A host of stars including Miranda Kerr, Ricky Martin and Karlie Kloss were among the lucky dozens of people to get a preview of the Broad’s new “Jasper Johns: Something Resembling Truth” exhibition Thursday night during a VIP cocktail reception and dinner. The exhibition, which opens to the public on Saturday, is supported by French luxury brand Louis Vuitton, which Kerr and Kloss wore for the occasion.
“My son loves it here,” said Kerr, who held hands with husband Evan Spiegel as she made her way through the downtown Los Angeles museum. “My son was asking me last night, ‘When can we go back?’ I didn’t have the heart to tell him that we were coming here tonight because he would not have let me leave. I told him, ‘We’re going to a work dinner.’ Under my breath, I was, like, ‘What a coincidence.’”
Billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad and his wife, Edythe, were on hand for the black-tie affair. “It’s a great opportunity to have a retrospective,” Eli Broad said, adding that he and Edythe have collected Johns’ work for 35 to 40 years. “No question, he’s the most important living artist of our time,” Broad said about the 87-year-old American icon.
The exhibition features more than 100 works from Johns’ 60- year career. Open to the public through May 13, it includes notable paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings, many of which haven’t been previously shown in Los Angeles. “We’re delighted to have such a wide array of his work,” Broad said.
The museum’s founding director, Joanne Heyler, and co-curators Edith Devaney and Ed Schad also attended the VIP affair.
“One of the most amazing things about holding this show was knowing that it’s been over 50 years since there’s been a Jasper Johns survey in Los Angeles,” Heyler said. “I really believe that young artists who go to all the great art schools in L.A. are going to come to this show and have a revelation at just the right moment in their lives and careers.”
Newlyweds Ricky Martin and artist Jwan Yosef arrived just as guests were taking their seats for dinner. The evening also drew artists David Hockney, Jeff Koons, Alex Israel, Mark Bradford and Ed Ruscha as well as additional attendees Mark Ridley-Thomas, Michael and Eva Chow, Sherry Lansing, David Gersh, Maurice Marciano, Devendra Banhart, Michael Govan, Katherine Ross, Philippe Vergne and Scott Rothkopf.
“I’m thrilled to be here to celebrate Jasper’s work,” Koons said. “It’s work that connects very personal inner meaning. It connects to the universal. It’s extremely thoughtful. It’s philosophical.”
The East Coast-based artist said that he’d be in town only for two days and that his trips to L.A. “are usually too short,” but that he was enjoying himself. “I used to stay in Beverly Hills, but I’m staying downtown,” said Koons, who recently collaborated with Louis Vuitton. “You walk around downtown and the whole area is really transformed. There are so many young people here and different restaurants and cafes and museums. I think the Broad is really connecting to the community, and people are celebrating Los Angeles.”
During cocktail hour, guests were able view the exhibition and were treated to a performance by composer William Basinski. Shortly after, the group sat down for a three-course meal prepared by Otium’s chef Tim Hollingsworth that included an avocado and beet salad, glazed short rib, vegan risotto, and an assortment of desserts such as chocolate truffles and raspberry cream puffs.
Kerr discussed her 7-year-old son Flynn’s love of art. “He really is an artist,” she said. “He loves to draw. It’s his favorite thing. He loves to paint. He also loves to play the piano. He’s very artistic. He’s naturally gifted like that. It’s good to expose him to different art.”
Kerr also alluded to her current pregnancy when discussing her “beautiful” Louis Vuitton dress. “Luckily, it fits,” she said, with a laugh. “It’s a nice, stretchy material. So I was thrilled about that. It’s very comfortable and simple. It looks like I chose the right color. Everyone is in black.”
“Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’”
Where: The Broad, 221 S. Grand Ave., L.A.
When: Opens Saturday, ends May 13
Tickets: $25; free for ages 17 and younger; reservations recommended