Announcement video for the sixth edition of Made in L.A. lists the 39 artists selected for the 2023 biennial. | Video by Hammer Museum


THE HAMMER MUSEUM announced 39 artists and collectives selected to participate in its forthcoming Made in L.A. biennial, including Sula Bermúdez-Silverman, Emmanuel Louisnord Desir, Akinsanya Kambon, Dominique Moody, Devin Reynolds, Guadalupe Rosales, Chiffon Thomas, and Teresa Tolliver.

With a focus on emerging and under-recognized artists, Made in L.A. highlights current trends and notable practices in the greater Los Angeles area spanning a variety of mediums. Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living, the sixth edition of the biennial, is organized by curators Diana Nawi and Pablo José Ramírez with Luce Curatorial Fellow Ashton Cooper. The exhibition opens Oct. 1 and will be on view through Dec. 31.

The announcement said: “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.”

A multi-generational group, the artist list includes 10 artists born in the 1990s and five born in the 1940s, who are in their seventies and eighties. African American artists Akinsanya Kambon (b. 1946) and Teresa Tolliver (b. 1945) are among the artists who have been active for five decades. Later in life their work is garnering a new level of attention.

Akinsanya Kambon and Teresa Tolliver are among the artists who have been active for five decades. Later in life their work is garnering a new level of attention.


AKINSANYA KAMBON (b. 1946), “Equestrian Queen,” 2021 (raku fired clay and copper). | © Akinsanya Kambon, Courtesy the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York


An artist and educator, Tolliver works in a variety of mediums including painting, ceramics, and assemblage. She presented a series of mixed-media dolls in the form of free-standing sculptures and wall-mounted works at LA gallery Sebastian Gladstone last year. Working with found materials and a process she calls “creative recycling,” the sculptural dolls explore Blackness, femininity, her personal experiences, and philosophy of living.

A U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Kambon served as lieutenant of culture for the Sacramento chapter of the Black Panther Party. His extensive travels in Africa are reflected in his work, highly glazed sculptures depicting African deities and historic and religious figures. To produce his works, Kambon employs a Western version of raku, a firing technique with Japanese roots. His sculptures were the focus of recent show at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, his first-ever solo exhibition, and Jack Shainman Gallery in New York.

Also featured, Moody is a visually impaired artist who works in assemblage and collage. Born in Germany to an American military family, Moody has moved 46 times in her life, an enduring experience that has influenced her practice, notion of home, and “NOMAD” (Narrative Odyssey Manifesting Artistic Dreams), her most ambitious project. She has journeyed across the United States in NOMAD—a mobile dwelling, artist residence on wheels, and storytelling vehicle—creating site-specific works along the way.

A multidisciplinary artist and archivist, Rosales’s practice is centered around Latinx culture in Southern California. She is building an archive of vernacular photographs and ephemera with a focus on telling the stories of communities often underrepresented or misrepresented in official archives and public memory. Her artworks explore belonging, estrangement, and collective and embodied experience. Rosales was a 2019 Gordon Parks Foundation Fellow and 2020 United States Artists Fellow.

“Made in L.A. 2023 takes its cues from the ethos of Los Angeles, a place where a multiplicity of cultures coexist.” — Co-Curator Pablo José Ramírez


DOMINIQUE MOODY (b. 1956), NOMAD, 2015. | Photo credit by Khari Scott


“Made in L.A. 2023 takes its cues from the ethos of Los Angeles, a place where a multiplicity of cultures coexist…,” Ramírez said in a statement. “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.”

Over the years, Black artists participating in Made in L.A., have been recognized with major awards. In 2020, Kandis Williams won the Mohn Award ($100,000), the biennial’s top juried prize, and MR. WASH (Fulton Leroy Washington) received the Public Recognition Award ($25,000). In 2018, Lauren Halsey was honored with the Mohn Award and EJ Hill received the Public Recognition Award. The Mohn Award went to Meleko Mokgosi in 2012, the inaugural year of Made in L.A.

The theme of the 2023 biennial, “Acts of Living,” derives from a quote by assemblage artist Noah Purifoy (1917-2004) that appears 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.”

Nawi, co-curator of Made in L.A. 2023, is an independent curator who served as co-artistic director of Prospect.5 New Orleans with Naima Keith. In a statement, she further explained the theme of the forthcoming Los Angeles exhibition: “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.” CT


FIND MORE See the full list of 39 artists participating in Made in L.A. 2023


FIND MORE about Sula Bermúdez-Silverman, Akinsanya Kambon, Dominique Moody, Devin Reynolds, Guadalupe Rosales, Chiffon Thomas, and Teresa Tolliver on their websites and Instagram


FIND MORE about Akinsanya Kambon, Sula Bermúdez-Silverman, and MR. WASH on Culture Type


TERESA TOLLIVER (b. 1945), Untitled, 2012 (mixed media). | Photo by Ruben Diaz, Courtesy of Sebastian Gladstone Gallery


GUADALUPE ROSALES (b. 1980), Dreaming Casually, 2022 (mirrors, steel, led light, powder coat, photograph, bandana, 128 x 128 x 8cm). | Photo by Ian Byers Gamber, Courtesy the artist and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles, Mexico City


CHIFFON THOMAS (b. 1991), Untitled (Winged), 2021 (semi-rigid plastic, wood, split wooden columns, screws, rebar wire, rebar wire ties, oxidized copper nails, 70 1/2 x 146 x 53 inches). | © Chiffon Thomas, Courtesy Hammer Museum


SULA BERMUDEZ-SILVERMAN (b. 1993), “A Pigeon for a Needle, a Turtle-Dove for One Glass Bead, a Pheasant for Two, and a Turkey for Four,” 2022 (epoxy resin, ground red pepper, transparency film, freshwater pearls, Pitaya slice, glass red ant, tobacco twist, cayenne pepper, rhombodera javanensis, pearl oyster shell, miniature mirror, miniature window curtains, and miniature arms, 28 x 36 x 2 inches). | © Sula Bermudez-Silverman, Photo by Josh Schaedel


DEVIN REYNOLDS (b. 1991), “Happy Days,” 2020 (spray paint, oil, acrylic and mixed media on wood panel 288x96in (24 x 8 feet). | © Devin Reynolds, Photo by Elon Schoenholz for Residency Gallery


Installation view of EMMANUEL LOUISNORD DESIR (b. 1997), “Captivity of the Spirit and the Flesh,” 2019. | Photo by Joerg Lohse, Courtesy of Emmanuel Louisnord Desir & 47 Canal


Each edition of Made in L.A. has been accompanied by an exhibition catalog showcasing the work of the participating artists. “Made in L.A.: a version,” documents the 2020 edition. “Lauren Halsey: Mohn Award” is the artist’s first monograph. “Lauren Halsey: The Roof Garden Commission” is a forthcoming volume published on the occasion of her rooftop commission at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Also consider, “Kandis Williams: A Line” and “Meleko Mokgosi: Bread, Butter, and Power,”


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