The Eli and Edythe Broad Stage, Santa Monica, and Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Los Angeles, a partnership with Claremont Graduate University, will present internationally acclaimed Los Angeles-based artists Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Charles Gaines in conversation with Anne Ellegood, Senior Curator, Hammer Museum on Monday, May 21 at The Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center. Artists Talk: A Conversation with L.A. Artists is the second program in a series of talks with influential California-based artists, established to explore the living legacy of Los Angeles’s vibrant contemporary art scene. Executive producer of the Artists Talk series is William Turner.
The artists will speak to their work, process, histories, and lives, addressing the significance and specificity of L.A. as a creative context for their work. Moderated by Ellegood, an avid supporter and exponent of both artists, the event joins these tangentially-related though distinct voices for the first time in a public forum.
Njideka Akunyili Crosby
Njideka Akunyili Crosby was born in Enugu, Nigeria in 1983 and lives and works in Los Angeles. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Hammer Museum, and the Norton Museum of Art (West Palm Beach). In 2017, she was named a MacArthur Fellow. In January 2018, Akunyili Crosby became the second artist to create an outdoor mural for LA MOCA Grand Avenue, on view until 31 December. This year, her work will be included in the Hayward Gallery Billboard Project and in Michael Jackson: On the Wall 28 June – 21 October 2018, National Portrait Gallery, London. In September, she undertakes the first commission at Brixton station in London as part of Art on the Underground’s year-long program of women artists.
Highly regarded as both a leading practitioner of conceptualism and an influential educator at the California Institute of the Arts, Los Angeles-based artist Charles Gaines is celebrated for his works on paper and acrylic glass, photographs, drawings, musical compositions, and installations that investigate how rule-based procedures influence representation and construct meaning. He has had over 80 one-person shows and several hundred group exhibitions in the U.S. and abroad, including the 2007 and 2015 Bienale di Venezia. In 2015, he presented a critically-acclaimed retrospective exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem and the Hammer Museum. Gaines’s work is collected internationally, including at the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Whitney Museum of American Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He is represented by The Paula Cooper Gallery in New York, Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles, and Max Hetzler, Berlin and Paris. His compositions created by translating revolutionary texts into musical notation have been widely performed, most recently in Australia at the 2017 Melbourne Festival, at the Brooklyn Museum in 2016, and at the 56th Biennale di Venezia, Venice. In 1977, Gaines received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, in 2007, a United States Artists Fellowship Award, the 2013 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, the 2015 CAA Artist Award for Distinguished Body of Work, and is the 2018 honored recipient of the REDCAT award.
Anne Ellegood, Senior Curator, Hammer Museum
Since 2009, Anne Ellegood has been the Senior Curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, where she has organized numerous exhibitions. Prior to joining the Hammer, she was Curator of Contemporary Art at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., and from 1998-2003, she was the Associate Curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. She recently organized the first North American retrospective of the work of Jimmie Durham, which opened at the Hammer in January 2017, traveled to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, and is currently at its final venue, the Remai Modern in Saskatoon. Other recent solo shows include those with Sam Falls, Kevin Beasley, Charles Gaines, John Outterbridge, Pedro Reyes, Frances Upritchard, Lily van der Stokker, and Judith Hopf. At the Hammer, she has also organized the group exhibitions Take It or Leave It: Institution, Image, Ideology (2014) and All of this and nothing (2011). In 2011, she was selected by the Australian Council for the Arts to curate Sydney-based artist Hany Armanious’s exhibition for the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Ellegood is currently co-curating the Hammer’s biennial of Los Angeles-based artists, Made in LA, with Erin Christovale, which opens on June 2. She received her Master’s of Art from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and has taught at Bard’s CCS, Rhode Island School of Design, School of the Visual Arts, and George Washington University.