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"Made in L.A."
The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, California
Recommendation by Jody Zellen and Bill Lasarow

Marcia Hafif, (left) “From the Inventory: Shade Paintings: Group 6; Group 5, 22 x 22" each. Courtesy the artist. Photo by Brian Forrest.

Continuing through September 7, 2014

"Made in L.A." is the Hammer Museum's biennial nod to what is hot, new, trendy and not to be missed in Los Angeles. Curated by Michael Ned Holte and the Hammer’s Connie Butler, the exhibition is not medium nor age specific though there are more younger than older artists included. Each of the 35 artists is given ample space, so this is not a sampler show by numerous artists. Viewers can get a sense of what most of the artists are about. Media range freely from sculptures to video installations and from projections to paintings. There, by intent, is no overall theme or subject that binds these artists together, other than they are dedicated to their ouevres and have created a body of work that is of the moment.

The curators have acknowledged their having noticed and gravitated towards a collaborative element, most explicitly represented by Alice Könitz' Los Angeles Museum of Art’s funky architectural display of god knows how many individual artists’ works.  Marcia Hafif is this edition’s elder stateswoman (see: Channa Horwitz, 2012) with her room-filling installation of monochrome “Shade Paintings."  These date back to 1972, when she began these as a way to analyze art media in a little series that is not so little and still going strong. Channing Hansen’s hand-knitted wall works are an exceptionally engaging meeting of drunken lyricism informed by a meticulous system of both execution and mathematical structuring. Strong threads of personal flaw and vulnerability inform the often obsessive work of a number of the artists present. Jennifer Moon’s mix of unabashed reflections on her personal life and acerbic, even silly political riffs best exemplifies both the exhilaration and pitfalls of the self revealing, self critical approach. That Moon draws on a period of incarceration may draw viewers to compare what they see here to the recent book and Netflix series “Orange is the New Black.” Resistance is useless (The Hammer Museum, West Los Angeles).

Hammer Museum at UCLA

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