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Hammer Museum announces 32 artists for upcoming biennial Made in L.A. 2018
Beatriz Cortez and Rafa Esparza, Nomad 13, 2017. Adobe bricks, steel, concrete, hammer, plastic, paper, soil, and plants: corn, black bean, prickly pear, sorghum, amaranth, quinoa, chayote squash, chia, chili pepper, yerba buena, yerba santa, sage, and ceiba tree, 104 x 84 x 96 in. (264.16 x 213.36 x 243.84 cm). Installation view, Mundos Alternos, UCR ARTSblock, Riverside, CA, September 16, 2017 – February 4, 2018. Courtesy of UCR ARTSblock, Riverside, CA. Photo: Nikolay Maslov.

LOS ANGELES, CA.- The Hammer Museum announced today the 32 artists participating in the upcoming Made in L.A. 2018, the fourth iteration of the Hammer’s biennial exhibition highlighting the practices of artists working throughout the greater Los Angeles area, with a primary focus on emerging artists. Organized by Hammer senior curator Anne Ellegood and the recently appointed assistant curator Erin Christovale, the exhibition is on view June 3 – September 2, 2018.

“Every Made in L.A. offers a distinct vision of the innovative work created by artists in Los Angeles,” said Hammer Museum director Ann Philbin. “Made in L.A. 2018 underscores that Los Angeles is a uniquely creative nexus where artists from all over the world connect across generations, disciplines, and backgrounds.”

Among the artists included in Made in L.A. 2018 and their works, there are shared interests and areas of exploration. Reflecting on the current political climate, the body—and the social, physiological, and psychological pressures put upon it—is a frequent theme, as is the desire for community and a sense of place rooted in the local. Relating to histories and geographies of the Los Angeles region, the relationship of ritual and ceremony to ancient forms of knowledge and how they can be re-imagined in the present is another shared concern among several of the artists, as is the desire to create visibility through varying forms of representation for those who have historically been marginalized. Considerations of the landscape, changes brought on by climate change, and the relationship between the land, capitalist expansion, and violence are also shared preoccupations. While the exhibition is not overtly political, it is inevitably informed by the dramatic shifts in our country since the 2016 election and how they impact the contemporary landscape and culture of California. Made in L.A. 2018 presents a diverse group of artists who are deeply engaged with vital aspects of our culture today and believe in art’s capacity to engage social discourse.

After making more than 200 studio visits, as well as visiting numerous gallery and museum exhibitions during their research, the curators selected 32 artists who represent a cross-section of Los Angeles. Made in L.A. 2018 features newly commissioned works from artists who recently received their MFAs, including Nikita Gale and Christina Quarles, to continued investigations of multiyear projects by artists like Carolina Caycedo and Alison O’Daniel, as well as selected bodies of work from mid-career artists such as James Benning, Daniel Joseph Martinez, and Linda Stark. The works span a broad range of mediums including textiles, performance, painting, video, sculpture, assemblage, photography, and installation.

Several of the artists in Made in L.A. 2018 consider the history, cultures, and landscapes of Los Angeles through a range of forms and materials.

• Mercedes Dorame, an artist who is a member of the Gabrielino-Tongva tribe of California, explores her grandparents’ land in Malibu through photography, activating her images with the remnants or traces of her own interpretations of Tongva ceremonies.

• Lauren Halsey’s prototypes of The Crenshaw District Hieroglyph Project will be installed on the Hammer’s Lindbrook Terrace in advance of a public art installation she will create in collaboration with her South Central Los Angeles community.

The evocative landscape of Los Angeles has long been a subject for artists.

• Dancer Flora Wiegmann references the recent wildfires and resulting degradation in Southern California in her performances and video.

• In her new film, Gelare Khoshgozaran considers the physical similarities between the California landscape and that of her home country of Iran in the context of ongoing political tensions. The film is shot, in part, at Medina Wasl, a national military training center in the California desert used to simulate a Middle Eastern town.

Personal explorations of the body also play a central role.

• EJ Hill’s new project, Excellentia, Mollita, Victoria, captures his durational performance of running laps around all seven schools he attended while growing up in Los Angeles, calling attention to acts of persistence and perseverance in the face of institutional and personal challenges.

• Naotaka Hiro contends with the possibilities and limitations of his body through painting and sculpture. For his human-scaled paintings, he envelops his body in the canvas and relies on peripheral vision and intuition to engage in mark-making.

• Patrick Staff’s film Bathing explores gender fluidity and trans identity while embracing disparate notions such as illness and desire, pollution and cleanliness.

• A group of paintings and works on paper from the 1970s by Luchita Hurtado focus on the artist representing her body in both domestic spaces and large abstracted landscapes.

Experimentation with materials is another significant aspect of works in Made in L.A. 2018.

• Diedrick Brackens incorporates European tapestries, African cloths, and Southern American quilting techniques to trace the historical trajectories of African-American experiences.

• Known for his unconventional use of materials and form, Charles Long examines the impact of patriarchy on people and the environment with a new sculptural installation.
Additionally, artists will create new site-specific works for Made in L.A. 2018.

• Eamon Ore-Giron will create a monumental, abstract painting on the Hammer’s lobby walls entitled Angelitos Negros, riffing on the famous poem "Pintame Angelitos Negro" by the Venezuelan poet Andres Eloy that addresses racial discrimination. Ore-Giron will work within this notion to highlight the complexities and layers of the Latin American Diaspora while also considering how western and Latin American symbols and iconography might exist the same space.

• MPA’s sculpture Faultline will meander through the museum’s outdoor courtyard and terrace and into the galleries, evoking a metaphorical space in which both oppositional and complementary positions meet.

Funded through the generosity of Los Angeles philanthropists and art collectors Jarl and Pamela Mohn, The Mohn Award ($100,000) and the Career Achievement Award ($25,000) will be selected by a professional jury, and the Public Recognition Award ($25,000) will be determined through a public vote. All the artists in the exhibition are eligible to receive the awards. In 2016 dancer Adam Linder, who choreographed and performed Kein Paradiso, received the Mohn Award; Wadado Leo Smith received the Career Achievement Award; and Kenzi Shiokava received the Public Recognition Award. In 2014 Alice Könitz received the Mohn Award, and Meleko Mokgosi received it in 2012.

Made in L.A. 2018 is accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue that includes an introduction by the curators, 32 artist entries, and a roundtable with curators, artists, scholars, and writers, including Anne Ellegood and Erin Christovale, as well Jennifer Doyle, Rafa Esparza, Naima Keith, and Lauren Mackler. The catalogue also includes a short essay by renowned writer and educator Tisa Bryant. It is designed by Los Angeles-based designers Commonwealth Projects.

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