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American Costume

A work made of ink, powdered pigment and fixative on brown wove paper mounted to board.

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  • A work made of ink, powdered pigment and fixative on brown wove paper mounted to board.

Date:

1970

Artist:

David Hammons
American, born 1943

About this artwork

What intially appears to be a drawing or a print deriving from an incised plate or a marked surface is in actuality a direct impression of the artist’s own body with thumbprints. Addressing race and identity in this image, Hammons depicts an individual clearly not of European descent. The distorted facial features and the distinctive textures of the hair and dress imbue the portrait with an exaggerated “primitiveness,” which engage widely held stereotypes. The juxataposition of the title with the image creates a tension, speaking to the then expanding definition of what being an American meant and who it included.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

David Hammons

Title

American Costume

Origin

United States

Date

Made 1970

Medium

Ink, powdered pigment and fixative on brown wove paper mounted to board

Dimensions

632 × 502 mm

Credit Line

Gift of Lannan Foundation

Reference Number

1997.111

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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