Lot 128: DAVID HAMMONS (1943 - ) Untitled (Body Print).

Swann Auction Galleries

February 23, 2010
New York, NY, US

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Description: DAVID HAMMONS (1943 - )
Untitled (Body Print).

Pigment, ink and colored pencils on wove paper, 1977. 675x495 mm; 26 5/8x19 5/8 inches. Signed and dated in pencil, lower right.

Provenance: the artist; Susan Loftin, Atlanta, 1977; private collection, 1986. David Hammons created this work while working at the Neighborhood Arts Center in Atlanta. Hammons was friends with fellow Californian artist John Riddle, who was then director of the center. Susan Loftin was also an artist in residence at the center in 1977.

A wonderful example of this contemporary artist's body art on paper, this image not only contains an impression of the artist's face, but includes a large amount of hand coloring with color pencils and graphite. Hammons had an early interest in the figure--taking a drawing class with Charles White while at the Otis Art Institute from 1966-68. In an interview with Joseph A. Young for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art 1971 exhibition, Three Graphic Artists, Hammons described the process of making these body prints, which appear photographic in their graphic quality. Unlike traditional monotypes, his prints used powdered pigments that were applied to the paper after he had physically placed his margarine-coated body or clothing against the paper.

While several of these works are in important private and museum collections, an exhibition at Jack Tilton Gallery in New York in November 2006 assembled 30 of these body prints, and was critically acclaimed for re-introducing this important, early work to the public. The exploration of unique and transitory images, body art and issues of identity that Hammons began in this work has continued throughout his career.
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