The Hammer Museum announced the artist lineup for its “Made in L.A. 2018” on Tuesday, and the key word for the museum’s fourth biennial is “responsive,” curators Anne Ellegood and Erin Christovale said.
The exhibition features emerging and under-recognized artists in the Los Angeles area — 32 this year, including one artist duo — spanning sculpture, painting, textile, video, performance, assemblage, photography and installation, among other genres. Like most “Made in L.A.” shows, there’s no theme. But curators said it would be hard to ignore the current mood of the country.
“I think there is a sensibility about this show that is a response to — although taken up by the artists in a wide range of ways — the climate that we’re living in,” said Ellegood, a Hammer senior curator. “There’s an interest in thinking about living in the world right now.”
That means work reflecting on the political climate as well as the body itself — “and the social, physiological, and psychological pressures put upon it,” the museum said in its announcement. It also translates to art related to local community and family.
“The show is about L.A. and the artists that live here, but also about how we create community and find strength and resilience in the regional and local structures around us that we create for ourselves and that are readily available,” Ellegood said. “Because the national is so chaotic right now, people are looking to their immediate surroundings.”
But the local environment, Christovale added, can be chaotic as well, something many of the artists touch on.
“L.A. is going through a lot of infrastructural changes,” Christovale said. “All the construction around us, the Metro lines going in, this growth of a new crop of people descending upon L.A. — population growth — and in the arts community, too, new gallery spaces and museums that have popped up in recent years. All of that is something people are responding to in their own work.”
Ellegood and Christovale made more than 200 studio visits to find the artists, who range in age from 28 to 97.
Although the exhibition won’t be “overtly political,” the museum said in its announcement, “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.”
The show’s diverse artists are “deeply engaged with vital aspects of our culture today and believe in art’s capacity to engage social discourse,” it said.
Here’s the complete list of participating artists for “Made in L.A. 2018,” which will run June 3 to Sept. 2.
Jade Gordon and Megan Whitmarsh
Daniel Joseph Martinez