The Guide to Made in L.A. 2023

Explore the Hammer Museum's Biennial

Joey Terrill - "Painted by Her Brother" (1983) at the Hammer Museum
Joey Terrill - "Painted by Her Brother" (1983) | Photo: Hammer Museum

Now on view at the Hammer Museum through Dec. 31, 2023, Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living is the sixth edition of its acclaimed biennial, one of the most influential presentations of contemporary art in the United States.

Organized by independent curator Diana Nawi and Hammer curator Pablo José Ramírez, Made in L.A. features the works of 39 artists and groups working throughout Greater Los Angeles.

Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living takes its title from a quote by renowned LA artist Noah Purifoy that's inscribed on a plaque at the iconic Watts Towers: “One does not have to be a visual artist to utilize creative potential. Creativity can be an act of living, a way of life, and a formula for doing the right thing.”

Made in L.A. 2023 co-curator Diana Nawi at the Hammer Museum
Made in L.A. 2023 co-curator Diana Nawi  |  Photo: Daniel Djang

Nawi said, “Pablo and I were struck by not only the diversity of practices we encountered but also, more profoundly, by the different stakes people expressed for art making. Art has a critical role to play in people’s lives, to their wellbeing and that of their communities; it attests to our existence and allows us a better understanding of one another.”

Featuring more than 260 artworks and a slate of public programs, there's a lot to take in at Made in L.A. Read on for highlights of this extraordinary, diverse and inclusive exhibition.

Devin Reynolds - "Paradise Lost" (2023) at the Hammer Museum
Devin Reynolds - "Paradise Lost" (2023) at the Hammer Museum  |  Photo: Daniel Djang
Devin Reynolds - "Paradise Lost" (2023) at the Hammer Museum
Devin Reynolds - "Paradise Lost" (2023) at the Hammer Museum  |  Photo: Daniel Djang


Paradise Lost (2023) by Devin Reynolds welcomes visitors in the Hammer's lobby. A native of Venice Beach, Reynolds' work is situated at the intersection of graffiti and his love for nostalgic Americana design and sign painting, filtered through the lens of his biracial upbringing in Los Angeles.

AMBOS "With Our Hands" at the Hammer Museum
AMBOS - "Con nuestras manos construimos deidades" / "With our hands we build deities" (2023)  |  Photo: Daniel Djang

Founded in 2016 by artist Tanya Aguiñiga, AMBOS (Art Made Between Opposite Sides) is a platform for binational artists along the U.S.-Mexico border to express, document and mitigate community needs through craft-based projects centered on care.

Located at the top of the staircase to the Leslie and Bill McMorrow Terrace, the AMBOS installation Con nuestras manos construimos deidades / With our hands we build deities (2023) is made from sets of clay hands, woven arms and embroidered talismans produced through collaborations and community workshops with individuals awaiting U.S. asylum at Tijuana shelters and people whose lives have been affected by histories of migration in San Diego and Los Angeles.

Michael Alvarez "For Markie and Ro Ro" at the Hammer Museum
Michael Alvarez - "For Markie and Ro Ro" (2023)  |  Photo: Daniel Djang

Working from photos and memories, LA native Michael Alvarez creates paintings and collages that depict the visual details of a person, place or moment as much as they capture sensation and sentiment. For Markie and Ro Ro (2023) is a portrait of Alvarez's family gathered at a cousin's house in Eagle Rock. They're standing in front of a mural with Dodgers and Lakers tributes that Alvarez painted to commemorate his cousin Marco "Markie" Cardoza, who passed away in 2017.

Christopher Suarez "PCH & Cherry at 7 p.m." at the Hammer Museum
Christopher Suarez - "PCH & Cherry at 7 p.m." (2023)  |  Photo: Daniel Djang

Born and raised in Long Beach, Christopher Suarez makes ceramic replicas of small brick-and-mortar businesses in his hometown, where he continues to live and work. These structures point to the influence of generations of Mexican immigrants who - like his father and maternal grandfather - have settled in Long Beach over the past century. PCH & Cherry at 7 p.m. (2023) depicts a block in Long Beach that includes Chittick Field, a public sports complex and community hub. As a child, Alvarez watched his father play soccer there.

Young Joon Kwak at the Hammer Museum
Young Joon Kwak - "To Refuse Looking Away From Our Transitioning Bodies" (2023)  |  Photo: Daniel Djang

Young Joon Kwak frequently creates works from cast bodies. Recently they've been working on reverse-cast "skin" pieces like To Refuse Looking Away From Our Transitioning Bodies (2023), a trio of suspended sculptures covered in glitter, resin, Flashe, wax pigment and glass rhinestones. By covering these forms with a glittering layer, Kwak seeks to change how viewers look at bodies. Kwak's practice grew out of their work as a drag performer and lead singer of the "drag-electronic-dance-noise band" Xina Xurner.

Page Person "I AM A PERSON" at the Hammer Museum
Page Person - "I AM A PERSON"  |  Photo: Daniel Djang

After Page Person came out as trans, she was alienated from the art spaces where she had shown for ten years. In 2017 she started doing drag, performing at Los Angeles drag nights and events. Her ongoing project is based on the deceptively simple statement: "I AM A PERSON." To assert her own humanity, the artist often inserts "PERSON" in all caps into her paintings and on costumes. When Person returned to creating canvases, she realized that making paintings and gowns felt interchangeable - she makes drag in art spaces and art in drag spaces.

