A man lays nude, surrounded by verdant ferns

Hammer Contemporary Collection

In 2005 the Hammer launched an initiative to build a collection of contemporary art. This growing collection is led by works on paper–particularly drawings and photographs–but also includes painting, sculpture, and media arts. Particular attention is paid to works by artists from Southern California, but the collection represents artists working throughout the United States and internationally. When possible, artists are represented in depth, and works are often acquired in tandem with exhibitions at the Hammer, particularly from the Hammer Projects series.

In conjunction with the unveiling of the Hammer’s building expansion, the Hammer Contemporary Collection takes over our galleries in 2023 with the largest presentation in the museum’s history. Occupying nearly all gallery spaces, these exhibitions highlight acquisitions since 2005—the year the Hammer began collecting contemporary art. Included in the exhibition are works in a wide range of media by Los Angeles-based and international artists.

Works in the collection

The works below will all be featured in Hammer Contemporary Collection exhibitions in 2023.