Hammer Projects: Math Bass, installation view, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, September 29, 2018-February 17, 2019. Photo: Brian Forrest.

Hammer Projects: Math Bass

Los Angeles-based artist Math Bass creates a site-specific mural for the Hammer’s lobby wall.

Working across a range of media, including painting and sculpture, Math Bass employs a distinctive language of abstract, brightly colored shapes and images to explore notions of multiplicity. Their stylized forms, from bones doubling as speech bubbles to teeth resembling a set of stairs leading into a crocodile’s mouth, are rendered deliberately ambiguous and often installed to mirror each other across two and three-dimensional works. Playing with bodily and architectural scale for the Hammer Museum’s lobby wall, Bass invites the viewer to inhabit a liminal space where definition and hierarchy are playfully subverted to allow for new possibilities of experience.

Hammer Projects: Math Bass is organized by Connie Butler, chief curator, with Vanessa Arizmendi, curatorial assistant.


Math Bass (b. 1981, New York) is a Los Angeles–based interdisciplinary artist whose practice includes painting, sculpture, sound, video, and performance. They earned their BA from Hampshire College in 2003 and an MFA from UCLA in 2011. Bass has had solo exhibitions at Yuz Museum, Shanghai (2017); Tanya Leighton, Berlin (2017); Michael Jon Gallery, Miami (2016); MoMA PS1, Long Island City, NY (2015); and Overduin & Co., Los Angeles (2014). Their work has also been included in group exhibitions at Silberkuppe, Berlin (2014); White Flag Projects, St. Louis (2014); Night Gallery, Los Angeles (2013); and Human Resources, Los Angeles (2013). Bass participated in the Hammer Museum’s Made in L.A. biennial in 2012.

Hammer Projects: Math Bass is made possible, in part, by Maharam.

The Hammer Projects series is presented in memory of Tom Slaughter and with support from the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation.

The Hammer Projects series is made possible by a gift from Hope Warschaw and John Law. Generous support is also provided by Susan Bay Nimoy and Leonard Nimoy, with additional support from Good Works Foundation and Laura Donnelley and the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.