Entertainment & Arts

Leonardo DiCaprio to donate art installation to LACMA

Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio has agreed to purchase a large-scale installation by artist John Gerrard for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Leonardo DiCaprio will be donating a large-scale installation by artist John Gerrard to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, a spokeswoman for the museum has confirmed. “Solar Reserve (Tonopah, Nevada)” is a digital simulation of a solar thermal power tower that offers dynamic, changing views of the Nevada site.

“Solar Reserve” was on view outdoors at Lincoln Center in New York last year as part of a display in partnership with the Public Art Fund. It is scheduled to be on view in the Unlimited section of Art Basel in Switzerland this month.

Michael Govan, the director of LACMA, said that DiCaprio is acquiring the piece through a gallery and that the transaction is expected to take place within weeks. He offered no timetable for when the work will be shown at LACMA. 

DiCaprio “saw the work and thought it was fantastic and then thought of us,” Govan said. “He has been an incredible friend to the museum. ... He’s growing into a force in terms of thinking about culture in the broad sense.”


DiCaprio, an L.A. native, has been active with LACMA, particularly with its annual Art + Film gala, which he has co-chaired since its inception. He recently supported the museum’s exhibition “Haunted Screens,” which explored German expressionism.

He is also a vocal environmentalist and has addressed the United Nations on global warming and conservation.

The actor said in a statement that bringing Gerrard’s “Solar Reserve” to LACMA and its exhibition at Art Basel is “something I’m honored to be part of.”

He added: “Whether it is through art or other venues, we must work to promote a healthy and sustainable future for our planet and I hope to continue to bring additional exhibits to Los Angeles and beyond that promote this message.”


The solar site outside Las Vegas is expected to have thousands of mirrors arranged in a gigantic circular formation to direct sunlight toward a central tower to produce steam and create energy.

Gerrard’s official website says that the art piece, which exists in a limited edition, “simulates the actual movements of the sun, moon, and stars across the sky, as they would appear at the Nevada site, with the thousands of mirrors adjusting their positions in real time according to the position of the sun.”

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT 

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