David Hammons. Pray for America. 1969

David Hammons Pray for America 1969

  • MoMA, Floor 4, 420 The David Geffen Galleries

This is one from an extended series of "body prints" Hammons made by pressing his skin and clothing, smeared with grease or margarine, against a board or a sheet of paper and then sprinkling the surface with graphite or pigment. A haunting image of the artist draped in the American flag, his hands joined in prayer, it was created just a year after the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy and during a time of nationwide protests, race riots, and demonstrations against the Vietnam War. It speaks broadly to what Hammons described as his "moral obligation as a black artist to try to graphically document what I feel socially."

Gallery label from From the Collection: 1960-69, March 26, 2016 - March 12, 2017.
Screenprint and pigment on paper
60 1/2 × 30" (153.7 × 76.2 cm)
Gift to The Museum of Modern Art and The Studio Museum in Harlem by the Hudgins Family in honor of David Rockefeller on his 100th birthday
Object number
© 2019 David Hammons
Drawings and Prints

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