Black Curators Have Been Making Significant Strides, Art Museums are Finally Getting on Board to Aid Their Progress

THE FOURTH ITERATION of Made in L.A. is currently on view at the Hammer Museum. The biennial features 33 emerging and under-recognized artists, some of the most interesting and thought-provoking figures working in the Los Angeles area. Spanning nearly four generations, the diverse group includes African American artists Diedrick Brackens, Aaron Fowler, Lauren Halsey, EJ Hill, Christina Quarles, Michael Queenland, taisha paggett, and Suné Woods.

Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight called Made in L.A. 2018 “the best one yet.” In his review of the biennial, which opened June 3 and runs through Sept. 2, Knight credits the exhibition’s curators for its success. The artists, Knight said, “were chosen with a keen attention to the resonance of their work within our socially disturbed time. Rather than art with partisan political agendas, Hammer curators Anne Ellegood and Erin Christovale have chosen smart work that, for the most part, feels acutely attuned to our beleaguered moment.”

The Hammer Museum announced the curators for Made in L.A. in February 2017. Christovale (pictured below, at right) was a Los Angeles-based independent curator and film programmer at the time. A few months later, in June, she was named assistant curator at the museum. CHRISTOVALE is AMONG A WAVE of black curators hired over the past several years to fill plum posts at major American art museums. They are relatively young—mostly in their 30s and 40s—and responsible for some of the most anticipated and groundbreaking exhibitions of 2018.

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