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DAVID HAMMONS (b. 1943)

 
This "Untitled" enamel painting by David Hammons is a precursor to the artist’s famous body prints of the late 1960s and ‘70s, as well as compelling recent works. The painting was completed just before Hammons enrolled at the Chouinard Institute in Los Angeles (now CalArts). By this time, Hammons had studied with the realist activist Charles White and was influenced by the found-object assemblages of Dada, the humble materials of Arte Povera, and the politically charged imagery of the Black Arts Movement. For his body prints, Hammons created life-sized representations of his own body by slicking himself with margarine, baby oil, and other greasy substances, and pressing himself against surfaces, creating imagery in which viewers can discern the face and clothes of the artist.
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<br>After moving to New York City in 1974, Hammons partook in assemblage, installation, and performance work but, in recent years, he has returned to the two-dimensional support. In his "Kool-Aid" series, the sumptuously colored and fluid style seen in this early enamel painting reappears, and in his "Basketball" series, dark smudges are the product of a basketball dribbled on the paper support. Poured enamel and cheap powdered drink, dribbled balls covered in “Harlem dirt”, and the press of a body against support all are inflected by chance. Fugitive materiality recurs in Hammons practice, nuancing his political commentary on the African American experience. This "Untitled" enamel painting by David Hammons is a precursor to the artist’s famous body prints of the late 1960s and ‘70s, as well as compelling recent works. The painting was completed just before Hammons enrolled at the Chouinard Institute in Los Angeles (now CalArts). By this time, Hammons had studied with the realist activist Charles White and was influenced by the found-object assemblages of Dada, the humble materials of Arte Povera, and the politically charged imagery of the Black Arts Movement. For his body prints, Hammons created life-sized representations of his own body by slicking himself with margarine, baby oil, and other greasy substances, and pressing himself against surfaces, creating imagery in which viewers can discern the face and clothes of the artist.
<br> 
<br>After moving to New York City in 1974, Hammons partook in assemblage, installation, and performance work but, in recent years, he has returned to the two-dimensional support. In his "Kool-Aid" series, the sumptuously colored and fluid style seen in this early enamel painting reappears, and in his "Basketball" series, dark smudges are the product of a basketball dribbled on the paper support. Poured enamel and cheap powdered drink, dribbled balls covered in “Harlem dirt”, and the press of a body against support all are inflected by chance. Fugitive materiality recurs in Hammons practice, nuancing his political commentary on the African American experience. This "Untitled" enamel painting by David Hammons is a precursor to the artist’s famous body prints of the late 1960s and ‘70s, as well as compelling recent works. The painting was completed just before Hammons enrolled at the Chouinard Institute in Los Angeles (now CalArts). By this time, Hammons had studied with the realist activist Charles White and was influenced by the found-object assemblages of Dada, the humble materials of Arte Povera, and the politically charged imagery of the Black Arts Movement. For his body prints, Hammons created life-sized representations of his own body by slicking himself with margarine, baby oil, and other greasy substances, and pressing himself against surfaces, creating imagery in which viewers can discern the face and clothes of the artist.
<br> 
<br>After moving to New York City in 1974, Hammons partook in assemblage, installation, and performance work but, in recent years, he has returned to the two-dimensional support. In his "Kool-Aid" series, the sumptuously colored and fluid style seen in this early enamel painting reappears, and in his "Basketball" series, dark smudges are the product of a basketball dribbled on the paper support. Poured enamel and cheap powdered drink, dribbled balls covered in “Harlem dirt”, and the press of a body against support all are inflected by chance. Fugitive materiality recurs in Hammons practice, nuancing his political commentary on the African American experience. This "Untitled" enamel painting by David Hammons is a precursor to the artist’s famous body prints of the late 1960s and ‘70s, as well as compelling recent works. The painting was completed just before Hammons enrolled at the Chouinard Institute in Los Angeles (now CalArts). By this time, Hammons had studied with the realist activist Charles White and was influenced by the found-object assemblages of Dada, the humble materials of Arte Povera, and the politically charged imagery of the Black Arts Movement. For his body prints, Hammons created life-sized representations of his own body by slicking himself with margarine, baby oil, and other greasy substances, and pressing himself against surfaces, creating imagery in which viewers can discern the face and clothes of the artist.
<br> 
<br>After moving to New York City in 1974, Hammons partook in assemblage, installation, and performance work but, in recent years, he has returned to the two-dimensional support. In his "Kool-Aid" series, the sumptuously colored and fluid style seen in this early enamel painting reappears, and in his "Basketball" series, dark smudges are the product of a basketball dribbled on the paper support. Poured enamel and cheap powdered drink, dribbled balls covered in “Harlem dirt”, and the press of a body against support all are inflected by chance. Fugitive materiality recurs in Hammons practice, nuancing his political commentary on the African American experience. This "Untitled" enamel painting by David Hammons is a precursor to the artist’s famous body prints of the late 1960s and ‘70s, as well as compelling recent works. The painting was completed just before Hammons enrolled at the Chouinard Institute in Los Angeles (now CalArts). By this time, Hammons had studied with the realist activist Charles White and was influenced by the found-object assemblages of Dada, the humble materials of Arte Povera, and the politically charged imagery of the Black Arts Movement. For his body prints, Hammons created life-sized representations of his own body by slicking himself with margarine, baby oil, and other greasy substances, and pressing himself against surfaces, creating imagery in which viewers can discern the face and clothes of the artist.
