Jonathan Hammer

New Drawings and Portrait of a Man Holding a Heart-Shaped Book


February 22 - March 29, 1997
523 W 24 Street


Press Release

Matthew Marks is pleased to announce Jonathan Hammer: The Fantast, New Books & Works on Paper and Portrait of a Man Holding a Heart-Shaped Book: An Installation, the next exhibition in his first floor gallery at 523 West 24th Street.

The Fantast, New Books & Works on Paper will consist of four new books and twelve drawings, the most recent works in his ongoing project inspired by Hugo Ball, a founder of Dada. Each unique book, made in collaboration with another artist, incorporates text from Hugo Ball's influential Dada writings. Hammer's collaborators include Donald Baechler, John Baldessari, James Brown and Kay Rosen. Hammer's drawings and prints also use the Ball text as a starting point, often with autobiographical comment. Jonathan Hammer's series, The Fantast, will be shown in its entirety at the Centre d'Art Contemporain in Geneva later this year and travel to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Portrait of a Man Holding a Heart-Shaped Book is an installation consisting of Jonathan Hammer's signature leather bound books, as well as silver point drawings, photographs, leather panels, reproductions of paintings by the 15th century Master of St. Gudule, and varied ephemera. Hammer, who due to the nature of his collaborative book projects often corresponds with many contemporary artists, has created an installation based on a postcard he received from Carl Andre in 1994. Enthralled by Andre's typed poems as drawings, Hammer has utilized a rare form of Renaissance binding, the "heart-shaped" book (which normally housed love poetry), embarking on a critique of the minimalist "mark," and the responsibility and role of the artist as signator.

Born in 1960, Jonathan Hammer has been exhibiting his work since the late 1980s and has had one person exhibitions in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Columbus and Zurich. His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; University Art Museum, Berkeley; New York Public Library; and the Swiss National Library.

Jonathan Hammer: The Fantast, New Books & Works on Paper and Portrait of a Man Holding a Heart-Shaped Book: An Installation will be on view at the Matthew Marks Gallery, 523 West 24th Street (between 10th and 11th Avenues) through Saturday, March 29, 1997. Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00am-6:00pm

For further information please contact Matthew Marks at 212-243-0200.

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