• Made In L.A. 2016: “a, the, though, only”

    Hammer Museum
    10899 Wilshire Boulevard
    June 12–August 28, 2016

    Curated by Aram Moshayedi and Hamza Walker

    The third edition of the Hammer’s self-described locals-only biennial (although some participants lived in Los Angeles only briefly) arrives otherwise themeless, save for its cryptically beautiful subtitle—a, the, though, only—provided by the poet Aram Saroyan.While the show includes radically fewer artists than previous iterations (a mere twenty-six), it nevertheless showcases a broad range of practices, with musical scores by Wadada Leo Smith, choreography by Adam Linder, films by Arthur Jafa and Laida Lertxundi, public-access activism by Labor Link TV, Web-based work by Guthrie Lonergan, fashion design by Eckhaus Latta (who were interestingly also included in last year’s Greater New York at MoMA PS1), and text by Saroyan, who contributed an image and poem for the show’s catalogue, alongside more traditional media from painter Rebecca Morris and sculptor Kelly Akashi. The true flavor of any show can perhaps be savored only upon tasting, so it’s hard to speculate as to whether this one will shed light on what it means to make art in Los Angeles and why that might even be special. Perhaps this lacuna is the very point.

  • Cindy Sherman, Office Killer, 1997, 35 mm, color, sound, 82 minutes. Norah Reed (Jeanne Tripplehorn). © Strand Releasing USA.

    Cindy Sherman, Office Killer, 1997, 35 mm, color, sound, 82 minutes. Norah Reed (Jeanne Tripplehorn). © Strand Releasing USA.

    “Cindy Sherman: Imitation of Life”

    The Broad
    221 S. Grand Ave.
    June 11–October 2, 2016

    Curated by Philipp Kaiser

    Sometimes the most obvious choice is also the best, right? Los Angeles’s sparkling new museum will launch its special exhibitions program with a career-spanning survey of photographs and a movie, Office Killer (1997) by Cindy Sherman. Sherman! Hollywood! Broad! It feels perfect. If there were an Academy Award for best acting in a photograph, she’d win. The Broads have collected Sherman’s work for three decades, and for the run of this show—the first presentation of the artist’s work in LA in nineteen years—everyone who lines up to say “cheese” in Yayoi Kusama’s twinkle-lit Infinity Mirrored Room can step inside the adjacent ground-floor galleries for a selfie master class. To experience the enduring power of Sherman’s eccentric, original, and unending exploration of self-identification—as filtered through the American dreams, values, and popular media tropes that this city has both incubated and come to represent—well, I’m excited.