The Berkeley Art Museum is back. I got a peak at the members’ preview today. I have always been a fan and even had a fondness for the old, brutalist edifice on Bancroft. Years of education in 70s modernist buildings can do that to you. The new museum is a totally different experience. The new building is simply flawless. The firm of Diller Scofidio & Renfro did the sort of innovative, quality work that frankly is rare in the Bay Area. You can immediately see that the space will be flexible for showing a wide range of art. The building has been designed first and foremost to show art. It feels spacious and the galleries flow well with at least two entrances for each room. Even on a crowded day, the museum still felt comfortable. There are architects who design museums then there are architects who are museum-goers and design museums. You can tell.
The inaugural exhibit is Architecture of Life and it:
“…explores the ways that architecture—as concept, metaphor, and practice—illuminates various aspects of life experience: the nature of the self and psyche, the fundamental structures of reality, and the power of the imagination to reshape our world.”
The current show officially opens tomorrow and runs until May 29, 2016. I am excited to have the Berkeley Art Museum back as part of my local museum rotation.