Ann Hamilton – New Work
Three embossments with hand-applied ink, eight screenprints, and
a series of unique cloth and word collages on book endpapers
October 5 – November 30, 2017
Reception for the artist: Friday, October 6th, 6-8pm
Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl is pleased to announce new projects by Ann Hamilton, including eight screenprints, three blind-embossment etchings and twenty unique cloth and word collages created on book endpapers. The exhibition will be on view October 5 through November 30, and celebrates the artist’s nearly two decades of working with the Los Angeles-based Gemini G.E.L. workshop.
Ann Hamilton welcomes experimentation and collaboration as integral possibilities in her work. New objects and directions have come out of her collaborative situations, and since the beginning of her relationship with Gemini, the artist has produced prints and inventive sculptural multiples using a variety of media and non-traditional materials.
The three most visually minimal works in the exhibition feature a printing technique of blind-embossment with hand-applied ink. To generate the text-based imagery for the largest of the three, Hamilton was inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and created a concordance layout. A concordance is a referencing method that alphabetizes the principal and recurring words of a large document into an index in order to examine intersections of context and detect the frequency of their usage. In RIGHTS and also a second smaller work, THE EQUAL AND INALIENABLE RIGHTS OF ALL, the center spine spells out the first sentence of the UDHR which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 10, 1948. Using the same concordance technique, the third and smallest print, titled THE ANIMAL HAND, draws from Aristotle’s On the Soul, written in 350 B.C.E. about the nature of living things. The concordance texts, generated by the computer output, were photographically transferred to copper plates and then embossed onto damp paper “blindly,” or without any ink. After the paper was allowed to dry, the printers applied ink to the embossed surface using a tarlatan pad, lightly dabbing the pad into a pallet of ink and gently swiping it across the paper, building up thin layers of ink within the outlined shape until each impression achieved a uniform quality. The result is a delicate cloud of color, which subtly evokes the specter of a body or soul referenced in the text.
Also newly published and on view are eight screen prints related to the artist’s 2015 exhibition the common SENSE, commissioned by the Henry Art Gallery. As a Visiting Fellow at the University of Washington, Hamilton was given access to the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, The University of Libraries Special Collections, and the Henry’s holdings of costumes, textiles, and photographs. Hamilton drew from these collections utilizing mammals, birds, and amphibian specimens from the Burke Museum. By placing the specimens on a flat-bed scanner, only the sections of the animal’s body that physically touched the surface of the glass are in focus. The resulting images give us a larger than life view of the most intimate details of their bodies, as the artist provides an opportunity for the viewer to inspect each individual feather and tuft of fur up close. In the Henry Art Gallery’s show, hundreds of images of different animals were printed on thin newsprint, and visitors were invited to touch, tear the paper off the wall, and take the pages home with them. In this sense, it was as if the viewers were touching the animals directly, transformed from passive museum observers to active participants in the exhibition. For her Gemini project, Hamilton selected several of these animal images and elected to print them on KM04 Surface Mounted Gampi in warm sepia and soft color tones. Unlike the Henry Art Gallery exhibition, the delicate paper images are enclosed in an elegant wood frame with glazing, preserved and protected. While the viewer cannot touch the paper, the high quality and details of the prints allow for an understanding and emotional connection that is not physical, but stems from the intimacy of the tactile visual image.
A third body of new work featured in the exhibition is a selection from Pages, a series of cloth and word collages created on book endpapers developed in the summer of 2017 during Hamilton’s residency at the American Academy in Rome. These twenty newly-released unique works make relationships between fragments of silk, wool and cotton – cloth the artist was given while in Rome or acquired during multiple visits to Los Angeles – with words and sentence fragments culled from material retained from her 2009 project at New York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, human carriage. “Book weights,” conceived for the Guggenheim installation, aggregated cross-sections of multiple books, and the loose lines-remnants of that project became the basis for the found text in these collages. Hamilton originally intended to use fine art paper as the basis for Pages, but found it too precious, so the collages were ultimately created on endpapers from a shelf of second-hand books left by former residents at the American Academy.
Born in Lima, Ohio, in 1956, Ann Hamilton received a BFA in textile design from the University of Kansas in 1979 and an MFA in sculpture from the Yale School of Art in 1985. From 1985 to 1991, she taught on the faculty of the University of California at Santa Barbara. Hamilton has served on the faculty of The Ohio State University since 2001, where she is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Art. Among her many honors, Hamilton has been the recipient of the National Medal of the Arts, Heinz Award, MacArthur Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, and the Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. She represented the United States in the 1991 Sao Paulo Bienal, the 1999 Venice Biennale, and has exhibited extensively around the world. Her major commissions include projects for Waterfront Seattle (upcoming); World Trade Center Station (upcoming) Dell Medical School (2015-17); Park Avenue Armory (2013); The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, St. Louis (2010); The Guggenheim Museum, New York (2009); Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, Japan (2006); La Maison Rouge Fondation de Antoine Galbert, Paris, France (2005); Historiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2004); MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts (2003); The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. (2003, 1991); The Wanas Foundation, Knislinge, Sweden (2002); Akira Ikeda Gallery, Taura, Japan (2001); The Musee d'art Contemporain, Lyon, France (1997); The Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (1996); The Art Institute of Chicago (1995); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1994); The Tate Gallery, Liverpool (1994); Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1993); The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1988).
For inquires, please contact Chris Santa Maria, Director, at email@example.com
For further information please contact the gallery at: 212-249-3324 or visit www.joniweyl.com