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1606 Paseo de Peralta
Santa Fe, NM 87501


Harmony Hammond

Harmony Hammond, Chenille #5, 2017 Oil and mixed media on canvas 60 1/2 x 120 1/2 in, image courtesy of the artist

SITE SANTA FE presents a solo exhibition of work by pioneer of feminist and queer discourse Harmony Hammond. Made in the past ten years, these recent works underscore the artist’s belief that materials and the ways they are manipulated can bring social and political content into formal abstraction.

Harmony Hammond has focused on materiality and the indexical in her recent paintings, suggesting topographies of the body that derive from and remain in conversation with her feminist work of the 1970s. Since Hammond began her ongoing series of Bandaged Grid paintings (2015–present), she has achieved a sculptural quality with her large-scale canvases. Developing out of her near monochrome paintings of the 1990s and early 2000’s, these works combine an earth-based palette with an expanded vocabulary of pieced and patched found fabrics and horizontal rows of grids with grommet holes evoking the bandaging of a body. In her series of Chenille paintings (2016–present), she incorporates rough burlap and grommets into layers of thick paint in a monochromatic palette that insinuates the soft texture and domestic warmth of off-white chenille bedspreads but with an edge as other colors suggesting body fluids assert themselves from underneath. Chenille experts, like quilters, share an undervalued history of needlework and similar technique of puncturing fabric from the backside. In these collaged and layered paintings, the chenille reference is visual—performed by paint and other materials on the surface of the canvas—rather than by needle and thread. Bridging these two bodies of work are the artist’s Bandaged Quilt paintings (2018–present), constructed of overlapping bandage-like burlap and canvas strips that mimic a pieced quilt pattern. The works suggest repeated wounding and mending or healing of the body and the gendered tradition of quilting.

Building on these three earlier series, Hammond’s Cross Paintings (2019–present) are punctuated with protrusions, holes, seams and frayed edges, implying narratives that lie beneath the surface. For the artist, the form of the ‘cross’, with all its associations of religious iconography, medical and humanitarian aid, and the modernist art historical canon, simultaneously serves as a stand-in for the figure, an intersection, and a plus sign, signifying both agency and accumulation.

Advancing Hammond’s interest in “material engagement” or the “agency of materials and the way they are manipulated,” recent diptychs juxtapose the artist’s visual strategies from the 1970s with her current formal and conceptual concerns. These two-part works combine her Bandaged Quilts with panels that recall her Weave Paintings (1973–77). In these compositions, Hammond draws parallels between minimalist monochromatic painting and vernacular gendered craft traditions, advancing her mission of advocating for an expanded art history that challenges reductive, sexist historical narratives of abstraction. The duality of the canvases highlights how the artist’s visual strategies and conceptual concerns in the 1970s have continued to shape her practice throughout her expansive career.

The inclusion of four singular works: Torso I (202), Bandaged Flag (2021). Patched (2022), and Voices I (2023), with their overt political content about violation and voice, serve to anchor the more conceptual near-monochrome series.

First presented at SITE SANTA FE in 2025, this exhibition will follow the recent survey exhibition of Hammond’s work, Material Witness, Five Decades of Art, which was presented in 2019 at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, CT, and traveled to the Sarasota Art Museum, Ringling College of Art and Design, FL in 2020. Material Witness, Five Decades of Art featured works spanning the artist’s fifty-year career, bringing together her earliest painted fabric sculptures from 1971, Weave Paintings, monumental mixed-media installation-based paintings, works on paper, as well as her more recent near monochrome canvases.

The presentation in 2025 will also come on the heels of Hammond’s participation in prominent group exhibitions, including Woven Histories: Textiles and Modern Abstraction at Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA (2023); traveled to National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC (2024);
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON (2024); and The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2025); Unravel: The Power and Politics of Textiles in Art, Barbican, London (2024), traveled to Stedelijk Museum (2024); and the 2024 Whitney Biennial in New York.

Artist Bios

Harmony Hammond

Harmony Hammond is an artist, art writer and independent curator. A leading figure in the development of the feminist art movement in New York in the early 1970s, she was a co-founder of A.I.R., the first women’s cooperative art gallery in New York (1972) and Heresies: A Feminist Publication on Art & Politics (1976). Since 1984, Hammond has lived and worked in northern New Mexico, teaching at the University of Arizona, Tucson from 1989–2006. Hammond’s earliest feminist work combined gender politics with post-minimal concerns of materials and process, frequently occupying a space between painting and sculpture – a focus that continues to this day.VIEW ARTIST

Brandee Caoba

Brandee Caoba is an artist, curator, and visual activist whose creative and curatorial approaches are rooted in the symbiotic relationship between art and social change. VIEW CURATOR