Sula Bermúdez-Silverman "Tithonus" at the Hammer Museum
Sula Bermúdez-Silverman - "Tithonus" (2023)  |  Photo: Daniel Djang

Using familiar forms like a saddle or dollhouse, Sula Bermúdez-Silverman explores how objects can become symbols. Named for a type of dinosaur from which birds evolved, Theropods (2023) features sculptures based on claw-foot furniture - animal talons or paws clutching a spherical object. The motif comes from traditional Chinese decorative arts - a dragon's talons are wrapped around an orb, symbolizing power and protection. Each of Bermúdez-Silverman's blown glass orbs contains a specific material, such as hair gel in Tithonus and synthetic rubber in Caryatid.

Ishi Glinsky "Inertia - Warn the Animals" at the Hammer Museum
Ishi Glinsky - "Inertia - Warn the Animals" (2023)  |  Photo: Daniel Djang

A member of the Tohono O'odham Nation, Ishi Glinsky links ancestral tradition and modern pop culture in works that range from woven wire baskets to traditional inlaid jewelry techniques of the Southwest. Commissioned for Made in L.A., Inertia - Warn the Animals (2023) is a monumental sculpture featuring the infamous "Ghostface" mask from the Scream movie franchise. Inertia is inspired by a powwow (an intertribal sacred gathering and celebration) called the Grand Entry - the movement of dancers' bodies activates bells sewn on animal hoofs; and tobacco lids rustle as they shake their limbs.

Roksana Pirouzmand "Until All Is Dissolved" at the Hammer Museum
Roksana Pirouzmand - "Until All Is Dissolved" (2023)  |  Photo: Daniel Djang

Roksana Pirouzmand creates sculptural objects and installations that perform in tandem with the artist's body. Between two windows (2023) is a built-in window that connects two galleries. The installation is animated by air circulating within the liminal space, as well as the presence of the artist herself. During the run of the exhibition, the artist will perform regularly inside the claustrophobic space, which is neither private nor public.

Located in the Hammer's courtyard, Until All Is Dissolved (2023) is a striking sculpture that reflects on the gradual deterioration of family ties or their fluidity across diasporas. Five body casts of the artist are piled on top of each other - their positions evoke vulnerability and invocation. Water trickles down through their uneven surfaces.

Dominique Moody seated outside N.O.M.A.D. at the Hammer Museum
Dominique Moody - N.O.M.A.D. at the Hammer Museum  |  Photo: Daniel Djang
Dominique Moody inside N.O.M.A.D. at the Hammer Museum
Dominique Moody inside N.O.M.A.D. at the Hammer Museum  |  Photo: Daniel Djang

N.O.M.A.D. (2015–23) is a tiny mobile house and studio created by Dominique Moody, an urban nomad who "works at the intersection of assemblage, performance and life." Her work is part of a long tradition of sculpture and assemblage with roots in mid-20th century South LA. Installed outside the museum on Lindbrook Drive, the 150 square-foot N.O.M.A.D. (Narrative Odyssey Manifesting Artistic Dreams) was built with reclaimed materials - the "portals" are from industrial washing machines; the porch is made of floorboards salvaged from a barn; the shower curtain hangs from the tire rim of an old bike. The installation's largest found object is a 1950 Ford tow truck that's parked next to N.O.M.A.D. for the first time. Visitors will be able to enter and experience N.O.M.A.D. on select Sundays when the artist is present.

Mohn Award Kiosk at the Hammer Museum
Mohn Award Kiosk at the Hammer Museum  |  Photo: Daniel Djang

"Vote For Art!"

Funded through the generosity of Los Angeles philanthropists and art collectors Jarl and Pamela Mohn, the Mohn Award ($100,000) and the Career Achievement Award ($25,000) will be selected by a professional jury. The Public Recognition Award ($25,000) will be determined through a public vote. Visitors can cast their vote at Mohn Award kiosks located throughout the museum. All the artists in the exhibition are eligible to receive the awards.

Valley Tour raffle at the Hammer Museum
Valley Tour raffle at the Hammer Museum  |  Photo: Daniel Djang

Valley Tour Raffle

Through online media, programs and parties, Vincent Enrique Hernandez has created a tour of the San Fernando Valley that is a mode of preservation and recognition for this under-appreciated part of Los Angeles. Made in L.A. visitors will be able to enter a raffle to win a chance to take one of the weekly tours offered throughout the exhibition, seeing the Valley through his unique lens.

"Eastside Sound: Lowrider & Soul" at the Hammer Museum
Eastside Sound: Lowrider & Soul | Photo: Hammer Museum

Public Programs

The Hammer is hosting a series of public programs throughout the exhibition's run, including panels, artist talks, screenings and performances.

Taking place on Tuesday, October 10 at 7:30pm, Eastside Sound: Lowrider & Soul features Ruben Molina, author of Chicano Soul: Recordings and History of American Culture and The Old Barrio Guide to Low Rider Music; in conversation with Made in L.A. artist Gary "Ganas" Garay. Punctuated with musical interludes, their discussion will focus on the archives of Los Angeles lowrider and soul music through a Chicano and Mexicano perspective.

Jackie Amézquita "El suelo que nos alimenta" at the Hammer Museum
Jackie Amézquita - "El suelo que nos alimenta," 2023 (detail) | Photo: Hammer Museum

Hammer Channel

As part of its ongoing Hammer Channel project, the museum has created video profiles of several Made in L.A. artists, including Jackie Amézquita. For El suelo que nos alimenta (2023), Amézquita used soil sourced from the 144 neighborhoods that make up the Los Angeles region; masa (corn dough), limestone, salt and copper.


Admission to the Hammer is free, and advance reservations are not necessary.


Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles 90024
(310) 443-7000
Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living