Anthea Hamilton: Lichen! Libido! Chastity!

20 Sep 2015 – 4 Jan 2016


New York
New York, United States


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Anthea Hamilton will feature new and existing works for her first solo museum exhibition in the United States. Investigating cultural appropriation and pop culture, Hamilton mines countercultures in music, fashion, and design (such as disco in the 1970s) and their entrance into the mainstream.


Hamilton questions the representation of cultural phenomena through popular media in her sculptures and videos.

A centerpiece of her exhibition at SculptureCenter, Project for door, is a new commission inspired by a model made by Italian designer Gaetano Pesce in 1972. Originally intended to be a doorway for a Manhattan skyscraper, the work was never realized. Comprised of a man's naked bottom, people would pass between his legs, which framed a doorway. In Hamilton's version, she has reinterpreted the model, creating a large-scale sculpture that refers to Pesce's original idea but within a new context.

Avant-garde design, niche products, fandom, and expertise inspire Hamilton's exhibition. Verging on the absurd, the works articulate perverse fantasies, intimately binding the body to products and things. In her works, desire is on the brink of obsession, conjuring the simultaneous discomfort of striving and potential for satisfaction inherent to a fixation on a particular thing. In Hamilton's exhibition, objects that aspire to elegance and luxury are expressed through pleasure as well as constraint. 

Hamilton (born 1978 in London, UK) is based in London and has had solo exhibitions at firstsite in Colchester, UK (2012); the Tanks at Tate Modern, London, UK (2012); and the Chisenhale, London, UK (2009). Recent group exhibitions include Don't You Know Who I Am? – Art After Identity Politics at MuKHA, Antwerp (2014); the 10th Gwangju Biennale (2014); the Glasgow International (2014); and Better Homes (2013) at SculptureCenter.

SculptureCenter's major exhibition and operating support is generously provided by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; Jeanne Donovan Fisher; the Kraus Family Foundation; the Lambent Foundation Fund of Tides Foundation; the A. Woodner Fund; and contributions from our Board of Trustees. Additional funding is provided by Luhring Augustine and contributions from many generous individuals.

Anthea Hamilton: Lichen! Libido! Chastity! is supported in part by a grant from The Henry Moore Foundation and using public funding through the Artists' International Development fund, which is jointly funded by the British Council and Arts Council England.Project for door (2015) is commissioned by SculptureCenter and fully supported by Valeria Napoleone XX SculptureCenter. 


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