30 Artists Revealed for Upcoming Biennial “Made in L.A. 2020: A Version”

January 21, 2020

30 artists revealed for upcoming biennial “Made in L.A. 2020: A Version," the fifth iteration of the Hammer's biennial exhibition.

SAN MARINO, Calif. — The Hammer Museum and The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens announced today the 30 artists participating in "Made in L.A. 2020: a version," the fifth iteration of the Hammer's biennial exhibition highlighting the practices of artists working throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Cocurated by Paris-based curator Myriam Ben Salah and LA–based curator Lauren Mackler, with the Hammer's Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi as assistant curator of performance, "Made in L.A. 2020: a version" will be presented at both the Hammer and The Huntington from June 7 through Aug. 30, 2020. The presenting sponsor for the exhibition is Bank of America.

The biennial’s two venues create a cross-town conversation from west to east. Taking advantage of the city’s sprawling geography, the curators chose to stage the exhibition in two mirrored parts, presenting works by all the artists in both museums in addition to select locales in between.

“I continue to marvel at how different and eye-opening each iteration of Made in L.A. can be,” said Hammer Museum Director Ann Philbin. “Through nearly 300 hundred studio visits, Myriam, Lauren, and Ike have assembled a group of artists who delve into fascinating and often overlooked histories, subcultures, and communities of LA. Once again, the exhibition has illustrated the strength and vision of the here and now of contemporary art in our city.”

“With every artist represented at both The Huntington and the Hammer, visitors will have two unique experiences that comprise one whole biennial,” Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence said. “I’m particularly excited to see the ways in which the artists’ work will activate our galleries and highlight the collaborative energy that characterizes our Centennial Celebration.”

“Made in L.A. is more than an exhibition; it’s a rallying point for the creative communities of Los Angeles,” said Raul A. Anaya, Bank of America market president for greater Los Angeles and member of The Huntington’s Board of Governors. “Bank of America is proud to support the Hammer and The Huntington —giving them the power to promote these talented LA artists to the entire Southland and to the world.”

Made in L.A. 2020 will feature long-standing research projects alongside newly commissioned works and will commingle a mix of practitioners—artists, writers, filmmakers, and performers. Subtitled “a version,” the exhibition will highlight conceptual threads that connect the artists’ works: entertainment both as a subject and a material; the genre and aesthetic of horror in contemporary practices; and the film and theater convention of the fourth wall, a device through which fiction is built and dismantled.

Made in L.A. 2020 Artists

  • Mario Ayala (b. 1991, LA, CA)
  • Aria Dean (b. 1993, LA, CA)
  • Hedi El Kholti (b. 1967, Rabat, Morocco)
  • Buck Ellison (b. 1987, San Francisco, CA)
  • Niloufar Emamifar
  • Christina Forrer (b. 1978, Zürich, Switzerland)
  • Harmony Holiday (b. 1982)
  • Patrick Jackson (b. 1978, LA, CA)
  • Larry Johnson (b. 1959, Lakewood, CA)
  • Kahlil Joseph (b. 1981, Seattle, WA)
  • Ann Greene Kelly (b. 1988, New York, NY)
  • Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon (b. 1982, Long Beach, CA)
  • Nicola L. (b. 1937, Mazagan, Morocco; d. 2018, LA, CA)
  • Brandon D. Landers (b. 1985, LA, CA)
  • SON. (Justen LeRoy) (founded 2016)
  • Ligia Lewis (b. 1983, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)
  • Monica Majoli (b. 1963, LA, CA)
  • Jill Mulleady (b. 1980, Montevideo, Uruguay)
  • Diane Severin Nguyen (b. 1990, Carson, CA)
  • Alexandra Noel (b. 1989, Columbus, OH)
  • Mathias Poledna (b. 1965, Vienna, Austria)
  • Umar Rashid (b. 1976, Chicago, IL)
  • Reynaldo Rivera (b. 1963, Mexicali, Mexico)
  • Katja Seib (b. 1989, Dusseldorf, Germany
  • Ser Serpas (b. 1995, LA, CA)
  • Sonya Sombreuil / COME TEES (b. 1986, Santa Cruz, CA)
  • Jeffrey Stuker (b. 1979, Fort Collins, CO)
  • Beyond Baroque by Sabrina Tarasoff (b. 1991, Jyväskylä, Finland)
  • Fulton Leroy Washington (aka MR. WASH) (b. 1954, Compton, CA)
  • Kandis Williams (b. 1985, Baltimore, MD)

Some artists will create new site-specific works for Made in L.A. 2020.

