Locally-based shows introduce international talent

posted by – 01/26/16 @ 3:48pm

Made in LA 2012: Installation view at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. Photo: Brian Forrest.

In her article for the New York Times about Hammer Museum’s upcoming “Made in L.A.” show, Jori Minkel emphasizes the vast geographical diversity of artists that will be showcased at the biennial exhibition. While the show aims to embrace local talent, it is hard to ignore the fact that this upcoming edition of the show draws from a multitude of areas and nationalities much different than the L.A. locale or lifestyle. From Lebanon to Australia, Brazil to Germany, and everywhere in between, this show exemplifies a growing trend in the art world: the increasing globalization of exhibitions and the art market.

According to curators Aram Moshayedi and Hamza Walker, this transition from local to global is “natural,” though unprovoked. Like many other urban centers, Los Angeles is home to increasing numbers of artists from around the world. It is no wonder, then, that these expats made their way into local shows. And these curators are okay with that. Rather than excluding good artists due to birthplace, the duo opted to showcase the best work within their reach.

Nashville, too, can relate to the sensation of an increasingly diverse population and creative demographic. Not only are musicians moving to town in hordes; galleries like Tinney Contemporary are continuing to represent and show artists that hail from all corners of the world. This increasing diversity and the increasingly important global aspect of the art world adds to budding urban centers like our own, introducing locals to global perspectives and aesthetics we may otherwise miss out on.

Does the globalization of art work to the advantage of the viewer? For the eye-opening, educational effect art can have on audiences: yes. Take José Betancourt’s work that we showed in August for example. In it, the artist draws from memories of his early life in Cuba. The experiences he illustrates and alludes to cannot be found in the U.S. at all, much less within Nashville’s city limits. Without viewing his work, Nashville audiences would perhaps not even consider political issues that lie just 90 miles south of Florida. In this way, the globalization of art, its consumption, and the ease with which we can view work from around the world is to everyone’s advantage.


To learn more about the Hammer Museum’s “Made in L.A.” show, click here.

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