previews

Los Angeles

“STONES TO STAINS: THE DRAWINGS OF VICTOR HUGO”

Hammer Museum
10899 Wilshire Boulevard
September 27 - December 30

Curated by Cynthia Burlingham and Allegra Pesenti

Not content with being merely a novelist, poet, journalist, and politician, Victor Hugo (1802–1885) was also an accomplished and groundbreaking visual artist, though underrecognized during his lifetime. This fall, the Hammer Museum will show more than seventy-five of the drawings he produced predominantly between 1852 and 1870, during his political exile (by Napoléon III) on the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey. The pictures are rendered in a range of media—pen, ink wash, graphite, crayon, charcoal, gouache, watercolor, glue, stencil—and often feature such Romantic staples as ruined castles and tempest-tossed skies alongside abstractions featuring Rorschach-like blots and the impressions of Hugo’s fingerprints. A catalogue will provide additional context for these rarely seen works.