LA Museum of Art opens Renzo Piano Pavilion

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The Independent Culture

A new wing of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art opens this weekend, free to the public, to celebrate the design by world renowned architect Renzo Piano.

The Resnick Exhibition Pavilion will expand the museum's exhibition space by 45,000 square feet and connects the 20-acre campus between buildings with a Palm Garden created by installation artist Robert Irwin. The structure is the largest naturally lit, purpose-built, open-plan museum space in the world.

The exhibitions opening this weekend, October 2 through January 9, include, Olmec: Colossal Masterworks of Ancient Mexico, Fashioning Fashion: European Dress in Detail, 1700-1915, and Eye for the Sensual: Selections from the Resnick Collection.

The Olmec show features huge portrait heads, sculpted from volcanic-rock heads and weighing up to 40,000 pounds. It is scheduled to coincide with the celebration of Mexico's bicentennial of independence.

The Resnick collection shows 85 pieces, known for its 18th century French paintings - with works by artists such as François Boucher, Élisabeth-Louise Vigée-Lebrun, and Jean-Honoré Fragonard. And Fashioning Fashion relates the story of aesthetic and technical development from the Age of Enlightenment to World War I in apparel, textiles, trimming and techniques including gowns worn at the royal courts of Europe.