Sam Durant piece added to Hammer Contemporary Collection

September 19, 2009

Sam Durant. End White Supremacy, 2008. Electric sign with vinyl text, 96 x 136 in. Hammer Museum. Purchase.

The Hammer recently added Los Angeles-based artist Sam Durant's light box End White Supremacy (2008) to the Hammer Contemporary Collection. For several years, Durant has used archival photographs of protests around the world as source material for both drawings and text-based pieces rendered as large-scale light boxes. The impassioned plea to "end white supremacy" was originally handwritten on a sign and carried during a civil rights protest in New York in 1963. By isolating the message articulated by the protester and putting it into a format typically used for commercial signage, the artist poses questions about the role of language and how meaning is constructed. In addition to the light box, we have purchased a related graphite drawing CORE (Congress of Racial Equality) Civil Rights Demonstration, New York, 1963 (index) (2009). Durant's work has been exhibited internationally at a number of institutions, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; the Walker Center, Minneapolis; the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent; and Kunsthaus Graz, Austria.


The Hammer Museum is deeply grateful to the following individuals, foundations, and corporations for their gifts/promised gifts/pending gifts of art as well as acquisition funds since April 1, 2009, for the Hammer Contemporary Collection and the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts:

Stanley and Ronda Breitbard / The Buddy Taub Foundation, Dennis Roach, Director / Johan Grimonprez / Larry Johnson / Susan and Larry Marx / Lari Pittman and Roy Dowell / Susan Steinhauser and Daniel Greenberg in honor of Murray Gribin / David Teiger

The museum also thanks the members of the Hammer Board of Overseers, who have supported the Hammer Contemporary Collection since its inception, and the Friends of the Graphic Arts and CARTA, whose dues support Grunwald Center acquisitions.