The Hammer presents “Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living:

Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living exhibition will be on view at the Hammer Museum on Wilshire from October 1 – December 31, 2023.

Organized by curators Diana Nawi and Pablo José Ramírez with Luce Curatorial Fellow Ashton Cooper, this is the sixth iteration of the Hammer’s biennial exhibition highlighting the practices of artists working throughout the greater Los Angeles area.

Pictured above: Chiffon Thomas_Untitled, 2021 (winged).
Dan Herschlein_The Boneless One, 2020

An astonishing range of 39 artists, collectives, and organizations will be participating.

Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living emphasizes that art is inseparable from everyday life and community, informed by a wide range of cultural histories. Diana and Pablo have selected 39 artists and collectives whose inspiring work we are thrilled to present in nearly every gallery and space in our newly renovated museum.” 

Hammer Museum director Ann Philbin.

Made in L.A. 2023  takes its cues from the ethos of Los Angeles, a place where a multiplicity of cultures coexist and where, as an artist said to us, ‘one is always a visitor.’ The artists and collectives we included in this biennial represent a wide range of art being made in the city but also a diversity of stakes of making art.” 

Co-curator Pablo José Ramírez.
Erica Mahinay_Sun Seeker, 2021
From the press release:

Struck not only by the range of media and ideas they encountered, co-curators Nawi and Ramírez noted the way in which the conversations they had revealed the breadth of reasons people cited for creating work, who they create work for, and what the impact of that work might be within their larger communities. These practices embrace the value of craft, materiality, performance, and collectivity. The biennial situates art as an expanded field of culture that is entangled with everyday life; community networks; queer affect; and indigenous and diasporic histories.    

Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living takes its title from a quote by the renowned Los Angeles artist Noah Purifoy which is inscribed on a plaque at the Watts Towers: “One does not have to be a visual artist to utilize creative potential. Creativity can be an act of living, a way of life, and a formula for doing the right thing.” The history of Watts Towers—built by Simon Rodia over the course of 33 years and then preserved by the local South L.A. community, including Purifoy, to become a hub for arts education—embodies this ethos and offers a salient metaphor for this biennial.

“The Watts Towers are an example for the way in which creative work can be intimately tied to one’s everyday life and to individual practice, hold space for community, and ultimately resonate far beyond itself.”

Co-curator Diana Nawi.

The next edition of Made in L.A. 2023 proposes a wide-ranging network of artistic affinities, legacies, and dialogues through intergenerational constellations formed through shared visual and material languages. The exhibition will highlight themes that emerged around vernacular aesthetics, the language of urban visual culture and domestic intimacy, materials and processes that are rooted in tradition, expansive archival and collective practices. Taken together, these practices suggest art can be an act of preservation and memorialization as well as a space for playfulness, satire, and sheer wildness.

“As the center of the world’s creative economy, Los Angeles is an exciting hub for so many artists who bring their diverse backgrounds and experiences to their works. The Hammer’s upcoming Made In L.A. biennial and the latest Angeleno artists selected to be featured will be a tremendous opportunity for these under-recognized artists and for the Southland’s tourism – two reasons why Bank of America continues to support this exciting exhibition.”

Raul A. Anaya, president, Bank of America Los Angeles.  

After making nearly 200 studio visits, as well as visiting numerous gallery and museum exhibitions during their research, the curators selected 39 artists, collectives, and organizations to represent a cross-section of Los Angeles. Made in L.A. 2023 features new works from the majority of artists in the exhibition including Marcel AlcaláSula Bermúdez-SilvermanJibz Cameron, Ishi GlinskyYoung Joon KwakTidawhitney Lek, Maria Maea, Roksana PirouzmandRyan PreciadoGuadalupe Rosales, and Chiffon Thomas. These artists work across mediums, encompassing sculpture, assemblage, paintings, drawing, ceramics, performance, and installation. The exhibition will also include significant presentations by artists who have been working for more than four decades, including Victor Estrada, Nancy Evans, Akinsanya Kambon, Jessie Homer French, and Teresa Tolliver. These will be shown alongside historical work from Luis Bermudez, Pippa Garner, and Joey Terrill

Teresa Baker_Trace, 2021

AMBOS: Art Made Between Opposite SidesMas Exitos, and Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA)will present projects derived from practices based on community engagement and archival materials. Both Dominique Moody and Vincent Enrique Hernandez will adapt ongoing projects that take place in the public sphere for the exhibition. The museum galleries will be organized in sections that reflect shared themes and formal interests. These groupings, each of which highlights the work of artists with long-standing practices, proposes an expansive network of imagined artistic inheritances and legacies. 

