Los Angeles. Museum devoted to art since 1940, opened in 1979. Pontus Hulten was the first director. The founders and benefactors have included several prominent local collectors of modern art. In 1983 the museum moved into temporary accomodation in a large warehouse converted by the American architect Frank Gehry, and in 1986 into its present home—a striking Postmodernist building by the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. It has a large permanent collection, particularly rich in American art, and also holds temporary exhibitions. Other exhibitions are held in the warehouse building, which is now an adjunct of the main museum and was first known as Temporary Contemporary (in 1996 it was renamed Geffen Contemporary in honour of the recording executive David Geffen, who gave $5 million to the museum). Its size and uncluttered spaces make it particularly suitable for displaying large works.
R. Hughes, ‘Getting the Map’, Time (24 June 2001)