When I first began these paintings, in 1988, I wanted
something that was a surrogate for style. Something that was
fixed in some respects and open in others and that wouldn't
place visual limits on the work. So I took these found
pieces of information and let myself use them in all
different ways. It was a kind of language in that the bit
components were inherited, not invented, and the expression
came in the combinations and contexts and manipulations
(literally, from the hand).
Jane Hammond Irregular Plural III,, 1995.
Oil and mixed media on canvas, 61 x 73 inches
Courtesy: Galerie Barbara Farber
But, there are times when language is not inherited.
You do invent language. With children. When you fall in
And painting is not a language where, typography nuts aside,
a word on the page means the same whoever writes it. Perhaps
computers are making language even more bodiless. As elastic
and contingent as language is, it seems much more codifiable
than painting, e.g., the dictionary. Painting is dirty,
You can look through a word. A picture calls you to itself,
and with all its imprecision, idiosyncrasy and stain, it can
leave you somewhere else.
Jane Hammond was born in 1950. She is an artist who resides
in New York City.