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About Ann Hamilton


Ann Hamilton 012Ann Hamilton is a visual artist who is known internationally for large-scale multimedia installations that combine sculpture, architecture, video, spoken and written word, and human presence.

Her trademark is an exploration of the way bodily and linguistic experiences form perception and memory. Toward this end, her immersive environments are oriented around sensory experiences in time and space that poetically respond to the architectural presence and social history of the sites in which they are installed. Whether inhabiting a building four stories high or confined to the Ann Hamilton 09surface of a thimble, the genesis of Hamilton’s art extends outward from the primary projections of hand and mouth. Her attention to the uttering of a sound or the shaping of a word with the hand places language and text at the tactile and metaphoric center of her installations. To enter their liminality is to be drawn equally into the sensory and linguistic Ann Hamilton 03capacities of comprehension that construct our faculties of memory, reason and imagination.

In a time when successive generations of technology amplify human presence at distances far greater than the reach of the hand, Hamilton’s art and site-specific installations ask:

  • What are the places and forms for live, tactile, visceral, Ann Hamilton 01face-to-face experiences in a media saturated world?
  • What is the relationship between how our bodies know things and how we embody our knowledge through our actions and touch?
  • What is the relationship between that and language?
  • What becomes the place and form of making at the scale and pace of the individual body?
  • Ann Hamilton 017How does making participate in the recuperation and recognition of embodied knowledge?

These concerns have animated the site-responsive installations that have formed the bulk of Hamilton’s practice over the last 20 years. But where the relations of cloth, sound, touch, motion and human gesture once gave way to dense materiality, Hamilton’s work now focuses on the less material acts of reading, speaking and listening. The influence of collaborative processes in ever more complex architectures has shifted her forms of making, wherein the movement of the viewer in time and in space now becomes a central figure of the work.

Ann Hamilton 02Hamilton was born in Lima, Ohio in 1956. She received a BFA in textile design from the University of Kansas in 1979 and an MFA in sculpture from the Yale School of Art in 1985. From 1985 to 1991, she taught on the faculty of the University of California at Santa Barbara. Hamilton has served on the faculty of The Ohio State University since 2001, where she is a Ann Hamilton 015Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Art.

Among her many honors, Hamilton has been the recipient of the Heinz Award, MacArthur Fellowship, United States Artists Fellowship, NEA Visual Arts Fellowship, Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, Skowhegan Medal for Sculpture, and the Ann Hamilton 08Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. She represented the United States in the 1991 Sao Paulo Biennale, the 1999 Venice Biennale, and has exhibited extensively around the world.

Her major commissions include projects for Waterfront Seattle (upcoming); Park Avenue Armory (2013); The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, Ann Hamilton 07St. Louis (2010); The Guggenheim Museum, New York (2009); Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, Japan (2006); La Maison Rouge Foundation de Antoine Galbert, Paris, France (2005); Historiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden (2004); MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts (2003); The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C. (2003, 1991); The Wanas Foundation, Knislinge, Sweden Ann Hamilton 05(2002); Akira Ikeda Gallery, Taura, Japan (2001); The Musee d’art Contemporain, Lyon, France (1997); The Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands (1996); The Art Institute of Chicago (1995); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (1994); The Tate Gallery, Liverpool (1994); Dia Center for the Arts, New York (1993); and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1988).

Ann Hamilton 013Recent art fair exhibitions and group shows include:

  • Elizabeth Leach Gallery at PULSE Miami Beach 2016, Miami Beach;
  • Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl at IFPDA Print Fair 2016, New York;
  • Carl Solway Gallery at EXPO CHICAGO 2016, Chicago;
  • An Invitation to Innovation: Sculpture at Gemini G.E.L., Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles, 2016;
  • Summer Selections, Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York, 2016;
  • Radical Drawings: Irma Blank, Hanne Darboven, Hamish Fulton, Ann Hamilton 04Ann Hamilton, Stefana McClure, Charlotte Posenenske, Elena del Rivero, Josée Bienvenu, New York, 2016;
  • Dumbball: David Ireland and his Circle, Anglim Gilbert Gallery, San Francisco, 2016;
  • Anglim Gilbert Gallery at Frieze, New York 2016;
  • Mark My Words, Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York, 2015;
  • The Venetians, Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York,
  • 2015;
  • Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl at IFPDA Print Fair, New York City, 2015;
  • Ann Hamilton 010Elizabeth Leach Gallery at Seattle Art Fair, 2015;
  • Art On Color, Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York; and
  • Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl at IFPDA Print Fair, New York City, 2014.

ANN HAMILTON: PHORA opens at the Bob Rauschenberg Gallery on the Lee campus of Florida SouthWestern State College with a public reception from 6:00-8:00 p.m. on Friday, January 20. Occupying the walls (nearly floor-to-ceiling) with more than 120 unique stills captured by the artist from close-up video taken of the mouths of Phora 05carved medieval figures at the Museum of National Antiquities in Stockholm, the silent, non-sentient, color-saturated facial features appear reanimated by this immersive installation of digital images.

January 14, 2017.


‘Ann Hamilton: Phora’ explores origins of public speaking


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