night of traveling, the caravan, making its way through Long Beach, faced its most challenging trip yet
As LACMA's boulder made its way through Long Beach on Wednesday night, its caravan was at times between, well, a rock and a hard place.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art's shrink-wrapped monolith is about three-quarters of the way into its journey from the remote Riverside County quarry from which it was blasted to the mid-Wilshire museum where it will be the centerpiece of the artwork "Levitated Mass."

On its eighth night of traveling, the caravan faced its most challenging trip yet. The route along Atlantic Avenue, Ocean Boulevard and Pacific Coast Highway was the most densely populated stretch of the trip so far, said workers with Emmert International, the company handling the move.

PHOTOS: Giant rock rolling toward LACMA

Following a festive afternoon block party in the Bixby Knolls arts district, the $10-million caravan hit the road at exactly 10 p.m., but soon came to a standstill due to an overlooked utility pole on Atlantic that was in the way and needed to be removed.

More than 100 people -– truckers, museum workers, police escorts among them -- milled about in the icy night air, most wearing fluorescent vests, as the long line of trucks, their engines rumbling, waited and onlookers snapped pictures. After a delay or more than 40 minutes, the caravan set into motion.

Until it slowed down again.

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