Frieze OVR Highlights:
David Hammons London, 07 October 2020
David Hammons, Untitled (Body Print) (1974). Pigment on paper. 93.7 x 78.7 x 4.1 cm. Courtesy David Hammons. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Jeff McLane.
Hauser & Wirth showed this historic David Hammons Body Print work in their online viewing room for Frieze Art Fair 2020.
Born in Illinois in 1943, David Hammons' diverse oeuvre, spanning the past 60 years, encompasses conceptual, performance, and installation art.
Untitled (Body Print) is part of Hammons' earliest and most renowned Body Print series. Coating bodies—usually his own—with grease or margarine, Hammons would press these body parts against a sheet of paper. Black pigment would subsequently be dusted onto the work leaving behind a figure detailed with skin, hair, and clothing.
On the process, Hammons notes, 'I have to carefully decide how to get up after I have made the impression that I want. Sometimes I lie there for perhaps three minutes or even longer just figuring out how I can get off the paper without smudging the image that I'm trying to print'.
Recording his presence in his works, and bringing visibility to the narratives and experiences of racism, Hammons reckons with the absence of Black representation in 1970s America, which he has endeavoured to confront and rectify through his work.