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Hammer Museum announces artists in 2011 invitational, and new game rules

June 30, 2010 |  9:00 am

Karla Black, Oxford Installation, 2009

Every two years the Hammer Museum showcases local artists in "invitational" exhibitions that at their best reflect the energy of studio visits, sometimes even introducing artists to the public for the first time. Last year, the show was "Nine Lives: Visionary Artists from L.A."; before that it was "Eden's Edge: Fifteen L.A. Artists"; and before that, the groundbreaking and generation-defining "Thing: New Sculpture from Los Angeles."

Although they do not yet have a title for their 2011 invitational, which opens at the end of January, Hammer curators Anne Ellegood and Douglas Fogle have released the names of the artists they have selected. 

According to Ellegood, the upcoming show will differ from those of the past because it's not thematic in focus but held together by a searching or inquisitive sort of methodology shared by the artists. Media include photography, painting, sculpture, drawing, installation and performance. Key concepts, from what I've gathered so far: the conceptual, the ephemeral, the poetic and process-based work. 

And this time the curators have changed the rules of their own game, looking beyond Los Angeles to include artists from New York and abroad. The artists with local roots included in the 2011 show are Charles Gaines, Evan Holloway, Dianna Molzan, Paul Sietsema, Frances Stark, Mateo Tannatt, and Kerry Tribe.

The out-of-towners are Karla Black (Glasgow), Sergej Jensen (Berlin), Ian Kiaer (London), Jorge Macchi (Buenos Aires), Fernando Ortega (Mexico City), Eileen Quinlan (New York) and Gedi Sibony (New York). 

Why go beyond L.A.? Ellegood says she and Fogle, both relatively new to town, are drawing on their international interests to help "contextualize L.A. artists within this broader, international contemporary art field."

Ellegood also notes that the artists from outside of California "have pretty much never or very rarely exhibited their work in Los Angeles. So these artists will be new to our audiences."

-- Jori Finkel

Photo: Installation view of Karla Black's 2009 show at Modern Art Oxford. In foreground: "Unpreventable Within," 2009, cling film, baby oil, paint.