Frederick Hammersley
Organic Abstract Paintings
Second Floor Gallery
July 9 through August 30, 2003

LA Louver is pleased to present an exhibition of Frederick Hammersley’s organic abstract paintings. The show surveys the range and scope of Hammersley’s exploration of organic abstraction through his long career. It features paintings created over 45 years, including a rare collage, and two late works from 2002.

"My painting begins with a hunch, no plan, no theory, just a feeling to make a shape.
That shape dictates what and where the next will go, and so on."
---- Frederick Hammersley

Blending and juxtaposing color and form, Hammersley uses a brush to lay down oil paint on canvas or wood. The artist’s hand permeates each painting through evidence of brush strokes, and his signature, which is incised into the paint while still wet. Each painting is complemented by a frame of the artist’s own design and fabrication. The work is complete once Hammersley has selected a title (from a notebook that he has filled with words over many years), which he considers "an opening wedge to get into the painting."

Born in Salt Lake City in 1919, Hammersley studied art in San Francisco, and later in Los Angeles at the Chouinard Art Institute. In 1942 he was drafted into the army, but returned to the US in 1946 and resumed his studies, subsidized by the GI Bill. Hammersley went on to teach (at Jepson, Pomona College, Pasadena Art Museum and Chouinard), and exhibit in Los Angeles. At age 40, Hammersley received widespread critical acclaim, together with Karl Benjamin, Lorser Feitelson and John McLaughlin, when his work was included in the 1959 exhibition “Four Abstract Classicists,” organized by the critic Jules Langsner. This landmark show traveled from the San Francisco Museum of Art to LACMA; and overseas to the ICA in London and Queen’s University, Belfast, Ireland. In 1968 Hammersley accepted a teaching post at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where he lives to this day. In almost three decades, Hammersley’s presence in L.A. was rare. However, with the exhibition "I’ve Been Here all the While" at LA Louver (December 2, 1999 - January 8, 2000), coupled with a traveling retrospective at the Laguna Art Museum (January 22 - March 25, 2000), a diverse West Coast audience re-engaged with his work. Hammersley’s inclusion in “Beau Monde: Toward a Redeemed Cosmopolitanism” (July 14, 2001 - January 6, 2002) at Site Sante Fe, curated by Dave Hickey, further augmented Hammersley’s national reputation.

Concurrent to this exhibition, L.A. Louver will show new sculptures by John McCracken (north gallery) and recent sculpture by Brazilian Edgard de Souza, featured artist for the 2003 L.A. International Biennale Art Invitational (south gallery and skyroom).

For further information and visuals please contact Elizabeth East,
telephone 310-822-4955; fax 310-821-7529; e-mail