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Summer 2003
Art Nouveau
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Artist Markus Linnenbrink (foreground)
with James Elaine

With an eye toward emerging talent, Hammer Projects is creating a buzz that resonates throughout the global art world

By Cynthia Lee
Photography by Jonah Light

For two days artist Markus Linnenbrink has been painting, and in that marathon of expression he has coated nearly all of the 21-foot-high walls of the marble-floored lobby of the UCLA Hammer Museum with alternating broad and thin horizontal bands in every imaginable hue. Allowing gravity to take over, the 41-year-old German has let the paint drip and dribble playfully, serendipitously, down the walls in color-changing rivulets.

Working through the night, when the Hammer’s blazing lights turn the lobby into a giant illuminated aquarium, the artist manically dips his brushes into buckets to extend his grid in long, continuous strokes. By daylight he balances on a ladder to paint within a large display window facing Westwood Boulevard. A passerby stops, gawks, smiles and gives him a cheery thumbs up, and Linnenbrink pauses just long enough to savor the moment. “I love painting here in such a public place,” he says. “The idea of having such a huge artwork exposed to so many people is wonderful.”

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