Jacqueline Kiyomi Gordon will construct a series of rooms inhabited by loudspeakers and live performers presenting a durational performance at the Hammer for the length of the exhibition. In concert with one another, the devices and the vocalists will reconsider public speech through an assemblage of voices and sound. The creation of this work is made possible by a generous contribution from VIA Art Fund.

For both the Hammer and The Huntington, Ser Serpas will display ephemeral sculptures sourced directly from the surroundings of each exhibition venue and placed in the space through an intimate performance, an index of the artist’s movements.

Performances will be staged by artists at both venues, concentrated around three weekends during the exhibition run: June 12–14, July 17–19, and Aug. 14–16.

Dancer and choreographer Ligia Lewis will present a recurring performance of dancers "dying" continually and competitively in the galleries to consider the larger notion of the "deadpan" in performance and beyond.

Artist, archivist, filmmaker, and dancer Harmony Holiday will write and direct a one-man play entitled God’s Suicide, about the five rarely acknowledged suicide attempts by writer and thinker James Baldwin.

Artist and writer Aria Dean will build an ambitious sculptural installation of two-way mirrors within the galleries as a set for a play, which will unfurl in three episodes during the course of the summer. Each episode will be recorded and broadcast on screens in the installation when it is not activated by the performance.

Several of the artists in Made in L.A. 2020: a version reanimate archival materials in their presentations.

Through a series of paintings presented at the Hammer and an archival installation conceived specifically for The Huntington, Mario Ayala explores the legacy of the cult publication Teen Angels, which documented Cholo culture in the 1980s and 1990s and featured the artworks, poems, dedications, photographs, and essays of Chicanos, particularly those who were gang-affiliated or in prison.

Writer and curator Sabrina Tarasoff—whose recent research project has been focused on the work of the 1980s “poetry-gang” that gathered at Beyond Baroque literary center for Dennis Cooper and Amy Gertsler’s Wednesday night poetry series—will revitalize this living archive through a haunted house installation, as well as a series of programs and performances.

Painter Monica Majoli will present a series of large-scale watercolor woodcut paintings whose imagery is pulled from the pages of Blueboy magazine. Focusing on the early years of the periodical, Majoli lusciously presents a vibrant era of the magazine and gay life just before the devastation of the AIDS epidemic. At The Huntington, Majoli will present an installation of archival materials from the magazine alongside studies for her paintings.

Additionally, several projects will happen off-site.

After spending four decades investigating the inherent contradictions between the glossy surfaces and underlying cynicism of American culture, especially in LA, Larry Johnson will show new works on five commercial billboards throughout the neighborhood of MacArthur Park. The presentation is coproduced with The Billboard Creative.

Kahlil Joseph will present the most ambitious installation to date of BLKNWS, a conceptual news program taking the form of a two-channel installation connected to a newscast that blurs the lines between art, reporting, entrepreneurship, and cultural critique. BLKNWS will be broadcast at sites across LA, with a focus on South LA and black-owned businesses. This iteration of BLKNWS aims to bring the work to its largest audience yet, reaching people in their everyday environments. Sites will be announced ahead of the exhibition opening. The presentation is coproduced with LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division).

SON., a platform founded in 2016 by Justen LeRoy, will create a podcast series for Made in L.A. visitors to listen to during the drive from one museum to the other. Recorded at SON.’s headquarters at the South-Central barbershop Touched by An Angel, the episodes will feature conversations, cultural commentary, music, and special guests.

The exhibition catalog will draw inspiration from historical artist magazines and will become an additional venue for the show, showcasing newly commissioned interventions made by artists specifically for the pages. Furthermore, there will be a companion publication published after Made in L.A. 2020 to include programs, conversations, and other records of the work comprising the biennial. Both publications are designed by Studio Ella and distributed worldwide by DelMonico Books•Prestel.

Admission to the Hammer Museum is always free. All visitors to the Hammer during the run of Made in L.A. 2020 will receive passes granting free admission to The Huntington to view the exhibition in full.

Funded through the generosity of Los Angeles philanthropists and art collectors Jarl and Pamela Mohn, The Mohn Award ($100,000) and the Career Achievement Award ($25,000) will be selected by a professional jury, and the Public Recognition Award ($25,000) will be determined through a public vote at both locations. All the artists in the exhibition are eligible to receive the awards.

In 2018 Lauren Halsey received the Mohn Award for the community-oriented installation The Crenshaw District Hieroglyph Project (Prototype Architecture); Daniel Joseph Martinez received the Career Achievement Award; and EJ Hill received the Public Recognition Award. Past Mohn Award recipients include Adam Linder (2016), Alice Könitz (2014), and Meleko Mokgosi (2012).

