During the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, African Americans redoubled their long fight for equality. Their struggles and determination have inspired artist Terence Hammonds. His works in Universal Magnetic feature collages that combine historical images with decorative motifs that adorn and memorialize representations of racial identity in the United States.
For his paper collages, Hammonds incorporates illustrations of celestial bodies with images of Black and Brown figures cut from vintage magazines, such as Life, Jet, and Ebony, to create scenes that are simultaneously nostalgic and futuristic. He also recontextualizes the figures by removing them from scenes of pain and suffering and inserting them into spaces that celebrate joy and hope. While Hammonds takes the same approach to his ceramics in terms of subject matter, he uses a silkscreen process to transfer the collaged compositions onto the clay surfaces. The shape of several vessels in the exhibition, as well as his use of blue and white, is a nod to the Chinese porcelains in the Taft Museum of Art collection.
Hammonds’s work is included in the collections of the Cincinnati Art Museum, 21c Museum Hotel, the Newark Museum of Art, and the Ifö Center in Bromölla, Sweden, where his pieces form an outdoor public installation.
Exhibition Support Generously Provided By
Ellen and George Rieveschl Endowment
Warrington Exhibition Endowment
Chellgren Family Endowment
Sallie Robinson Wadsworth Endowment for Exhibitions