Slide Show - Images (mostly) from The Illustrated History of Painting


Sunday, June 19, 2011


Apologies to Franceso Bonami for today's post title.

If you are a fan of the ineffable David Hammons, want one of his works, but don't have the
.5 Million that L&M Arts in Manhattan gets for his larger new art-'units' then don't despair.

In the mid 80's Hammons made some unique (each one hand-made and thus different) frisket and chine colle multiples for an ill-fated artists' book. A handful were distributed and the rest given out to contributors (other atists) to the book. The rest of the books handmade pages were stored (unbound) in the basement of a Gold Street Brooklyn loft building which later flooded.

About 7 years ago I realized I had a Hammons (I was a contributor to the artists' book in question) in my possession and - given that his auction prices were reaching seven figures, and I was short of funds at the time - decided to sell.

I sold it - much to my surprise - to a prominent LA art dealer for high four figures.

I have a line on another - which I'm selling for the same reason - I need the money.

The provenance of the Hammons is unimpeachable - I met Hammons during this period and was involved with th publishing of the book. Documentation is available - as are images of the work. If you're seriously interested I can be easily reached - Google my name and you'll get my staff page at the Uni which links my email address.

The work is titled The Man Nobody Killed - and it's a work dealing with the death of Michael Stewart ...a graffiti tagger who died while in custody of the NYC Transit Police - the arresting officers were exonerated of Stewart's death. Thus the title and Hammons' decision to use the ubiquitous tagging method, of frisket and spray, to depict the taggers fatality. This is a representative Hammons - given its political/racial content and its deft use of socially conversant materials to depict.

Consider the uniformly robust-and-growing critical and market appreciation of Hammons - when considering acquisition of this rare example from the most sought after period of the artist's output.

I do realize that this text is a PITCH but its every claim is verifiable and accurate. Do your homework.

PS - That's an East Village street pebble embedded in the work...sort of like an 80's NYC reliquary.

Going, going, gone.