Hammer Blog

  • Grayson Perry Etching Acquired by Grunwald Center

    Grayson Perry Etching Acquired by Grunwald Center

    Grayson Perry. Map of Nowhere, 2008. Purple color etching from five plates, ed. 10/15. UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts, Hammer Museum. Purchased with funds provided by the Helga K. and Walter Oppenheimer bequest. British artist Grayson Perry was awarded the Turner Prize for his provocative ceramic vases in 2003. A monumental etching recently acquired by the Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts demonstrates Perry's skills as a printmaker. It combines a diagram of the artist's body with a medieval map of the world. The composition is riddle with allegorical references to the artist's own identities and witty allusions to current social, political, and economic themes. Churches for Microsoft and Starbucks, and an Elizabethan portrait of a woman titled St. Claire, Perry's alter ego/patron saint, are a few of the images that adorn this iconographic tour-de-force. --- The Hammer Museum is deeply grateful to the following individuals, foundations

  • Conventions for Abstract Thoughts

    (No sound. Run Time: 2 min. 40 sec.) CONVENTIONS FOR ABSTRACT THOUGHTS In 1917, the year that the United States entered World War I, Burchfield made a series of symbolic drawings that catalogued emotions, expressing abstract thoughts in semiabstract forms, which he referred to as "conventions." The conventions are part nature, part fantasy, and they tend to represent dark emotions, such as "dangerous brooding," "muted sorrow," and "fear, morbidness and melancholy." (From Heat Waves in a Swamp or..."the healthy glamour of everyday life", Texts by Robert Gober, assisted by Becky Kinder) Reanalysis of Church Bells Ringing, Rainy Winter Night shows more fully how Burchfield used his newly developed symbolic pictographs to illustrate not only his childhood fears but also his adult distaste for religious zealotry, provoked by a Presbyterian Sunday school teacher, his evangelical grandfather, and the example of his late, unreligious father

  • Climbing the Walls

    Sunflowers (design for M. H. Birge & Sons Company wallpaper), 1921. Watercolor and graphite on paper mounted on board, 27 1/2 x 20 in. Burchfield Penney Art Center. Gift of Charles E. Burchfield Foundation, 1975. CLIMBING THE WALLS From 1921 to 1929 Burchfield worked as a designer at the M. H. Birge & Sons wallpaper factory in Buffalo, New York. While he viewed the wallpapers he created there as independent from the art he produced during this time (he once referred to the wallpaper as “hack” work), their designs were, like his art, all based in nature, and they reflected the art-historical influences that had excited and informed him as a student at the Cleveland School of Art, which he attended from 1912 to 1916. Diverse influences such as the Japanese woodcut prints of Katsushika Hokusai and Ando Hiroshige, Chinese scroll paintings, and the decorative illustrations of Arthur Rackham

  • Museums Free-for-All

    In a joint effort to present the arts and culture to the diverse and myriad communities in Southern California, the Museum Marketing Roundtable announces the fifth annual "Museums Free-For-All" Saturday-Sunday, October 3 and 4, 2009. The following museums - presenting art, cultural heritage, natural history, and science - will open their doors wide and invite visitors free of charge.* Participating Museums: * Armory Center for the Arts - Both Days * The Autry National Center - Sunday, October 4th ONLY * Bowers Museum - Sunday, October 4th Only * California African American Museum - Both Days * California Heritage Museum - Saturday, October 3rd Only * California Science Center - Both Days * Craft and Folk Art Museum - Both Days * Fowler Museum at UCLA - Both Days * The Getty Center - Both Days * The Getty Villa**- Both Days * The Grammy Museum at L

  • Climate Change

    CLIMATE CHANGE It is common practice for art museums to borrow works of art from other institutions and private collections when mounting major exhibitions like Heat Waves in the Swamp. For example, museums such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Burchfield Penney Art Center, and the Chicago Art Institute have all loaned works for this exhibition. It is no small feat to move incredibly valuable artwork from one part of the country to another and climate control plays an important part. As is the case with the work for the Hammer’s Burchfield show, artwork is transported by climate-controlled trucks from the lender to the exhibition site. Museum galleries have well-controlled and specified temperatures and humidity levels to create a stable environment which ultimately protects the longevity of paintings and sculpture. Prior to transport, artwork is often

  • A Preview with Curator Robert Gober

    On October 4th the Hammer Museum re-examines the work of American artist Charles Burchfield with Heat Waves in a Swamp: The Paintings of Charles Burchfield, an exhibition curated by artist Robert Gober. Featuring over eighty major watercolors, drawings, and oil paintings drawn from important private and public collections, this exhibition also weaves together myriad ephemeral objects including doodles, journals, scrapbooks, and letters from the Burchfield archive at the Burchfield Penney Art Center. This combination of artwork and biographical material in Heat Waves in a Swamp provides new insights into Burchfield as a person as well as an artist. Curator Robert Gober discusses Hammer exhibition Heat Waves in a Swamp: The Paintings of Charles Burchfield. (Run Time: 9 min. 44 sec.) proofreading services rates

  • Sam Durant piece added to Hammer Contemporary Collection

    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)

  • Made in China (and L.A.)

    With a prestigious grant from the Asian Cultural Council, Hammer adjunct curator James Elaine moved to China in April 2008 to seek out emerging artists within China and throughout Asia. This blog provides a fascinating insight into Jamie’s travels and the art world in China.