Tell everyone what you're proud of. Click on the button above to tweet your own "SAY IT LOUD" quote.
  • December 31, 1969 | 7:00 PM
    December 31, 1969
    7:00 PM

David Hammons

Born in Springfield, IL, 1943
Lives and works in New York, NY

Day 21: David Hammons

Bliz-aard Ball Sale is one of David Hammons’s most famous and influential performance art pieces. In 1983, he sold snowballs of varying sizes and prices in Manhattan alongside other street vendors during a winter snowstorm. The satirical performance commented on the U.S. capitalism system, the classist nature of the high-art world, and on the superficial value of “whiteness” in U.S. racial politics. Three years later, Hammons said this about the art world: "The art audience is the worst audience in the world. It's overly educated; it's conservative, it's out to criticize and not to understand, and it never has any fun. Why should I spend my time playing to that audience?"

In 2010, Kelley Oreglia riffed on Hammons’ Bliz-aard Ball Sale by dressing up similarly to him and setting up an outdoor vendor stand at a farmers’ market in Davis, Calif., where she sold balls of clipped grass cut from her lawn.

David Hammons slideshow


1972 Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design, Los Angeles, CA (four years of coursework)
1968 Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles, CA (two years of coursework)
1965 Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, Los Angeles, CA (one year of coursework)

Selected Solo and Two-Person Exhibitions

2011 David Hammons, L&M Arts, New York, NY
2007 Hammons, with Chie Hammons, L&M Arts, New York, NY [cat.]
2006 David Hammons & L.A. Objects, Tilton Gallery, New York, NY
Selected Works, Zwirner & Wirth, New York, NY [cat.]
2003 David Hammons, Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, Switzerland
2002 David Hammons, Ace Gallery, New York, NY
David Hammons: Antipodes I, White Cube, London, UK

Selected Group Exhibitions

2008 Book/Shelf, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Person Of The Crowd: The Contemporary Art Of Flânerie, Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College,
State University of New York, Purchase, NY
That Was Then…This Is Now, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY
Working History: African-American Art and Objects, The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed
College, Portland, OR
2007 Art in America, Now, Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai, Shanghai, China
Multiplex: Directions in Art, 1970 to Now, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
New York: States of Mind, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Germany; traveled to Queens Museum of
Art, Queens, NY [cat ]
Out of Time - A Contemporary View, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Sounding the Subject: Selections from the Pamela and Richard Kramlich Collection and the New Art Trust,
MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA [cat.]
The Complexity of the Simple, L&M Arts, New York, NY
2006 Black alphabet - conTEXTS of contemporary african-american art, Zacheta National Gallery of Art,
Warsaw, Poland [cat.]

Selected Collections

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Chicago, IL
Tate Modern, London, UK
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY

30 Americans is organized by the Rubell Family Collection, Miami. The presenting sponsor at the Corcoran Gallery of Art is Altria Group.

Additional support has been provided by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Press Partner