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
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 email@example.com.