Artist Spotlight | Jonathan Hammer


Bianca Beck | Gerhard Demetz | Curtis Fairman | Brendan Fernandes | Pamela Fraser | Jonathan Hammer | Allison Janae Hamilton | Kurt Lightner | Bruce Robinson | Hank Willis Thomas | Almond Zigmund


Contemporary Art Matters is pleased to present Sculpture I, a group exhibition featuring Bianca Beck, Gerhard Demetz, Curtis Fairman, Brendan Fernandes, Pamela Fraser, Jonathan Hammer, Allison Janae Hamilton, Kurt Lightner, Bruce Robinson and Almond Zigmund, open February 18th – April 15, 2021.

We’ve spent the last year collecting works by ten international contemporary sculptors who work in different traditions using a myriad of materials including wood, ceramic, assemblage, papier-mâché and found plastics. Sculpture I allows us to look at sculpture in a broad sense, examining idea threads of what you see in contemporary art today.

Jonathan Hammer is included with 2 new works in ceramic. These large multi-pieced assemblages continue to explore the abstract vocabulary of shapes seen in his leather panels and works on paper. The artist draws inspiration from a variety of sources from Japanese fables to modern science. The resulting forms are a look inside to our own organic nature. These hand made ceramics may appear like treasures from the sea, like some form of underwater species. Their vitality and their elegance remind us of the beauty and fragility of our environment and perhaps even into our biological makeup.

 Hammer is as known for his revisionist Dada theories as he is for his brilliant, epic creations heavy with symbolism. Using a vocabulary of clowns, old toys and antiquated landscapes, Hammer’s work embodies the duality of themes including victim and victimizer, power and powerlessness, innocence and malevolence.

Originally from Chicago, Hammer lived in California after receiving a degree in bookbinding from the London College of Bookbinding. His work has been shown in galleries and museums in New York, California and throughout Europe and is in major private and public collections including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Berkeley Museum of Art and New York Public Library. In 2002, Hammer published a new, illustrated translation of Hugo Ball’s visionary novella Tenderenda the Fantastalong with his own critical writing on Dadaism in Ball and Hammer (Yale University Press). Hammer currently lives and works in Barcelona, Spain.