Hammie, an American painter based in Champaign, Illinois, is best known for his monumental portraits that adopt body language and narrative to reinvent and remix ideal beauty and heroic nudity while considering issues of identity. As an exhibition, Inheritance presents a female and male figure locked in physical dialogue, hefting weight, and reorienting inherited expectations of ruined and objectified bodies that recall and carry on complex legacies of suffering and struggle. Informed by historical representations of Otherness, and recent shifts that locate women and people of color as central influencers of culture and politics, this exhibition provides occasion for us to encounter difference toward considering their capacity for establishing new narratives.
Paintings such as Nadir feature a commanding woman rotating a reclined man’s body to his side. Constructing moments where traditionally masculine strengths (dominance) and traditionally feminine strengths (care and empathy) are conflated in the woman’s actions while the man’s body is vulnerable to public critique, Hammie introduces the woman as an active authority and relieves the man from macho performance.
Recently selected by Tracy Spencer-Stonestreet as an “Artist to Watch” for the International Review of African American Art for “producing phenomenal work that reflects their singular talent and merits our attention”, Hammie’s work is a part of several collections including the JP Morgan Chase collection, Kohler Company Collection, the William Benton Museum of Art, and the John Michael Kohler Art Center.
Patrick Earl Hammie was born in New Haven, Connecticut in 1981. He received his BA from South Carolina’s Coker College and his MFA in Painting from the University of Connecticut. Sammie is currently an assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and has lectured at Purdue University, University of North Carolina, and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Connecticut. In 2008, he received the Alice C. Cole Fellowship through Wellesley College, and in 2011, was an artist in residence at the John Michael Kohler Art Center. He has exhibited in galleries throughout the U.S. and abroad including Ruchika’s Art Gallery in Panjim Goa, Kunst in der Carlshutte in Budelsdorf, the Painting Center in New York, and the Indianapolis Art Center. He has received awards from the Tanne Foundation and the Alliance of Artist Communities with the Joyce Foundation, and an Arnold O. Beckman Research Award.