A rich slate of public programs will accompany and expand upon Made in L.A. 2020: a version, including performances, screenings, exhibition walkthroughs, panels, and lectures. These will be consolidated into three weekends of joint programming at both the Hammer and The Huntington during the exhibition: June 12–14, July 17–19, and Aug. 14–16. Details will be announced closer to the opening on hammer.ucla.edu and huntington.org.

The Hammer’s biennial exhibition series Made in L.A. focuses exclusively on artists from the L.A. region with an emphasis on emerging and under-recognized artists. The Los Angeles biennial debuts new installations, videos, films, sculptures, performances, and paintings commissioned specifically for the exhibition and offers a snapshot of the current trends and practices coming out of Los Angeles, one of the most active and energetic art communities in the world. Made in L.A. began in 2012 with subsequent iterations in 2014, 2016, and 2018, and followed the tradition of the Hammer Invitational exhibitions, which occurred every two years and included Snapshot (2001), International Paper (2003), Thing (2005), Eden’s Edge (2007), Nine Lives (2009), and All of this and nothing (2011). Made in L.A. 2012 was organized by a team of curators from the Hammer Museum and LAXART: Hammer senior curator Anne Ellegood, Hammer curator Ali Subotnick, LAXART director and chief curator Lauri Firstenberg, LAXART associate director and senior curator Cesar Garcia, and LAXART curator-at-large Malik Gaines. Made in L.A. 2014 was organized by Hammer chief curator Connie Butler and Los Angeles–based independent curator Michael Ned Holte. Made in L.A. 2016 was organized by Hammer curator Aram Moshayedi and Hamza Walker, former director of education and associate curator of the Renaissance Society and current director of LAXART. Made in L.A. 2018 was organized by Hammer senior curator Anne Ellegood and assistant curator Erin Christovale, with curatorial associate MacKenzie Stevens.

“Made in L.A. 2020: a version” is organized by the Hammer Museum in partnership with The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

The exhibition is organized by independent curators Myriam Ben Salah and Lauren Mackler, with the Hammer’s Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi, assistant curator of performance.

Made in L.A. 2020: a version is presented by Bank of America.

Bank of America logo

The exhibition is made possible in part by the Mohn Family Foundation and members of the Hammer Circle. Major support is provided by Bill Hair, Mark Sandelson and Nirvana Bravo, Darren Star, The Fran and Ray Stark Foundation, and VIA Art Fund.

The presentation of the exhibition at The Huntington is also supported by The Philip and Muriel Berman Foundation, MaryLou Boone, and The Ahmanson Foundation Exhibition and Education Endowment. The Huntington’s Centennial Celebration is made possible by the generous support of Avery and Andrew Barth, Terri and Jerry Kohl, and Lisa and Tim Sloan.


Thea M. Page, 626-405-2260, tpage@huntington.org
Nancy Lee, 310-443-7016, nlee@hammer.ucla.edu

About The Huntington
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens is a collections-based research and educational institution serving scholars and the general public. The Huntington’s collections comprise about 11 million rare books, manuscripts, and related library objects, 42,000 works of European and American art spanning more than 500 years, and some 120 acres of themed botanical gardens. Countless writers, artists, musicians, and even fashion industry leaders have cited its collections as an inspiration for their work. More information about The Huntington can be found online at huntington.org.

Huntington Visitor Information
The Huntington is located at 1151 Oxford Road., San Marino, CA, 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles. It is open to the public Wednesday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. Information: 626-405-2100 or huntington.org.

About the Hammer Museum
The Hammer Museum is part of the School of the Arts and Architecture at UCLA, and offers exhibitions and collections that span classic to contemporary art. It holds more than 50,000 works in its collection, including one of the finest collections of works on paper in the nation, the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts. Through a wide-ranging, international exhibition program and the biennial, Made in L.A., the Hammer highlights contemporary art since the 1960s, especially the work of emerging and under recognized artists. The exhibitions, permanent collections, and nearly 300 public programs annually—including film screenings, lectures, symposia, readings, music performances, and workshops for families—are all free to the public.

Hammer Museum Information
Admission to all exhibitions and programs at the Hammer Museum is free, made possible through the generosity of benefactors Erika J. Glazer and Brenda R. Potter. Hours: Tuesday–Friday 11 a.m.–8 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Closed Mondays and national holidays. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard at Westwood, Los Angeles. Onsite parking $7 (maximum 3 hours) or $7 flat rate after 6 p.m. Visit hammer.ucla.edu for details or call 310-443-7000.