Collection Exhibition
Apr 29 - Sep 03, 2017


“‘Globalization’ is a term now in the forefront in politics and the media, but for decades, contemporary artists have represented it in their work, responding to and decoding its many forms. Oracle looks at how artists have anticipated the forces that have real consequences in our daily lives yet can be obscured from direct view.”
- Joanne Heyler, founding director of The Broad 

In an increasingly small world that spans politics, culture and commerce, The Broad will present an interpretation of the elusive globalizing forces at work in contemporary society in Oracle, a free collection installation this spring that will fill the museum’s first-floor galleries with more than 30 works from the Broad collection. Opening April 29, 2017, the four-month installation will feature works by over 20 artists including El Anatsui, Mark Bradford, Peter Halley, William Kentridge, Julie Mehretu, Shirin Neshat, Albert Oehlen, Jeff Wall and Terry Winters, plus recent acquisitions by Ericka Beckman, Sterling Ruby, Oscar Murillo, Tauba Auerbach and Andreas Gursky. Four artworks in the installation will make their debut in Los Angeles, including one work completed by the artist this year. 

From everyday experiences to protest movements as monumental as the Arab Spring uprisings across the Middle East, to themes that probe systems of social control or examine global commerce, artworks in Oracle tackle the effects of organizational frameworks on global events and private individuals. Some works in the installation symbolize marketplace machinations, both official and unofficial, while others are meditations on games, surveillance, vast data sets, mathematical and biological patterns, and even the logic of art itself. Just under the surface of the works in Oracle is an air of anxiety, as if individuals’ freedoms within these manmade phenomena are illusory or beyond reach. 

Highlighted Artwork

Shirin Neshat
two-channel video/audio installation, 16mm film transferred to video
El Anatsui
found aluminum and copper wire
132 x 420 in. (335.28 x 1066.8 cm)
Jenny Holzer
12 double-sided, curved LED signs (lower two signs with two elements each): white diodes on front; red & blue diodes
104 1/4 x 57 3/4 in. (264.8 x 146.69 cm)
Julie Mehretu
ink and acrylic on canvas
120 x 288 in. (304.8 x 731.52 cm)
Sterling Ruby
spray paint on synthetic canvas
160 x 235 1/4 x 2 in. (406.4 x 597.54 x 5.08 cm)
Jeff Wall
color photograph
78 7/8 x 106 3/4 x 2 1/4 in. (200.34 x 271.15 x 5.72 cm)