Reinvent This!

The Hammer Museum continues its tradition of biannual exhibitions with Nine Lives: Visionary Artists From LA, which illuminates the concept of reinvention–the one thing that never ceases in this city.  The show, much like its predecessors, Eden’s Edge, Thing, International Paper, and Snapshot, focuses on artists working in Los Angeles. But this time around, curator Ali Subotnick said, “In approaching this exhibition, I chose to concentrate on nine idiosyncratic artists who struck me as being especially hard to define or categorize.” Forming one narrative, the nine sections of the gallery are filled with new work by Lisa Anne Auerbach, Julie Becker, Llyn Foulkes, Charles Irvin, Hirsch Perlman, Victoria Reynolds, Kaari Upson, Jeffrey Vallance, and Charlie White. The exhibition includes video, paintings, drawings, photography, textiles, and two new sculptural installations; some highlights include Auerbach’s subversive sweaters, Reynold’s strangely delicate renderings of raw meat, and Upson’s recreation of the Playboy mansion’s grotto.

Subotnick continues, “The artists are intriguing because they dive so deeply into their own fabricated worlds that a kind of myopic vision occurs, which very viscerally communicates their fears, dreams, and anxieties, fantasies, curiosities, and moral concerns.” All in all, you may not be able to figure out what makes this group tick, but you’ll have a good time trying.

Nine Lives: Visionary Artists From LA continues until May 31 at the Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024).

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