Finally made it to the “Made in L.A, 2018” exhibit at the always engaging, and free, Hammer Museum in accessible Westwood.
You should, too, for the two words that leapt to mind after my tour: mesmerizing and challenging, and so I comment on public radio 99.1 KBU, happily back on air, and on websites everywhere.
I must add that the welcomed displays of the no less than 33 artists represented is also daunting, given the range of materials and techniques used, the resulting collages, constructions, paintings and videos, and their effects.
Because of the space and time constraints of my commentaries, I decided in this instance not to single out select artists and their creations, compelling as some are.
This being the fourth iteration of the now biennial exhibit of new works by emerging artists, in the words of director Ann Philbin, with the intention of providing insight into a larger moment with our culture. To this I say “yes!”
Philbin further explained that while the curators –and I quote, “did not setout to define a central theme, the 33 artists in this exhibition –like the rest of us –live in a period of social tumult and political uncertainly.”
Added was her firm belief that in moments like these, artists help to illuminate our world, whether through nuanced examinations or bold declaration. She concluded, “This year’s Made in in L.A. may not be overtly political, but it nonetheless speaks to our time.”
So, if you are at all interested in the visual arts, be it casually, as a curiosity, or as a critic, be it for its beauty or emotional impact, or political statement, I strongly urge you make an effort to see the exhibit, which runs through the Summer to September 2d.
I purposely added “political statement” for this is in part echoes director Philbin’s message. It also is a reply to several comments received from listeners and readers concerning my asides in select recent commentaries lamenting the cruel, greedy, environmentally disastrous policies of the Trump (mis)administration.
I personally cannot divorce my deep appreciation of art from its inherent politics, and the daily outrages of the neo fascist Republicans. Yes fascism, which me and my family know too well from history witnessed.
Yet I have hope. Of all endeavors I believe art has the power to free us all, if only for a few hours in a museum, as it was for me at the Hammer, as may it be for you, too.
Maybe even an epiphany for a Trumpite.