Hammer Blog

  • Lunchtime Art Talk Recap: Wallace Berman's Semina 2

    Lunchtime Art Talk Recap: Wallace Berman's Semina 2

    We here at the Museum are all excited about the recent opening of Made in L.A. 2014! In thinking about the important through line of artist communities that permeates Made in L.A., I dug through the collection and unearthed Wallace Berman’s Semina to give us a glimpse into the history of Los Angeles as a mecca for artists who work fluidly with media and find inspiration in their associations with other artists. Seeing the evolution of these proclivities as they manifest in Made in L.A. 2014 is truly fascinating!

  • Made in L.A. Music at the Hammer

    Made in L.A. Music at the Hammer

    This July, the Hammer and public radio station KCRW present four nights of free live music in the courtyard. This year, the series spotlights some of L.A.’s most enduring club nights and residencies, showcasing the city’s vibrant and diverse music scenes.

  • 3 Questions with Caitlin Lonegan

    3 Questions with Caitlin Lonegan

    I chose to move to L.A because I admired and was baffled by the work coming from there and wanted to better understand where it was coming from. I was a couple years out of undergrad, teaching middle school science in a bi-lingual Russian English school in Coney Island. I was making paintings in my living room in the West Village and going to Chelsea galleries and a lot of openings. I didn't see a place for myself or my work there, but I felt committed to my work. When applying to graduate school and reflecting on my education, I realized that a lot of the work that inspired my approach and resonated with my belief systems as an artist working in painting came out of L.A.

  • Hammergram: June 2014

    Hammergram: June 2014

    It’s the end of the month, so it’s time for Hammergram! We are fascinated by the photos our visitors take of the objects and spaces at the Hammer. That’s why we decided to launch Hammergram–a monthly round-up of our favorite visitor photos–in the hopes that they will inspire you to share your own Hammer experience with us! The Hammer Museum welcomes visitors to take non-flash, personal-use photography (except where noted). Share your images with us by tagging @hammer_museum or #hammermuseum on Instagram or Twitter, and you could be featured in the next Hammergram!

  • 3 Questions with Judy Fiskin

    3 Questions with Judy Fiskin

    I grew up in L.A. and only started thinking about it as a place when I went 30 miles away to Claremont, to college. Three or four years after graduation, when I began to photograph, I was still thinking about it, and it became one of my main subjects. And it has been ever since.

  • Staff Pick: Darin Klein on Actual Reality by Lucky Dragons

    Staff Pick: Darin Klein on Actual Reality by Lucky Dragons

    I first met Sarah Rara and Luke Fischbeck in 2006 when I was working at Skylight Books in Los Feliz. I was in charge of the small press consignments – encompassing everything from cut-n-paste zines to lovely poetry chapbooks and even commercially printed publications without backing from distribution companies. I became enamored with Sarah and Luke’s book works, which we sold at Skylight Books and which tend to fall somewhere between zine and artist book, art object and independent publication, documentary and fantasy. So I went to see Lucky Dragons perform and was not surprised to discover that their stage presence and actions also transcended or at least combined descriptors such as performance, music, interactive, and audiovisual.

  • 3 Questions with Mariah Garnett

    3 Questions with Mariah Garnett

    When I moved here in 2004 I immediately realized this city was way more interesting than it usually gets credit for, but it took me at least 2 years to decide I actually wanted to be here. Now I can't imagine living anywhere else, in the US at least. I love how private it is, not in an exclusive way, it's just that all the really interesting stuff is happening in peoples back yards, or in a strip mall or behind some other dull facade, where you wouldn't expect to find anything.

  • Volkswagen Once Tried To Kill A Journalist Because Of This Car

    Volkswagen Once Tried To Kill A Journalist Because Of This Car

    Yep, that's right. As far as I can tell, this incident where a Brazilian auto journalist was shot at while taking some spy shots is the only time a carmaker has actually employed potentially deadly force against a journalist. Even though I may have tempted some. The car is the VW Brasilia, and I think it's great.

  • 3 Questions with A.L. Steiner

    3 Questions with A.L. Steiner

    Why L.A.? Why did you choose to work in this city in particular? Job offer. It was supposed to be temporary. How has your time in L.A. shaped your work? Made in L.A. is my L.A. coming-out moment...will see!

  • 3 Questions with Emily Mast

    3 Questions with Emily Mast

    I think LA chose me. I chose not to live in other places, so it was a process of elimination. Paris was too depressed and mean, New York too expensive and busy, and Portland too dreary and accepting. I lived in Mexico for a while, and it was just hard to get things done (it’s a country best set up for taking it easy). LA had the right balance of people, attitude and infrastructure. I came, I didn’t dislike, I stayed.

  • Ma Ke in L.A.

    Ma Ke in L.A.

    I first saw Ma Ke’s work in 2008 or 09 at an obscure space in Beijing. I was immediately taken by the two small paintings of his that were in a large group show. No one in the gallery could give me any information about him. It took me several years to track him down, but finally while visiting Platform China gallery in Beijing one day, I saw a catalogue of an artist’s work and instantly knew this must be the artist I had been looking for for such a long time.

  • Open Projector Night Summer 2014: The Winners

    Open Projector Night Summer 2014: The Winners

    Equal parts showcase and showdown, the Hammer’s Open Projector Night is the most raucous independent short film festival around. Films and videos of all genres have garnered praise and wrath alike—filmmakers are encouraged to bring a thick skin! Nationally known and loved comedy team the Sklar Brothers emcee.

  • Five Years of Public Engagement

    Five Years of Public Engagement

    What was once a truly unique undertaking—creating a department focused on art and also considering the role of the visitor—has become a more common practice in the field. By my count there are now nearly twenty institutions in the U.S. alone who have created engagement-centric teams. Though the Hammer’s program is unusual in its focus that is strictly curatorial, versus, for example, education that sometimes skews curatorial, or a marketing/visitor services fusion, there seems to be a shift underway. I’d like to think that the Hammer’s program, once a lonely little outlier, has had an influence on that.

  • The Mysteries of China

    The Mysteries of China

    During my time and travels throughout modern China I have ‘discovered’ and photographed a series of mysterious and unexplained phenomena. These can be added to the ever mounting Great Mysteries of China.