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Curatorial change for Hammer's 2014 'Made in L.A.' biennial

April 12, 2013|By Jori Finkel
  • Connie Butler, chief curator of drawings at MoMA, has been named a co-curator of the 2014 Hammer biennial.
Connie Butler, chief curator of drawings at MoMA, has been named a co-curator… (The Museum of Modern Art,…)

The Hammer Museum has confirmed a change in its curatorial team for the  2014 edition of “Made in L.A.,” the museum’s biennial exhibition.

Karin Higa has withdrawn from her role as co-curator for health reasons and is being replaced by Connie Butler, the chief curator of drawings at the Museum of Modern Art in New York who was previously a curator at MOCA in Los Angeles. 

Art critic Michael Ned Holte remains a co-curator of the biennial, designed to introduce visitors to new or little-known L.A.-based artists and scheduled to run the summer of 2014.

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“We are all so sorry Karin had to withdraw from the project due to illness. We all adore her and completely support her decision to focus on her health at this time,” said Ann Philbin, Hammer Museum director. “We are fortunate and grateful that Connie is willing and able to step in.”

Philbin said the idea for approaching Butler came from Holte. “We asked if he had any ideas about another partner. He had one idea, Connie, and we all thought that was great,” she said.

So how does it work for a New York curator to take on such a project in L.A.? “I think it’s a common model now, where people at one institution are advising on or co-curating a biennial in another place, and that’s what I’m doing," said Butler, who expects to fly back and forth a lot.

“One thing that keeps my work interesting is to keep the research in artists' studios going. This is a great chance for me to get a better feeling for what’s going on with a new generation of artists," she added.

The first edition of “Made in L.A.,” which took place in 2012, was organized by staff curators working with the nonprofit group LAX Art.

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