Projects 48: Anne Hamilton

Nov 8, 1994–Jan 3, 1995


Installation view of Projects 48: Anne Hamilton at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Mali Olatunji

In Projects 48: Anne Hamilton, a new, site-specific installation by American artist Ann Hamilton (b. 1956) reveals the artist’s interest in the relationship between sight and touch, and the ability of an image to challenge the habits of our perceptions.

Hamilton’s installation, which is entitled Seam, presents in her words “a giant picture of touch” and marks the first time she has used large-format video as a central focus of her work. Projected on a screen is a thirty-minute sequence showing the artist’s greatly enlarged, ink-stained index finger rubbing honey over a transparent surface. In front of the screen, at an awkward viewing distance from the image, Hamilton has placed two long wooden benches mounded with hundreds of variegated red rags.

“Simultaneously evoking the painterly application and erasure of pigment, and a churning organism in a strange, viscous environment, Hamilton’s close-up image and its oddly scaled viewing room are at once mesmerizing and disorienting, simple and uncanny,” states curator Robert Storr.

Installation is Hamilton’s primary medium. Each new location inspires a specific, improvised response. The spare environment she has created for Projects deliberately contrasts with her previous, generally more elaborate works. These were usually characterized by either the actual presence or suggested absence of a protagonist, and employed a lavish quantity of rich and sensuous materials. Parallel Lines, for example, which she created in 1991 for the twenty-first International São Paulo Bienal, featured a ship-length cradle of votive candles, floors tiled with thousands of copper tokens, and twin glass cases containing the moldering carcasses of a pair of turkeys.

Born in Lima, Ohio, Ann Hamilton currently resides in Columbus. After completing a BFA in textile design in 1979 at the University of Kansas, she began her career as a weaver. In 1985 she received an MFA in sculpture at Yale University, where she did her first performances using herself as a mobile base for her sculpture. Since then Hamilton has created more than a dozen major installations in this country and abroad. Her most recent one-person exhibition was at the Tate Gallery, Liverpool, in 1994.

Organized by Robert Storr, Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture.

  • This exhibition is part of The Elaine Dannheisser Projects Series.
  • Projects, a series of exhibitions devoted to the work of contemporary artists, is made possible by grants from The Bohen Foundation and The Contemporary Arts Council and The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art.


    • Projects 48 : Ann Hamilton : the Museum of Modern Art, New York, November 10, 1994-January 3, 1995 Out of print, 6 pages
    • Master checklist 1 page
    • Press release 2 pages

    Installation images

    How we identified these works

    In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

    If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


    If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

    MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

    If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


    This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].