Oct 04, 2007 - Sale 2122

Sale 2122 - Lot 35

Price Realized: $ 64,800
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 60,000 - $ 90,000
Moving to the Other Side.

Screenprint printed in shades of grey on cream wove paper, 1969. 762x890 mm; 30x35 inches. Unique proof. Signed and dated in pencil, lower right.

Moving to the Other Side is a wonderful early example of this contemporary artist's important body art on paper, made in just the second year of this oeuvre. Hammons had taken an early interest in the figure - taking a drawing class under Charles White while at the Otis Art Institute from 1966-68.

In an interview with Joseph A. Young for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art 1971 exhibition, Three Graphic Artists, with White and Timothy Washington, Hammons described the process of making these body prints which appear photographic in their sharp graphic quality. Unlike traditional monotypes, his prints used powdered pigments which are applied after physically placing himself against the paper with his body or clothing coated in margarine. The hard part for the artist was removing himself from the work:
"When I lie down on the paper which is first placed on the floor, I have to carefully decide how to get up after I have made the impression that I want. Sometimes I lie there for perhaps three minutes or even longer just figuring out how I can get off the paper without smudging the image that I'm trying to print." Young, p. 8.
Then the artist applied a fixative to secure the image to the thin layer of margarine, often, as in this work, with multiple impressions. The artist took this work one step further making a screenprint of a monotype, moving the print across the paper to create a multiple self-image. This is a technique he employed with other monotype images including Spade from 1974.

While several of these works are in important private and museum collections, a recent exhibition at Jack Tilton Gallery in New York in November of 2006 assembled 30 of these body prints, and was critically acclaimed for re-introducing this important, early work to the public. The exploration of unique and transitory images, body art and issues of identity that Hammons began in this work has continued throughout his career.