Alexander Gray Associates presented its inaugural exhibition with Harmony Hammond, her first one-person exhibition in New York since the 1990s. Emphasizing Hammond’s long-standing commitment to process-based abstraction, the exhibition includes paintings and works on paper from the past five decades, with a focus on recent works. A fully-illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition.
Since emerging as part of the early 1970s wave of Feminist art and activism, Hammond has infused her painting, sculpture, and mixed-media artworks with social concerns, inviting Feminist and Queer conversations around artistic explorations of process and craft. Early works, including Chrysanthemums (1975) and The Black Leaf (1976), demonstrate Hammond’s interest in the painted object, and methods of process, layering and removal. Assemblage works including Untitled (1971), a painting on a shopping bag with fabric attachments, provide grounding for The Gift (1992–93), an enigmatic collage of vintage linoleum and a clock face retrieved from an abandoned farmhouse combined with human hair. In Flesh Journal II (1993), text is cut into cast latex pages; this embedded information is a precursor to Hammond’s latest monochrome works.
In her most recent work, Hammond pushes the surface of the subject and the painting’s relationship to the viewer. In Red Bed (2011), Blanco (2012–13) and Rib (2013), canvases are wrapped with pierced and grommeted straps, then painted in layers of oil and wax until it is difficult to discern sequence, materiality, or gesture. At once built-up yet ephemeral, the paintings, and related monotypes, defy traditional art and challenge canonical histories of painting and sculpture.