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|“The series has transformed the Hammer from a sleepy university museum to a red-hot center of the local art scene.”
definitely a buzz among people on the street as Linnenbrink works.
It’s a buzz that resonates throughout the arts community both
in the United States and abroad, one that starts whenever James
Elaine, the curator of Hammer Projects, invites a rising star with
a huge talent but little name recognition in the West to unleash
their creativity on the wall for no commission and only a small
budget for materials and travel.
Projects was launched by Director Ann Philbin when she came to the
Hammer in 1999 to infuse vitality into a museum that had gone slightly
stale. It is a showcase for the work of emerging artists who have
never shown in a museum or on the West Coast — and perhaps
have never even had a gallery showing. Unlike other artists who
have years to prepare for a full-blown exhibition, Hammer Projects
artists may have as little as two months’ notice to do one
piece for a program that’s nimble, adventurous and flexible.
successful has Hammer Projects become under the leadership of Philbin
and Elaine, who worked with Philbin at The Drawing Center in New
York, that it has energized the entire museum and given it a new
profile as a welcoming place that’s willing to take risks
on artists with little or no track record.
Los Angeles Times has dubbed the program “one of
the most adventuresome in Southern California.” And writer
M.G. Lord wrote in a recent New York Times article: “The
series has transformed the Hammer from a sleepy university museum
to a red-hot center of the local art scene. Crowded openings attract
international collectors, eminent older artists and younger artists
scrambling for recognition.”