•    Marcel Alcalá b. 1990, Santa Ana, California
•    Michael Alvarez b. 1983, Los Angeles, California
•    AMBOS: Art Made Between Opposite Sides est. 2016, Tijuana, Mexico/San Diego, California
•    Jackie Amézquita b. 1985, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala
•    Teresa Baker (Mandan/Hidatsa) b. 1985, Watford City, North Dakota
•    Luis Bermudez b. 1953, d. 2021, Los Angeles, California
•    Sula Bermúdez-Silverman b. 1993, New York, New York
•    Jibz Cameron b. 1975, California
•    Melissa Cody (Navajo/Diné) b. 1983, No Water Mesa, Arizona 
•    Emmanuel Louisnord Desir b. 1997, New York, New York
•    Victor Estrada b. 1956, Burbank, California
•    Nancy Evans b. 1949, Los Angeles, California
•    Pippa Garner b. 1943, Evanston, Illinois
•    Ishi Glinsky (Tohono O’odham) b. 1982, Tucson, Arizona
•    Vincent Enrique Hernandez b. 1998, Los Angeles, California
•    Dan Herschlein b. 1989, Bayville, New York
•    Jessie Homer French b. 1940, New York, New York 
•    Akinsanya Kambon b. 1946, Sacramento, California
•    Kyle Kilty b. 1976, South Lake Tahoe, California
•    Young Joon Kwak b. 1984, New York, New York
•    Kang Seung Lee b. 1978, Seoul, South Korea
•    Tidawhitney Lek b. 1992, Long Beach, California
•    Los Angeles Contemporary Archive (LACA) est. 2013
•    Maria Maea b. 1988, Long Beach, California
•    Erica Mahinay b. 1986, Santa Fe, New Mexico
•    Mas Exitos est. 2010
•    Dominique Moody b. 1956, Augsburg, Germany
•    Paige Jiyoung Moon b. 1984, Seoul, South Korea
•    Esteban Ramón Pérez b. 1989, Los Angeles, California
•    Page Person b. 1972, Atlanta, Georgia
•    Roksana Pirouzmand b. 1990, Yazd, Iran
•    Ryan Preciado b. 1989, El Monte, California
•    Devin Reynolds b. 1991, Venice Beach, California
•    Miller Robinson (Karuk/Yurok) b. 1992, Lodi, California
•    Guadalupe Rosales b. 1980, Redwood City, California
•    Christopher Suarez b. 1994, Long Beach, California
•    Joey Terrill b. 1955, Los Angeles, California
•    Chiffon Thomas b. 1991, Chicago, Illinois
•    Teresa Tolliver b. 1945, Los Angeles, California

Guadalupe Rosales_Dreaming Casually_IBG_9198_nocable

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. All the artists in the exhibition are eligible to receive the awards. In 2020 Kandis Williams received the Mohn Award; Monica Majoli received the Career Achievement Award, and MR. WASH received the Public Recognition Award In 2018 artist Lauren Halsey received the Mohn Award; Daniel Joseph Martinez received the Career Achievement Award, and EJ Hill received the Public Recognition Award. Dancer Adam Linder received the Mohn Award in 2016, Alice Könitz received it in 2014, and Meleko Mokgosi received it in 2012.

Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue that includes essays from each curator, 39 commissioned artist entries that speak to each artist’s broader practice, and a photo essay by participating artist, Vincent Enrique Hernandez. The catalogue also includes an excerpt from Guadalupe Rosales’ forthcoming publication, East of the River. The catalogue is designed by Los Angeles-based designers IN-FO.CO and distributed worldwide by DelMonico Books●Prestel.

The Hammer’s biennial exhibition series Made in L.A. focuses exclusively on artists from Los Angeles with a primary focus on emerging artists. The Los Angeles biennial debuts new installations, videos, films, sculptures, performances, and paintings commissioned specifically for the exhibition and offers insight into 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 a second iteration in 2014 and a third in 2016, 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 cocurated by Hammer chief curator Connie Butler and Los Angeles-based independent curator Michael Ned Holte.

Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only was cocurated by Hammer curator Aram Moshayedi and Hamza Walker, former director of education and associate curator at the Renaissance Society in Chicago and currently director of LAXART in Los Angeles. 

Made in L.A. 2018 was organized by Anne Ellegood, senior curator, and Erin Christovale, assistant curator, with MacKenzie Stevens, curatorial associate. Performances are coordinated by Vanessa Arizmendi, curatorial assistant.

Made in L.A. 2020 was 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 was organized by the Hammer Museum in partnership with The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living is organized by curators Diana Nawi and Pablo José Ramírez, with Ashton Cooper, Luce Curatorial Fellow.

Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living is presented by Bank of America.

Maria Maea_Untitled (Nephew), 2020

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 Made in L.A. biennial, 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.

Admission to all exhibitions and programs at the Hammer Museum is free. Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11 a.m.–6 p.m. Closed Mondays and national holidays. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard at Westwood, Los Angeles. Onsite parking is $8 for the first 3 hours (maximum $22), or $8 flat rate after 6 p.m. Valet parking is available at the Lindbrook Drive entrance for $10. Visit for details or call 310-443-7000.

Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.


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