Least Favorite Place
Least Favorite Place:
Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
upper State St.
Zero lot line with windows often blocked so we can only see a peek inside. But if you stop to look you are impeding pedestrian traffic. The building is confused when you enter with galleries laid out in an illogical fashion. The stairs are great if you are only going to look at them, but a nightmare to use whether going up or down (though the view of State St. is fun from inside). The main galleries are like an airline hanger and seem too big and bland even when filled with art. There is no space that feels special or beautiful. The old MAC before Overture or even at Lincoln School was more inviting. I never want to dash in to see art in this iteration the way I did in those former spaces.
I contrast this with the new Chazen which has seating outdoors, interesting paving materials that make the path into art, plantings, setback from the street and incorporation into the larger UW Mall layout. Inside there are galleries of different sizes, shapes, heights, with and without windows, wall colors and textures. There's a study room that lets you look at and experience art in a whole new way. A great museum and a wonderful addition to the city, though for many folks it is probably less visible than the MMOCA building.