Hammer Receptions for Mark Bradford and Perfect Likeness

mark bradford ann philbin
Celebrating an ‘extraordinary’ day and two new exhibits at the Hammer Museum


The event: The Hammer Museum celebrated two new exhibitions: “Mark Bradford: Scorched Earth” and “Perfect Likeness: Photography and Composition,” with a jampacked weekend of events. Festivities began with the June 26 summer supper for artists, collectors and other VIPs and continued June 27 with curator-guided walk-throughs and receptions for museum supporters, patrons, directors and members, culminating in a shindig for 1,600, complete with a DJ set.

The scene: At Friday’s supper, guests seated themselves at long tables in the Hammer’s open courtyard, and museum director Ann Philbin addressed the crowd. Aside from thanking donors, she proposed toasts to the artists before guests dined family-style on barbecued brisket, lemon-marinated chicken, penne pasta and various veggies.

Noting that the day included not only the night’s celebration of the Hammer’s new shows, but also the Supreme Court’s ruling to legalize same-sex marriage …

Ari Emanuel, Sarah Lewis
Click here to read my whole story and scroll down the page to see more pictures.


As an aside, no question I loved Friday’s dinner. Yet Connie Butler’s introduction to the Bradford exhibit and Russell Ferguson’s walkthrough of the photography show were for me the weekend’s highlights.

“(Bradford) had a big retrospective about a year ago that went around the country but never came to L.A,“ said chief curator Connie Butler at Saturday’s reception. “Mark is someone I’ve want to work with for a long time. We are thrilled to have this exhibition here.”

Said Ferguson after his walkthrough: “For artists who choose to work with photography, the current ubiquity of image-making changes the scenario.” He then noted that today, virtually everyone has a camera and a toddler old can take photos.

“I believe that one of the things that has resulted is a certain move among a number of artists towards a much more overt, composed, picture-making approach to their work in photography,” he added, saying, “Just because an artist can make a photograph, it doesn’t work the other way. Not everyone who takes a photograph is automatically an artist. It’s like other things you do – like writing. There’s a lot of writing by a lot of people, but that doesn’t make us all Nobel literature prize winners.”

Connie Butler, Linda Janger copy


Top photo: Mark Bradford poses with Ann Philbin beside his map of the U.S. illustrating the number of AIDs patients in each state. (photo, Stefanie Keenan)

Second photo: Ari Emanuel and Sarah Lewis attend the Hammer receptions for Mark Bradford and Perfect Likeness exhibits (photo, Stefanie Keenan)

Third photo: Chief curator Connie Butler, left, with board member Linda Janger at the Hammer receptions for Mark Bradford and Perfect Likeness exhibits (photo, Stefanie Keenan)

Fourth photo: Adjunct curator Russell Ferguson, center, with Curt Shepard and Nisa Mackie Butler at the Hammer receptions for Mark Bradford and Perfect Likeness exhibits (photo, Stefanie Keenan)



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Hammer Receptions for Mark Bradford and Perfect Likeness

Published July 20, 2015 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA