Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right California icon-chevron-right Los Angeles icon-chevron-right Goodbye yellow spaghetti, hello blue spaghetti: Meet LACMA’s newest acquisition
Photograph: Courtesy Archives Soto Jesús Rafael Soto, Pénétrable BBL bleu, 1999, Painted steel & suspended PVC tubes, 143 3/4 × 177 1/8 × 551 1/8 in. (365 × 450 x 1400 cm), installation view, Art Contemporain, La Voie des Arts, Saint-Loubouer, 2009, © Jesús Rafael Soto / ADAGP, 2020.

Goodbye yellow spaghetti, hello blue spaghetti: Meet LACMA’s newest acquisition

The museum has picked up one of artist Jesús Rafael Soto’s ‘Penetrable’ sculptures.


Up until a couple of years ago, when LACMA visitors would step into the museum’s eastern courtyard they’d be greeted by a curtain of yellow spaghetti strands—often with kids and ’grammers alike getting tangled up in them. Jesús Rafael Soto’s Penetrable left the museum in 2017 after a six-year loan, but now one of its siblings is coming to the museum forever.

LACMA announced today that it has permanently acquired Soto’s 1999 sculpture, Penetrable BBL Bleu. Similar to the yellow Penetrable, this immersive installation features a field of dangling nylon tubes that are—you guessed it—blue. And once again visitors will be invited to step inside the installation.

Soto’s kinetic and tactile Penetrable installations date back to 1966, when the late Venezuelan artist started creating these participatory sculptures that explored light and the density of space. LACMA acquired the piece as part of its Collectors Committee, a group of donors that comes together each spring to acquire major artworks for the museum’s permanent collection.

The museum (which, like the rest of L.A.’s institutions, is temporarily closed) hasn’t said when specifically the piece will go on display, but asks potential visitors to “stay tuned for updates regarding the piece’s upcoming installation.”

In the meantime, you can scope out the installation thanks to this video about the piece and Soto’s practice.


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