New Art Now

If contemporary art is art always happening ‘now’, can we ever really make sense of the present? Michael North on the 'new' in art

By Michael North

Harry Dodge, Made in L.A., 2014 (installation view, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles). Photo: Brian Forrest. Courtesy the artist Marketing artwork for Made in L.A., 2014.Courtesy Hammer Museum, Los Angeles They Might Be Giants, Older, 1999, music video still. Courtesy ABC Television / YouTube They Might Be Giants, Older, 1999, music video still. Courtesy ABC Television / YouTube They Might Be Giants, Older, 1999, music video still. Courtesy ABC Television / YouTube

For much of this past summer, stretches of Sunset Boulevard were lined with banners bearing the arresting slogan ‘New.Art.Now.’ Drivers catching the flipside of these banners would have seen that they were actually advertising the Hammer Museum’s second biennial, titled Made in L.A. So the punchy three-word come-on is just a subtitle of sorts, and its relative absence from the catalogue and other promotional material surrounding the biennial makes it seem an afterthought. Nevertheless, the Hammer was not alone in pushing…

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