The Los Angeles County Museum on Fire
On View at the Getty Center: Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970
Ed Ruscha started this depiction of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in the same year that the museum moved to a new complex built in Hancock Park. Rendering the buildings with precise detail, Ruscha painted the museum with multiple vanishing points and from a perspective that appears slightly elevated. This elaborate figuration is further complicated by the flames and smoke that erupt from the museum’s Ahmanson Building on the left side of the composition. Both the depicted disaster and the formally skewed perspective produce an eerie sense of uncertainty and discomfort.