Los Angeles is step-by-step regaining its status of the world center for contemporary art. While Paris and New York still dominate, LA has proved to be a must place to see the world’s richest collections of modern and contemporary art and some extraordinary museums and galleries.
Over the holidays we were lucky to visit the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the garden designed by Robert Irwin. Getty is a rare case when many visitors come to the museum not to see the art on view but to spend time, observe, notice, appreciate and discover. There is something calming and introspective about this space. We truly enjoy visiting Getty every time we happen to be in LA. Getty Center is an all-in-one museum experience: stunning architecture, cozy café, several art stores, compelling educational program. The garden, though, is a unique space to be!
Robert Irwin is an installation artist with a background in painting. This is manifested in all his landscape designs including Sentinel Plaza and Dia Beacon. Interestingly, the design of the garden, its walkways aimed at reinforcing the audiences experiences. One can spend hours exploring secret paths and enjoying the view on the City of Angels from several viewpoints on museum terraces. Robert Irwin garden spans over 130-square-foot. Just walking around the garden will probably take several hours.
When in the garden, you will see that some visitors picnicking and enjoying the sun. Some of them prefer rolling on the lawns. Literally. Luckily, LA is the place. Even during wintertime Getty Garden is an ideal setting for enjoying life. However, we strongly advise to be prepared for at lest half an hour line-ups during the holidays and - mind the Californian winds.
Robert Irwin designed the garden in mid-1990s. He selected the plants for the garden himself, most of them are local and “drought tolerant”. On the Getty website you will find the complete list of the plants featuring over 500 species. Needless to say, all of them are very beautiful and deserve attention. Getty garden is a fusion of colors: green, brown, yellow, purple play well with the Getty Center beige and grey building.