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“I try to understand what each particular animal feels about being dead, and then I try to interpret that feeling through a variety of media such as color and paint, stones, symbolic objects.” For this body of work—several sculptures that Jimmie Durham produced for his first solo exhibition in New York in 1984—Durham mounted animal skulls atop found objects that function as makeshift pedestals as well as stand-ins for the missing bodies. He chose to use the Cherokee names for the animals: Tlunh Datsi (puma or panther), Wahya (bear), and Gitli (dog). —

Tonight, exhibition curator Anne Ellegood, along with Abraham Cruzvillegas and Jeffrey Gibson—artists and friends of Durham—discusses Durham’s work and influence. —

Jimmie Durham, “Tlunh Datsi,” 1984. Puma skull, shells, turquoise, turkey feathers, metal, sheep and deer fur, pine, acrylic paint. Private collection, Belgium. #JimmieDurham #sculpture

“Seeing the vault space at the Hammer, and being able to think about the potential of that space […] it kind of led me to both the 17th-century Baroque, and then also this really important political movement within the Black Panthers. Here are two spaces that are presenting power in a really similar way. And engaging with power from different viewpoints. What does it mean to replace Bernini's Chair of Saint Peter with the chair of Huey P. Newton? And kind of challenge the role of this power in this kind of exchange.”

Watch a video interview with Kevin Beasley up now on our Facebook page.

Back on view, Gustave Moreau’s “Salome Dancing before Herod” is one of the most remarkable and best-known paintings in the museum’s collection. “Salome” created a sensation when it was exhibited for the first time in Paris at the Salon of 1876 and is arguably Moreau’s most important work. Painted between 1874 and 1876, it depicts the biblical story of the Judaean princess Salome dancing before her stepfather, King Herod, and her mother, Herodias.

Pro tip: if you love this painting and want to learn more about Salome, @laopera is staging a production about her beginning this weekend.

Gustave Moreau, “Salome Dancing before Herod,” 1874-76. Oil on canvas; 56 1/2 x 41 1/16 in. (143.5 x 104.3 cm). The Armand Hammer Collection; Gift of the Armand Hammer Foundation, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. #Moreau #Salome #LAOpera #painting

A bouquet for you, our 100,000+ Valentines 💞 💐

Maurice de Vlaminck, “Summer Bouquet,” 1930-1935. Oil on canvas. Object: 25 3/4 x 21 9/16 in. (65.4 x 54.8 cm). The Armand Hammer Collection, gift of the Armand Hammer Foundation. Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA. #ValentinesDay #flowers

Some food for thought this Friday, courtesy of Jimmie Durham.

Jimmie Durham, “Language is a tool for communication, like a city, or a brain,” 1992. Lithograph. Edition of 200. 22 ¼ × 29 ¾ in. (56.5 × 75.5 cm). Courtesy of the artist and kurimanzutto, Mexico City. #JimmieDurham

Earlier this week we held a public forum focused on creating space for learning, organizing, and taking action under the new administration. Panelists were Susan Dunlap, President & CEO of @plannedparenthood Los Angeles (seen above); Hector Villagra, Executive Director at @aclu_socal; Lorri L. Jean, CEO of @lalgbtcenter; Angelica Salas, Executive Director of @chirla_org; and Devon Carbado, Honorable Harry Pregerson Professor of Law, @ucla. *If you missed the event, re-watch the entire forum on our website at hammer.ucla.edu/StayAtIt.*

#PlannedParenthood #SueDunlap #ACLU #LGBT #immigration #womensrights

“Angela” is a charcoal drawing of the Black Panther Party member Angela Davis, who was arrested and imprisoned in 1970 on charges relating to the kidnapping of a judge from a Marin County, California, courthouse and his subsequent killing. Davis's case became a focal point of activism for many around the world, including Gallery 32 and its proprietor, Suzanne Jackson.

This work is featured in our digital archive of the exhibition “Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960–1980.”

