See artist Paul McCarthy's White Snow Head sculpture and paintings by Takashi Murakami.

Artists' Playground

New place to see contemporary art in LA

BY LESLEY SOLMONSON | PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBERT WEDEMEYER

A just redesigned Scottish Rite Masonic Temple in LA has taken on a new life - as a contemporary art space called the Marciano Art Foundation, founded by brothers Maurice and Paul Marciano of Guess fame. With their project, which they opened in the historic Windsor Square neighborhood in May, the two Frenchmen aim to challenge the public's concept of a museum by creating a gathering place for artists and the community where creativity is an ongoing process.

In 55,000 square feet of exhibition space, more than 1,500 works of contemporary art from the brothers' vast personal collection will rotate with exhibits from local and international artists. "We were really inspired by all the artists here in LA," says Maurice. "We thought we should give them a forum to express themselves and have all the freedom to do whatever they want to do."

The opening exhibition, "Unpacking: The Marciano Collection," spotlights 100 disparate objects - from an enormous photo mural by Cindy Sherman featuring the artist herself in Masonic-style robe to Takashi Murakami's larger-than-life, pseudo-anime 3M Girl sculpture. The juxtaposition of seemingly unrelated works suggests an often-surprising interconnectivity between artists and how they see the world. View it through Dec. 24.

Don't miss the Relic Room, an exactingly curated collection of Masonic photographs, costumes, and other paraphernalia. With this permanent exhibit, the Marciano brothers pay homage to the former temple's unique history and the artistic flair of Masons. Other preserved elements include the elevators' Masonic seals and the lobby's original mosaics.

A bookstore, café, and outdoor sculpture garden complete the synergistic space, which is free to the public. 4357 Wilshire Blvd.; 424-204-7555; marcianoartfoundation.org

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