David Hammons

David Hammons (b.1943) is an conceptual artist born in Springfield, IL. In 1962, Hammons moved to Los Angeles, CA. He attended the Chouinard Art Institute from 1966 to 1968, and the Otis Art Institute from 1968 to 1972. In 1974, he moved to New York City, where he gained notoriety during the 1970s and 1980s for his work. Much of Hammons’s art contains materials that are outside the norm, including things such as elephant dung, bottles of cheap wine, and chicken bones. His first notable work was a series called Body Prints, which were pieces he created by imprinting greased body parts on paper. His work had a sarcastic element as he took on racial and cultural issues. For Bliz-aard Ball Sale, a street art piece Hammons created in 1983, the artist stood on a corner selling neatly arranged snowballs of varying sizes during a winter snowstorm. His most controversial work was a billboard he created in 1988, in which he painted a blond-haired, blue-eyed, white Jesse Jackson. Written on the billboard was "How You Like Me Now?" The work was attacked by a group of young black men with sledgehammers and destroyed. In 1990, one of his untitled installation artworks involved putting urinals on trees. 

Hammons received the MacArthur Fellowship in July of 1991. Concerto in Black and Blue, an exhibit he created in 2002, was 20,000 feet of empty, unlit space in New York’s Ace Gallery, in which viewers stumbled around in the dark with flashlights. In 2004, he created a piece called Rock Head, in which he took a boulder he discovered in Harlem and glued African American hair he collected from a barber shop to it. He has had solo exhibitions at White Cube in London in 2002, at Hauser & Wirth in Zurich, Switzerland, in 2003, and with L&M Arts in New York City in 2011. His work can be found in collections at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, IL; The Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY; and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN. He currently lives and works in New York City




Solo Exhibitions



Five Decades, Mnuchin Gallery, New York, United States 


Skulptur Projekte Münster 07, Sculpture biennial Sequence 1, Palazzo Grassi, Venice David Hammons, L&M Arts, New York 


Media Series – David Hammons, Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis 


Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, Switzerland 


White Cube, London 


Real Time, The Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, Poland 


Group exhibitions  


NOUS L'AVONS TANT AIMEE LA REVOLUTION, Musée d'Art Contemporain, Marseille 2010 Radical Conceptual. Positionen aus der Sammlung des MMK, MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main 


Barbican Art Gallery, London Working History, The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Portland, US Under Pain of Death, Austrian Cultural Forum, New York Person of the Crowd: The Contemporary Art of Flanerie, Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York Under Pain of Death, Austrian Cultural Forum, New York NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith, The Menil Collection, Houston 


New York States of Mind, Queens Museum of Art, New York The 1980s - A Topology, Museu Serralves - Museu de Arte Contemporânea, Porto, Portugal Skulptur Projekte Münster 07, Sculpture biennial, Münsterland, Warendorf, Germany Closed Circuit: Video and New Media at the Metropolitan, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 


Black Panther Rank and File, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco Figures in the Field - Figurative Sculpture and Abstract Painting from Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago - MCA Chicago, Chicago 


Irreducible - Contemporary Short Form Video, Miami Art Central, Miami African American Art - Masterworks of Contemporary Art, Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Schadowland - An Exhibition as a Film, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis Irreducible, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco 


Contested Fields, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa Eclipse - Towards the edge of the visible, White Cube, London Seeds and Roots, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York The Big Nothing, ICA-Institue of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia Modern Means: Continuity and Change in Art from 1880 to the Present, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo 


HairStories, Scottsdale Museum of Modern Art, Phoenix Hands on, Hands down, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York Gelijk het leven is, S.M.A.K. - Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent Dreams and Conflicts:The Dictatorship of the Viewer, La Biennale di Venezia 


Ökonomien der Zeit, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich, Museu d´Art Contemporani de Barcelona - MACBA, Barcelona 


Pollock to Today - Highlights from the Permanent Collection, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York 


Hypermental - Wahnhafte Wirklichkeit 1955 - 2000 von Salvador Dalí bis Jeff Koons Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich Over The Edges, S.M.A.K. - Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Gent 


Impact: Revealing Sources for Contemporary Art, Contemporary Museum, Baltimore 5 POSITIONEN, Christine König Galerie, Vienna