Continuing through March 19, 2017
Substantial both in scale and appeal, “Creature” is comprised of art from the Broad’s permanent collection. Its sixty works run the gamut from paintings and sculptures to photographs and mixed media. “Creature” refers both to literal beings and images that recall the figurative. The standout image here is Thomas Houseago’s enormous, 15-foot bronze sculpture, “Giant Figure (Cyclops),” which towers against a white wall at the end of its exhibition room. Part bandaged mummy formed from the work’s original clay slabs, part celestial robot, the piece is exciting as much for the associations it provokes as well as for the image itself.
Jenny Holzer is represented by works from her “Laments” series, black-granite sarcophagi for the digital age, with the words chiseled on the piece itself and displayed additionally in signature LED signs. The deceased is metaphorically interred and identified only generically as a signifier that reads “I Was Sick from Acting Normal…” (1989). Leon Golub’s unstretched canvases depict human nature at it’s worst, the potential creature of violence inside of each of us, in his depiction of torturers and killers. Cecily Brown’s “Tender is the Night” (1999) suggests a sexual energy in its richly colored depiction of a woman whose kneeling figure merges with the painterly space. Well conceived and laid out, the exhibition invites speculation as to what other “creatures” from the permanent collection might shape future exhibitions.