Radius Books is pleased to present an artist talk with Ann Hamilton at SITE Santa Fe, followed by Q&A with Nick Larsen and David Chickey to recognize Radius’ new title Ann Hamilton: Sense.
While Hamilton is best known for the material surround and tactility of her large, site-responsive installations, this recent body of work focuses on the photographic and evolves from processes developed over the last decade working with shallow depth of field flatbed scanners and occluding membranes to image animal specimens, stones, fallen leaves, and people. Most notably, in her exhibition, the common sense, at The Henry Art Gallery in Seattle. In describing the work Hamilton has written: “Sense is contact, is the touch of human and non-human animals, is the fold of woven cloth, is words in fragments and in woven lines and like all making comes from acts of attention, both finding and composing, touching and being touched.”
The shallow focus of the fallen leaves and bird study skins installed in the Front Gallery detail and magnify where skin and leaf contact the scanner glass and shadow where they bend and lift away. The simultaneous detail of focus and blur, of proximity and distance creates a felt sense of each specimen as it folds, curls, bends, and dries in its individual and unique way. The images, printed on tissue-weight Japanese gampi paper, mounted to cloth and suspended from metal rods form a scroll-like landscape and surround, fully filling the gallery walls.
Hamilton’s practice has long explored the relationship between text and textile and the interior second gallery exhibits her more intimate collage work and ongoing series pages. In these new diptychs and triptychs, the color, opacity, and transparency of cloth fragments meet the abstractness of language sifted from loose fragments of sliced books, themselves the residue of another project. Mounted to book endpapers, these singular words and phrases, the textile’s imperfect geometric shapes, and the delicately unraveled threads are simultaneously commonplace and lyric.
Ann Hamilton is internationally recognized for her large-scale multimedia installations. performance collaborations, print media, and public projects – most notably the 2017 project for the MTA subway at the World Trade Center. Among her many honors, Hamilton has been the recipient of the National Medal for the Arts, the MacArthur Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, and the Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. Hamilton represented the United States in the 1999 Venice Biennale, and has exhibited extensively around the world including a museum-wide installation at the Henry Art Gallery (Seattle, WA) in 2015 and 1992. Her work is included in the collections of the Cincinnati Art Museum (Cincinnati, OH), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, DC), Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles, CA), and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY), among many others.