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(American, b. 1943)
Charcoal on paper with water bottle
Overall: 152.4 x 86.4 x 15.2 cm (60 x 34 x 6 in.)
Gift of Agnes Gund in honor of LeBron James 2015.65
The gradations of the work were made by the artist repeatedly bouncing a basketball coated in charcoal on the surface of the paper.
Considered one of the most influential and enigmatic artists of the past 50 years, David Hammons consistently challenges social conventions. In this work, he made an abstract composition by bouncing a charcoal-covered basketball onto a sheet of white paper. The resulting drawing calls to mind the role professional sports such as basketball can play within contemporary culture, often seen as an aspirational road to fame and fortune that few achieve. This idea echoes the way the drawing was made; chance plays a prominent role in the outcome of the composition. The addition of an empty water bottle behind the frame gives the drawing sculptural dimension. This object, which normally would have been discarded after use, is elevated to the status of fine art as it props up the drawing.
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