Hammersley...and my future

(above, Frederick Hammersley, All in Favor, #9, 1991, oil on linen)

Came across a name kind of by accident this week, that I'd never heard before: Frederick Hammersley. It seems he is a "recently re-discovered", seminal painter in the "abstract classicist" school. All that considered, his work is really outstanding. I saw it in, I think, the new Modern Painters, and a random Art in America from about a year ago that I picked up while making copies at work. Anyway, I immediately resonated with his work and many of his comments - even with some of his purported working styles and quirks. Especially this quote:

"...Hammersley has always focused on articulating his own body of work, leaving him often, in his own words, 'in left field.' The mainspring of his production has been pleasure. For him, pleasure is discovered and proved by intuition: what 'feels right' or 'feels good' determines every mark. Corroboration lies in the viewer's satisfaction, in the sense that the shapes could not be otherwise arranged, and that the colors belong to those shapes, although not in ways we could have predicted."

Amen! I'd really like to meet this painter. What did dgls call it? "Art love." http://www.douglaswitmer.com/blog/2005_06_01_archive.html (post: social life with links)

(By the way, the painter mentioned on that post, Tim McFarlane, another "abstractionist", is having a show of his latest work at Bridgette Mayer open tonight.)

I really appreciated how FH has moved back and forth - not unlike Herr Richter, although in "larger chunks" - between what he calls his "geometrics" based on a nine-square grid, and his "organics", which constitute his latest work. Frederick Hammersley kept painting in his living room in New Mexico for forty years, with little recognition. If I can keep up an attitude like this painter...then I think I shall weather all storms of doubt. Pleasure/Enjoyment...how seminal is THAT? This is what our art is for, Douglas.

Douglas Witmer  – (Friday, 02 September, 2005)  

"Pleasure" is so much more than most of us think it is.

GIERSCHICK  – (Tuesday, 06 September, 2005)  

"Pleasure," to Mr. Hammersley, was largely what kept him going in his living room. And I think that is my main attraction to him. Painting is something he did; it is something he IS; no way around it. And there is a certain type of pleasure in finding who/what you are and sticking with it. It is, after all, a "relationship...that is ongoing."

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