David Hammons, the influential and elusive contemporary artist, is having his first Los Angeles solo show in 45 years at Hauser & Wirth‘s cavernous gallery space in the city this May.
The show is a return of sorts for Hammons, who was born in Springfield, Illinois, but moved to Los Angeles in 1963, at the age of 20. He lived there for a little over a decade before moving to New York, where he now lives and works.
Exhibitions of work by the artist—who became famous for his sculptures made of detritus and found objects like chicken bones, bottle caps, empty liquor bottles, and basketball hoops—are regarded as an event because he stages them so rarely. Hauser & Wirth’s show will be held from May 18 to August 10.
Hammons’s most recent major solo museum exhibition was held at the Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid in 2000—almost 20 years ago. He has declined to be represented formally by any gallery, though he has had solo exhibitions at White Cube in London and Hauser & Wirth in Zurich.
Most recently, Mnuchin Gallery in New York staged his career-spanning exhibition “Five Decades” in 2016. Making his presence known a bit more regularly in the city, Hammons also recently organized an exhibition of objects from the Museum of Modern Art’s collection and has begun work on an outdoor installation next to the Whitney Museum in New York.
Marc Payot, a partner at Hauser & Wirth, says he stayed in touch with Hammons after his Zurich exhibition in the early 2000s. Over the past five years, he has regularly paid visits to his studio in Yonkers, New York, but with no fixed ideas in mind.
“One day, I was talking about our new space in Los Angeles and how amazing it is, in terms of the people it reaches, and he agreed to do a show there,” Payot told artnet News. “This is so fitting. LA is a city that’s so important to him, he lived there, he started there and, at least partially, he’s an LA artist.”
The show, which will include new work, will be spread across three galleries in Hauser & Wirth’s downtown Los Angeles outpost. Further details about the selection of work and pricing were not yet available.
The artnet Price Database lists just 125 auction results for Hammons. The highest price ever paid at auction was $8 million for Untitled (2000), a basketball hoop installation made of crystal, brass, and light fixtures, at Phillips New York in 2013. The second highest price, $3.5 million for an untitled 1978 installation, was part of Christie’s special themed sale titled “If I Live, I’ll See You Tuesday,” held in 2014.
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