Elizabeth Leigh-Taylor, “Angela,” 1970. Charcoal on paper. 38 1/4 x 37 in. (97.2 x 94 cm). Private collection. Photo by Ed Glendinning. #BlackHistoryMonth #AngelaDavis #BlackPanther

For his first of many self-portraits, Jimmie Durham laid on the floor and his partner, artist Maria Thereza Alves, outlined his body on a large piece of canvas. He then carved the masklike head out of cedar and attached it to the top of the canvas. A variety of materials, including chicken feathers, human and sheep bones, and a seashell, stand in for Durham’s hair, ear, skull, and rib bones. A series of handwritten texts—conveying the artist’s humor and dry wit—draw attention to the ways in which identity is often understood to be “written on the body.” What began as a singular experiment served as a catalyst for an ongoing interrogation of self-portraiture as a genre that has allowed Durham to explore topics pertaining to race, gender, ethnicity, and cultural heritage.

Jimmie Durham, “Self-portrait,” 1986. Canvas, cedar, acrylic paint, metal, synthetic hair, scrap fur, dyed chicken feathers, human rib bones, sheep bones, seashell, thread. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee. #JimmieDurham

Moody clouds on this gloomy Monday #☁️ #partsofpaintings

Eugène Boudin, “Sailing Ships in Port,” 1869 (detail). Oil on canvas. 17 3/4 x 25 5/16 in. (45.1 x 64.3 cm). The Armand Hammer Collection, Gift of the Armand Hammer Foundation. Hammer Museum, Los Angeles. [now on view in our Armand Hammer Collection gallery]

During #MadeinLA2016 we got so many comments asking if Huguette Caland’s caftans could be purchased. We heard you, and now they can! Caland’s caftans were such a hit during Made in L.A. that we decided to produce three different versions—based on three of the artist’s caftans—and sell them in the Hammer Store.

One of three children born to the first president of Lebanon following the end of the French mandate, Caland went on to study painting at the American University in Beirut before moving to Paris in 1970. The influence of the city and her proximity to its artistic life led to new breakthroughs within an artistic practice still undergoing a process of maturation. Caland often wore caftans of her own design, which foregrounded the artist’s own relationship to the erotics of the female form. Set against a backdrop of the feminist art movements that emerged concurrently, works such as these take into consideration the politics of representing female sexuality and desire, an interest that Caland mapped onto her own body and introduced to her immediate surroundings. #FridayFinds #HuguetteCaland

In photographer @katygrannan’s black-and-white photographs, many of her subjects re-appear on Modesto’s South 9th Street and along the banks of the Tuolumne River. Everyday rituals, small interactions and moments of beauty on the fringes of society are depicted in detail, conferring significance to what is often overlooked.

Tonight we screen Grannan’s documentary “The Nine,” an intimate portrait of a ravaged community living on Modesto’s South 9th Street—“The Nine”—a barren street in California’s Central Valley. A Q&A with the director follows the screening. [Katy Grannan, “Inessa Waits Near South 9th Street, Modesto, CA,” 2012] #TheNineFilm #KatyGrannan

Photographer @katygrannan’s latest exhibition at San Francisco’s @fraenkelgallery is the result of three years of work in the Central Valley, in which she revisits the region of Dorothea Lange’s work in California during the Great Depression. Her new work is set in the parched landscape and forgotten towns along Highway 99, including Modesto, Fresno and Bakersfield. In her intensely vivid color portraits, the artist works at midday when the sun is direct and the heat is unrelenting, presenting each individual, often simultaneously heroic and vulnerable, against stark, white backgrounds.

Tonight we screen Grannan’s documentary “The Nine,” an intimate portrait of a ravaged community living on Modesto’s South Ninth Street—“The Nine”—a barren street in California’s Central Valley. A Q&A with the director follows the screening. [Katy Grannan, “Anonymous, Modesto, CA, “ 2012] #TheNineFilm #KatyGrannan