David Hammons

Jack Tilton Gallery / P.S.1 Museum

David Hammons’ tough, discursive iconoclasm is fueled by an improbable amalgam of influences, including Marcel Duchamp, African-American culture, Dadaism, and Harlem street life. At The Institute for Contemporary Art, P.S. 1 Museum, a retrospective of work from the past two decades subtitled “Rousing the Rabble” illuminates the many passages this artist has traveled. In contrast, two successive installations at the Jack Tilton Gallery provide a more focused look at work completed since the artist spent one year at the American Academy in Rome.

Hammons’ work has always tampered with the borders of the art world; it is an activity shaped and sustained by sly crossovers, by evidence gathered from both high art and impoverished circumstances. The work’s restless, random quality expresses Hammons’ ambivalence about these two worlds, both of which he inhabits in a condition of quiet exile.


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