Jonathan Griffin

Criticism and essays on art and culture

Tag: Made in L.A.

Made in L.A. 2018

Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

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Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, George Jones Greeting the Newest Members of Heaven’s Band, 2017

Not so much a city as an unevenly populated, multi-centered megalopolis, and not so much a year as a point in an escalating concatenation of national and global crises, there might seem to be no possible way to get “Made in L.A. 2018” right. Add to that the divisions within LA’s art community that mirror many of the historically entrenched divisions within the city itself—between east and west, north and south, white and non-white, gentrified and gentrifying, young and no longer young, left and far left. If artists, as “Made in L.A. 2018” curators Anne Ellegood and Erin Christovale write, are “some of our most active citizens,” then biennial curators might be something akin to well-intentioned politicians, expected to represent a plurality of impassioned positions while trying also to retain sight of their own. Read the rest of this entry »

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Made in L.A.: a, the, though, only

Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

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Huguette Caland, installation view, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Photograph: Jonathan Griffin

One of the best things about ‘Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only’, is that – title notwithstanding – it is quite possible to forget that the work in the exhibition was made in LA. Now in its third edition, the biennial is still finding its purpose, torn as it is in different directions. Tasked with showcasing emerging and under-recognized artists, each iteration’s curators are widely expected to reflect back at the city an image of itself that is, at once, recognizably authentic but also unfamiliar, transcendent and subjective. Read the rest of this entry »

Made in L.A.

Hammer Museum, LAXART, and LA Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles

Who needs another biennial? Los Angeles does, according to the Hammer Museum. The reason: ‘Simply put, the artists,’ says Hammer curator Anne Ellegood in her catalogue essay. While artists are undeniably thick on the ground in LA, not all are good. The curators of ‘Made in LA 2012’ – Ellegood and Ali Subotnick from the Hammer, joined by Lauri Firstenberg, Malik Gaines and Cesar Garcia from its ‘sister institution’, LAXART – set themselves the challenge of finding 60 biennial-worthy artists who are either emerging or under-recognized. These criteria allowed for the inclusion of several artists born in the 1980s alongside more established elders such as Channa Horwitz, now in her 80s. Read the rest of this entry »