David Hammons (American, b.1943) is an installation and performance 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.

Timeline

1943
Born in Springfield, IL
1964–1965
Los Angeles Trade Technical City College
1966–1968
Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles
1968–1972
Otis Art Institute at Parson's School of Design, Los Angeles
Lives and works in Brooklyn and Harlem, New York

Exhibitions

2005
Whitechapel Art Gallery, Back to Black - Art, Cinema and the Racial Imaginary, London/GB
CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, 'Irreducible: Contemporary Short Form Video', San Francisco CA
2004
The Fabric Workshop and Museum, David Hammons: Phat Free, Philadelphia/PA (solo)
Dakar Biennial, Dakar/Senegal
Museum Villa Stuck, One Planet Under a Groove: Hip Hop und zeitgenössische Kunst, Munich/D
White Cube 2, Eclipse. Towards the edge of the visible, London/UK
Le Plateau, Ralentir vite, Paris/F
2003
Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich(solo)
50. Biennale di Venezia, Ritardi e Rivoluzioni, Venice
The Baltimore Museum of Art, Work Ethic, Baltimore, MD/USA
The Des Moines Art Center, Magic Markers, Des Moines, IA/USA
2002
Ace Gallery, New York(solo)
White Cube, London(solo)
Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Crisis Response. Providence, RI/USA
2001
Gallery Shimada, Yamaguchi (solo)
The Bronx Museum of the Arts, One Planet Under A Groove, New York
Walker Art Center, One Planet Under A Groove, Minneapolis, MN/USA
The Studio Museum in Harlem, Red, Black, and Green: Loans to and Selections from the Permanent Collection, New York
The Rhode Island School of Design, About Objects: Selection from the Permanent Collection, Providence, RI/USA
2000
Museo Reina Maria Sofia, Madrid/ESP (solo)
The Studio Museum in Harlem, Material and Matter, New York
The Museum of Modern Art, 'Parkett Editions', New York
1999
The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA 2000: Open Ends, New York
Museum of Contemporary Art, The Age of Influence, Chicago
Exit Art, New York
1998
Kunsthalle Bern, Blues and the Abstract Truth, Bern/CH (solo)
1998, Gallery Shimada, Yamaguch (solo)
Xavier LaBoulbenne, Group Show 4, New York
1997
P.S.I Museum, Installations and Projects, Long Island City, NY/USA