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Art in the Age of Trump

Made in LA 2018, Biennial Exhibition, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles — 2018, the second year into Donald Trump’s presidency, also is the year for the current installment of the Hammer Museum’s sprawling “Made in L.A.” Biennial. As the Trump administration systematically obliterates the groundbreaking accomplishments of several of his predecessors, the exhibition features artists of all mediums who enlist their observations and explorations in the cause for maintaining—or restoring—progressive and critical thinking. Virtually every area of human and non-human activity that has been harmed by the present regime, including, but not exclusive to global politics and trade, climate change, women’s rights, racial discrimination, immigration … [Read more...]

Sympathy and the Devil

Tea and Morphine: Women in Paris, 1880-1914, Hammer Museum, January 25, - May 18, 2014 — An inventively curated exhibition of late 19th and early 20th century works on paper by fin de siecle artists, culled from the recent acquisition of the Elisabeth Dean Collection, Tea and Morphine achieves its effects by couplings and contrasts. This is show of ‘ands,’ (the emphasis of the title above is my own interpolation). Public and private are displayed in radical contrast. Public is a woman outside the home, here looking at an exhibition through her lorgnette, contriving her costume so that the ruffles of her hat are echoed by her neckpiece, a woman who is to be seen, and who is also seeing. This is the Belle Epoque teetering on the cusp … [Read more...]

Inside the Artist’s Studio – Maren Hassinger

Inside the Artist’s Studio is an-ongoing series exploring issues  on contemporary art through direct encounters with the artists themselves.  Now Dig Into This – There are opportunities for sculpture everywhere. In a field, in a room, on a stage, in the street, on the ceiling, in front of a camera, etc. Every place inspires a different response. Some responses locate us in space and time and link us to particular people in particular places. These last offerings might be political. There are reactions to given events…..There are sculptures acting like sculptures and people acting like people and sculptures acting like people and people acting like sculptures. There’s stillness and motion. There’s the … [Read more...]

Paint Yourself Out

Eva Hesse Spectres 1960, Hammer Museum, September 25 - January 2, 2011 – Eva Hesse, for me, has been an artist whose sculptural work is beyond reproach, unimpeachable and therefore, somewhat unapproachable. I have kept it at a distance, for her iconic status in the art world had been cemented long before I came around --- seemingly not so much a result of her talent, but due in part to her unique place in time, working as she did in an era of radicalization. And so it was through this meta-lens that I appreciated her work, operating as it did in the crosshairs of feminism, post-minimalism (in her novel use of ephemeral industrial materials) and a celebrity borne out of tragedy (Holocaust survivor, daughter of a suicide, and … [Read more...]