Advanced Search


Not on view


Artist: Ann Hamilton (American, born 1956)

Date: 2001
Medium: Embossed paper
Overall: 22 11/16 x 30 3/8in. (57.6 x 77.2cm)
Inscribed: Verso, lower right (graphite): 'Ann Hamilton 2001' Verso, lower left (graphite): '45/45' (black stamped ink): 'Published by Gemini G.E.L. / Los Angeles, California' / (graphite): 'AHOO-3309'
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object number: 2001.43
Label Text
Much of Ann Hamilton's work examines communication and touch, as well as their antithesis, the gulf between connecting. Inasmuch as language is central to these inquiries, Hamilton incorporates words into many of her pieces. In past projects she has effaced text in books by burning through sentences with a heated stylus or by placing small pebbles over lines. For "Whitecloth," her 1999 installation at the Aldrich Museum, she copied a Cotton Mather sermon, "A Discourse of the Wonders of the Invisible World," in what was described as a "demonically rampant" cursive script. Having rendered Mather's words unreadable, Hamilton nevertheless gave access to their meaning by making them physically present as a tactile object.

For wreathe Hamilton employed a similar obsessive hand-inscribed text. In this embossed print, her writing becomes indecipherable and takes, instead, the appearance of quilted, white cotton. Hamilton, in fact, began her career as a textile artist and she frequently incorporates clothing, fabrics and references to sewing in her installations. Here the viewer is invited to contemplate the intersection of words and textures while considering some definitions for "wreathe," which include references to decoration, twisting fabric, interweaving, creating coils, or moving in circles.

© Ann Hamilton