Hammer Biennial Artists and Mohn Prize Announced


The roster of emerging and under-recognized L.A. artists for the inaugural Hammer/LAX Art biennial has been released, along with an announcement of a $100,000 prize to be awarded to one participant. Liz Glynn, Analia Saban and Henry Taylor are among the 60 artists tapped for the show.

Curators Ali Subotnick and Anne Ellegood, both of the Hammer, and Lauri Firstenberg, Cesar Garcia and Malik Gaines of LAX Art will organize the show, “Made in L.A.,” which will run June 3-Sept. 2. Spread across several venues – the Hammer, LAX Art, the L.A. Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Art Park, and the Venice Boardwalk – the show will include about 60 mostly emerging artists working in the L.A. area. Other artists include Alex Olson, who shows in New York with Lisa Cooley, and Ry Rocklen, on Marc Jancou’s roster.

Funded by television executive Jarl Mohn and his wife, Pamela, the Mohn Prize will comprise $100,000 and a monograph on the winning artist’s work. In a surprising move that is perhaps a nod to today’s power-to-the-99% ethos, the winner will be selected in a public online vote after a jury selects five finalists. Those who have registered as visitors to the show will be eligible to vote. (Public voting for a large art prize is not unprecedented; in 2009, the $250,000 ArtPrize was awarded in Grand Rapids, Mich., to Brooklyn painter Ran Ortner.

Acknowledging a global surfeit of biennials, Hammer Museum director Ann Philbin justified the new show to the Los Angeles Times in 2010, in a characteristically L.A. touch, by saying that biennials are the art world’s version of the Oscars or Emmys.

The action moves to the beach on the weekend of July 13-15, when the Venice Boardwalk will be the site of the Venice Beach Biennial, under the direction of Hammer curator Ali Subotnick. In this segment of the show, artists including John Baldessari, Doug Aitken and Liz Craft will create site-specific artworks, performances and installations. These will complement the existing scene of street artists, sand artists and the like.

The list of participating artists:

At the Hammer: Scoli Acosta, Kathryn Andrews, Sarah Conaway, Fiona Connor, Kate Costello, Meg Cranston, Roy Dowell, Zackary Drucker in collaboration with Rhys Ernst, Patricia Fernández, Dan Finsel, Morgan Fisher, Liz Glynn, Mark Hagen, Zach Harris, Channa Horowitz, Pearl Hsiung, Vishal Jugdeo, Mimi Lauter, Thomas Lawson, Meleko Mokgosi, Ruby Neri, D’Ette Nogle, Alex Olson, Camilo Ontiveros, Joel Otterson, Karthik Pandian, Laura Riboli, Analia Saban, Brian Sharp, Ryan Sluggett, David Snyder, Jill Spector, Koki Tanaka, Caroline Thomas, Cody Trepte, Erika Vogt and Lisa Williamson.

At the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (LAMAG): Animal Charm (Rich Bott and Jim Fetterley), Sarah Cain, Michelle Dizon, Cayetano Ferrer, Simone Forti, Nery Gabriel Lemus, Dashiell Manley, Allison Miller, Nicole Miller, Michele O’Marah, The Propeller Group (Phunam Thuc Ha, Matt Lucero, and Tuan Andrew Nguyen), Vincent Ramos, Ry Rocklen, Miljohn Ruperto, Henry Taylor and Brenna Youngblood.

The collective Slanguage will occupy LAXART

Made in L.A. 2012 will also feature works by six performance artists: Math Bass (Hammer); Scott Benzel (Hammer); Kenyatta A. C. Hinkle (Hammer & LAMAG); Ashley Hunt (Hammer & LAMAG); Nzuji de Magalhães (Hammer); and Zac Monday (Hammer & LAMAG). These artists will not have works on view in the galleries.

Photo: Liz Glynn, The 24 Hour Roman Reconstruction Project