David Hammons “Body Prints, 1968–1979”

The Drawing Center

poster for David Hammons “Body Prints, 1968–1979”

This event has ended.

The first museum exhibition dedicated to David Hammons’s pivotal early works on paper, David Hammons: Body Prints, 1968–1979 brings together the monoprints and collages in which the artist used the body as both a drawing tool and printing plate to explore performative, unconventional forms of image making. The exhibition features a significant number of Hammons’s large-scale body prints, including Pray for America (1974), as well as two sculptural objects, Black Boy’s Window (1968) and The Door (Admissions Office) (1969). In addition, the exhibition presents examples of a lesser known, but no less important, series of Hammons’s body prints that utilize colored papers and inks.

The thirty-two body prints highlighted in the exhibition represent the origin of Hammons’s artistic language, one that has developed over a long and continuing career and that emphasizes both the artifacts and subjects of contemporary Black life in the United States. In a decade that was an inflection point for racial tension and racial justice in the United States, Hammons chose to use his own body to depict the quotidian joys and entrenched injustices of living as a Black man in midcentury America. More than a half century after they were made, these early works on paper remain a testament to Hammons’s desire to reinterpret notions of the real; his celebration of the sacredness of objects touched or made by the Black body; his biting critique of racial oppression; and his deep commitment to social justice.

David Hammons: Body Prints, 1968–1979 is organized by Laura Hoptman, Executive Director, with Isabella Kapur, Curatorial Assistant.



from February 05, 2021 to May 23, 2021


David Hammons

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