<br> 
<br>After moving to New York City in 1974, Hammons partook in assemblage, installation, and performance work but, in recent years, he has returned to the two-dimensional support. In his "Kool-Aid" series, the sumptuously colored and fluid style seen in this early enamel painting reappears, and in his "Basketball" series, dark smudges are the product of a basketball dribbled on the paper support. Poured enamel and cheap powdered drink, dribbled balls covered in “Harlem dirt”, and the press of a body against support all are inflected by chance. Fugitive materiality recurs in Hammons practice, nuancing his political commentary on the African American experience. This "Untitled" enamel painting by David Hammons is a precursor to the artist’s famous body prints of the late 1960s and ‘70s, as well as compelling recent works. The painting was completed just before Hammons enrolled at the Chouinard Institute in Los Angeles (now CalArts). By this time, Hammons had studied with the realist activist Charles White and was influenced by the found-object assemblages of Dada, the humble materials of Arte Povera, and the politically charged imagery of the Black Arts Movement. For his body prints, Hammons created life-sized representations of his own body by slicking himself with margarine, baby oil, and other greasy substances, and pressing himself against surfaces, creating imagery in which viewers can discern the face and clothes of the artist.
<br> 
<br>After moving to New York City in 1974, Hammons partook in assemblage, installation, and performance work but, in recent years, he has returned to the two-dimensional support. In his "Kool-Aid" series, the sumptuously colored and fluid style seen in this early enamel painting reappears, and in his "Basketball" series, dark smudges are the product of a basketball dribbled on the paper support. Poured enamel and cheap powdered drink, dribbled balls covered in “Harlem dirt”, and the press of a body against support all are inflected by chance. Fugitive materiality recurs in Hammons practice, nuancing his political commentary on the African American experience. This "Untitled" enamel painting by David Hammons is a precursor to the artist’s famous body prints of the late 1960s and ‘70s, as well as compelling recent works. The painting was completed just before Hammons enrolled at the Chouinard Institute in Los Angeles (now CalArts). By this time, Hammons had studied with the realist activist Charles White and was influenced by the found-object assemblages of Dada, the humble materials of Arte Povera, and the politically charged imagery of the Black Arts Movement. For his body prints, Hammons created life-sized representations of his own body by slicking himself with margarine, baby oil, and other greasy substances, and pressing himself against surfaces, creating imagery in which viewers can discern the face and clothes of the artist.
<br> 
<br>After moving to New York City in 1974, Hammons partook in assemblage, installation, and performance work but, in recent years, he has returned to the two-dimensional support. In his "Kool-Aid" series, the sumptuously colored and fluid style seen in this early enamel painting reappears, and in his "Basketball" series, dark smudges are the product of a basketball dribbled on the paper support. Poured enamel and cheap powdered drink, dribbled balls covered in “Harlem dirt”, and the press of a body against support all are inflected by chance. Fugitive materiality recurs in Hammons practice, nuancing his political commentary on the African American experience.
Untitledc. 196523 5/8 x 47 5/8 in.(60.01 x 120.97 cm) enamel on masonite
Provenance
Leftover Gallery, San Francisco
Private Collection, California
This "Untitled" enamel painting by David Hammons is a precursor to the artist’s famous body prints of the late 1960s and ‘70s, as well as compelling recent works. The painting was completed just before Hammons enrolled at the Chouinard Institute in Los Angeles (now CalArts). By this time, Hammons had studied with the realist activist Charles White and was influenced by the found-object assemblages of Dada, the humble materials of Arte Povera, and the politically charged imagery of the Black Arts Movement. For his body prints, Hammons created life-sized representations of his own body by slicking himself with margarine, baby oil, and other greasy substances, and pressing himself against surfaces, creating imagery in which viewers can discern the face and clothes of the artist.

After moving to New York City in 1974, Hammons partook in assemblage, installation, and performance work but, in recent years, he has returned to the two-dimensional support. In his "Kool-Aid" series, the sumptuously colored and fluid style seen in this early enamel painting reappears, and in his "Basketball" series, dark smudges are the product of a basketball dribbled on the paper support. Poured enamel and cheap powdered drink, dribbled balls covered in “Harlem dirt”, and the press of a body against support all are inflected by chance. Fugitive materiality recurs in Hammons practice, nuancing his political commentary on the African American experience.
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